Universal Air / LinkedIn

Simon Cook, CEO at recently-launched Universal Air, has said that new routes announced as part of its summer schedule for 2024 can lead to increased connections for leisure and business travellers.

This comes after the Malta-based airline announced its summer schedule, launching four additional new routes from Malta. The new schedule will see it launch flights connecting Malta to Cagliari (Sardinia), Perugia (Italy), Nice (France), and Prague (Czechia), as well as a new route connecting Cagliari and Prague.

This is alongside the present routes it has between Malta and Athens and Corfu (Greece), the Balearic island of Ibiza (Spain), Palermo (Italy), and Pécs (Hungary).

The airline launched a few weeks ago with an inaugural flight between Malta and Pécs. However, it is not entirely new to Malta’s aviation sector, having previously provided charter and cargo services for many years from its base at Malta International Airport (MIA). It is equipped with a flet of Dash 8 aircraft, featuring 78-seater cabins.

Simon Cook / Universal Air
Universal Air CEO Simon Cook / Facebook

Mr Cook said that the introduction of new routes is more than just about adding destinations to Universal Air’s list, but it is “about connecting cultures, facilitating business opportunities, and fostering relationships that transcend borders.”

“For us, it means meticulous planning, from ensuring the highest safety standards to optimising our fleet utilisation and enhancing customer experience,” he affirmed.

“We are excited about the potential these new routes hold for leisure and business travellers, the tourism industry, and the broader economic impact for each destination,” Mr Cook added.

The summer flight schedule will run from May until October, with flights operating from Malta to Corfu and Palermo three times per week, with twice-weekly flights to Nice, Athens, Ibiza, and Perugia. There will be weekly from Malta to Cagliari and Prague, as well as for the flight between Prague and Cagliari.

Universal Air stated that prices will start from €30 per seat for a one-way ticket from Malta to Palermo, including 15 kilogrammes of checked luggage and a seven-kilogramme bag allowance in the cabin.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for travel has shot up, with people looking to make up for lost travel during the lockdown period. However, while business travel has made a comeback, the recovery is still lagging behind 2019 numbers, particularly since businesses are looking to make savings on non-essential expenses. Locally, this issue is further widened through the need for air connectivity, and while Malta has largely recovered in this regard, it still lost connections to seven countries it was connected to prior to the pandemic.

Recent analysis from MaltaCEOs.mt found that Malta is directly connected to 98 different airports, spread across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, with the most connections being to Italian (18) and UK (16) airports.

Featured Image:

Universal Air / LinkedIn

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