New Low Cost Airline to Offer Cheap Flights to Malta

By: Edward Penza

One of Europe’s leading low-fare airlines, Norwegian Air Shuttle, is set tostart operating a route between Oslo and Malta from April 2008 onwards.

The announcement was made after Norwegian AS -- one of Europe's leadinglow-cost airlines -- successfully concluded negotiations with MaltaInternational Airport (MIA) and the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA), opening thedoors for Norwegian AS to operate the route offering cheap flights to Malta.

Norwegian Air Shuttle will operate two flights to Malta a week, everyTuesday and Saturday, and is expected to move tourism to Malta in Norway,providing the Mediterranean island with a new influx in tourism. Joining thelikes of Ryanair, who have been operating direct routes to Malta for over ayear with relative success.

The addition of yet another low cost airline is expected to further boosttourist numbers visiting Malta and Norwegian Air Shuttle opens a window ofopportunity to attract more Scandinavian tourists to visit the Maltese islands.Malta’s economy heavily depends on tourism and the introduction of low costairlines to offer cheap flights to Malta is seen as a positive move by theauthorities who had been protective of national airline Air Malta.

Norwegian AS commenced operations in September 2002 with four domesticroutes and six B737-300 aircraft but has grown considerably since then andnowadays has 31 aircrafts and an additional 53 new B737-800's on order fromearly next year. The low-cost airline offers a flight network of 128 routes to76 destinations from Norway, Sweden and Poland.

"We are very proud to include Malta in our already extensive Europeannetwork" said Daniel Skjeldam, Chief Commercial Officer of Norwegian AS.

"Malta has always been a favourite destination for Scandinavians and werealised that there is a great demand, judging from the numerous enquiries wereceive from our customers. We believe that with low prices and a directflight, it will be a success". Mr Skjeldam added.

He went on to say that the airline is collaborating with the MTA and MIA topromote the route in Norway, offering cheap flights to MaltaBusiness Management Articles, and he expressedhis appreciation for the support that both entities have shown throughout.

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