On Tuesday – 10th June, the Catalan airline Vueling presented the summer season in Malta with new routes to Rome-Fiumicino and Seville.
Last year, Vueling became part of IAG together with Iberia and British Airways. This may be the reason why Vueling promoted a substantial expansion, offering a wide range of connecting flights. Today it has the lowest unit costs of any hybrid airline.
Today, it serves 280 routes with 90 planes carrying 20 million passengers. It has 21 bases and flies to 130 destinations.
The Airline has three categories of fares.
• Basic: fly at the best price with seat allocated by Vueling; collect Vueling points
• Optima: check in one item of luggage of up to 23 kg, choose your seat, bring your flight forward when you arrive at the airport and there is an earlier flight on the same day; collect Vueling points or Iberia Plus Avios.
• Excellence: Fly in row 1 with no one sitting in the middle seat, guaranteed; reserved room for your hand luggage; preferential check-in at Barcelona, Madrid and Bilbao; preferential boarding at all airports, flexible on charges; collect Vueling points or Iberia Plus Avios.
Over the past year, Vueling has greatly increased its services all around Italy. It now flies to 17 airports in Italy and has 10 planes stationed in Italy, including eight in Rome and two in Milan. It is obviously benefiting from the cost-cutting Alitalia has been doing. Vueling is already flying from Malta to Barcelona’s El Prat airport. The frequency of these flights will increase from three times a week in June to six flights a week in July, a daily flight in August and five flights a week in September.
As in other flights, the timings are rather unfortunate since at least two flights a week will leave Malta just minutes before midnight. Vueling will then add to an already crowded route – that between Malta and Fiumicino. The airline will fly from Rome to Malta three times a week except in September when it has two.
Speaking at the launch, Vueling’s regional manager for Malta Massimo di Perna said the airline believes there is a great demand at both ends.
Vueling will also fly twice a week to Madrid in July, August and September.
But the real novelty is the start of a direct route to Seville. This was a highly popular route when it was served by Ryanair until some months ago. However, the low cost carrier had an issue with Seville’s airport management and pulled out.
There will be two flights a week in July and August, but the flights from Malta depart at the rather unfortunate hour of 3.50am.
Nevertheless, Mr di Perna expressed optimism. The company, which was already present in Malta some years ago, is testing the waters, checking whether the summer flights can be sustainable. It hopes it will be able, in the near future, to extend the routes all year round.