Holiday trip to Malta (MLA)
Malta Luqa International Airport (IATA: MLA) is the only airport in Malta. It is located southwest of the Maltese capital Valletta and handled 6,014,548 passengers in 2017. The airport has a single passenger terminal which became fully operational on 25 March 1992. This replaced the old terminal which is currently mostly used for cargo. The airport hosts several maintenance facilities including those operated by Lufthansa Technik and SR Technics. The airport serves as the main hub for Air Malta and Medavia besides being a base for Ryanair. It is also home to the Area Control Center and hosted the annual Malta Airshow until 2017.
The increase in passenger numbers is mainly due to the increased number of routes served by low-cost carriers. Ryanair based one aircraft in Malta from May 2010, increasing to two in May 2012, three in March 2016, four in March 2017, five in March 2018 and further to six in April 2018. The largest aircraft visiting Malta International Airport regularly is the daily Emirates Boeing 777-300. The airport has received occasional visits by the Airbus A380, usually for repainting at one of the local maintenance facilities. On 23 December 2016 Afriqiyah Airways Flight 209, operated by an Airbus A320, was hijacked while en route from Sabha Airport to Tripoli International Airport in Libya, and diverted to Malta International.