Emirates is set to resume its European Island tag flight between Cyprus and Malta next month. The route sees a Boeing 777 flying for two hours and 45 minutes between two islands in the Mediterranean Sea. As the airline doesn’t have fifth freedom rights, passengers cannot fly solely between the two islands.
Since Dubai reopened to tourism last July, Emirates has been working hard to rebuild its route network. While the focus initially seemed to be on high-demand direct flights, it has since shifted to reactivating the airline’s other destinations, including its stopping services.
Flying to Malta
Emirates is set to fly to Malta from Wednesday, July 14th. While the flight is direct, it is not non-stop. Instead, the aircraft will stop off at Larnaca International Airport (LCA) in Cyprus en route. Here it will drop off passengers when arriving from Dubai and pick up passengers when coming from Malta.
While Emirates operates a handful of fifth freedom routes worldwide, this is not one of them. As such, all passengers must start or end their journey in Dubai. While Emirates is known as the largest Airbus A380 operator, we won’t see the giant of the skies on this route.
Instead, the Dubai-based airline will operate its two-class Boeing 777 on the route. The aircraft features 42 lie-flat business class seats up front, accompanied by 386 seats in the economy cabin.
According to Emirates, the flight will operate thrice-weekly, departing Dubai on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. Flights will run to the following schedule,
- EK109 – Dubai (DXB) 08:00 – Larnaca (LCA) 11:10 – 04h10m
- EK109 – Larnaca (LCA) 12:20 – Malta (MLA) 14:05 – 02h45m
- EK110 – Malta (MLA) 15:35 – Larnaca (LCA) 19:00 – 02h25m
- EK110 – Larnaca (LCA) 20:10 – Dubai (DXB) 01:05+1 – 03h55m
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But why did Emirates chosen Malta? It seems that several reasons came together to make the route attractive for the UAE carrier. Firstly, Malta currently has one of the lowest rates of COVID-19 in the European Union. According to data from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, the country has a seven-day incidence rate of 8.16 cases per 100,000, beaten only by Iceland and Romania. This compares to a rate of 114.53 in the UAE.
To fly to Malta, Emirates passengers will need a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours before arrival on the island. A passenger locator firm is also required. Citizens and residents of Malta can travel without the PCR test if they can prove they have been fully vaccinated in Malta.
However, it will be worth it for those who make it to the island. The Malta Tourism Authority is offering incentives for Emirates passengers staying for at least three nights. These incentives include discounted hotel rates and a credit of up to €200 ($240).
What do you make of Emirates’ Malta island hop? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!