Low-cost airlines sell destinations not yet on Malta’s safe corridor list

Low-cost airlines are offering flights between Malta and a number of countries which the island has not yet announced

Low-cost airlines are offering flights between Malta and a number of countries which the island has not yet announced it will be opening its borders to.

Budget carriers Ryanair and Wizz Air are selling tickets online for the month of July to destinations – including France, the UK, Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Serbia and North Macedonia – which are not amongst the countries which Malta will open its airport to.

Malta’s airport will reopen on 1 July, with travel restrictions being lifted to 18 safe corridor countries which have controlled the spread of COVID-19.

Travel will be resuming to and from the Italian regions of Sicily and Sardinia, Iceland, Slovakia, Cyprus, Lithuania, Israel, Latvia, Norway, Switzerland, Estonia, Denmark, Hungary, Austria, Luxembourg, Germany, Czechia, Finland and Ireland.

On Thursday, Tourism Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli announced that the government was also in “advanced discussions” with five other countries to which travel will also be opened. She did not specifically name them.

While it is not officially known which additional countries Malta will be reopening to, low-cost carriers have already made available flight tickets to destinations not yet on the official list.

Through the Ryanair website, MaltaToday was able to choose direct flights to destinations including London Luton airport in the UK, Nantes in France and Athens in Greece for dates in July.

Through Wizz Air, tickets for non-stop flights to Bulgaria, Romania, Poland, Serbia and North Macedonia could be acquired.

In all these cases, the airline’s web platform allows clients to enter payment details, and therefore effectively buying the tickets.

It is not yet clear when or how passengers would be reimbursed after buying tickets to destinations which Malta would not yet have opened its doors to by the date of the trip.

On Thursday, the European Commission recommended that member states in the Schengen area, as well as associated states, lift internal border controls by 15 June.

Despite this pressure, Malta has stuck to its July date for lifting restrictions.

Although the government has named 18 countries which the island will reopen its borders to, a schedule issued by Malta Airport this week lists only nine – Austria, Czechia, Denmark, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg and Switzerland.

According to the schedule, Air Malta, Wizz Air, Ryanair, Lufthansa, Luxair and Swissair will be operating their respective commercial flights between Malta and the nine destinations in the beginning of July.