Unless you reach Malta via cruise ship or private yacht, you'll have to take a plane to get there, landing at Malta International Airport (MLA). The only airport on the island nation of Malta, MLA also serves smaller Gozo island and tiny Comino. It's a small, easy airport to fly in and out of, and is well-connected to the rest of the European country. Note that Malta International Airport is sometimes called Luqa Airport in reference to its name under British rule, when the site was a Royal Air Force air facility.
The two-runway airport is currently served by Air Malta and Ryanair, as well as several European and Middle Eastern airlines offering seasonal service. Between Air Malta and Ryanair, flights to and from Malta connect cities across Europe and the U.K., including Rome, Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam, Paris, and Zurich. There are also regularly scheduled flights between Moscow and St. Petersburg in Russia, and Tripoli and Tunis in North Africa.
Here is some essential information about Malta International Airport.
Malta International Airport: Code, Location and Flight Information
- Airport code: MLA
- Location: In Gudja, about 9 kilometers (6 miles) south of the capital city of Valletta.
- Address: Malta International Airport, plc Luqa LQA 4000
- Phone: +356 21249 600
- Website: https://www.maltairport.com
- Real-time flight tracker: Linked from the airport's homepage
The airport website also has full departures and arrivals timetables, both of which indicate which days of the week certain flights are offered.
Know Before You Go
Consistently regarded as one of the best in Europe, Malta International Airport is a destination airport, meaning it's not one where you'll spend time on a layover between flights. Still, the single terminal, three-story airport is well-equipped with shops, restaurants, and other services—enough so that you won't get bored while waiting to board your flight. Considering its small size, there's no need to arrive here hours before a flight, or linger very long once your plane has landed.
There are 18 gates at the airport, some of which require passengers to walk or take a shuttle bus to the main terminal. Both the arrivals and departures halls are on the same floor, separated by a central hall. Since all flights to Malta originate in other countries, you'll have to go through passport/immigration control upon arrival.
Airlines Currently Serving MLA
Air Malta and Ryanair are by far the two biggest carriers serving Malta International Airport. However, these airlines also provide year-round or seasonal service to MLA: Aegean Airlines, Alitalia, British Airways, easyJet, flydubai, Iberia, Jet2.com, LOT Polish Airlines, Lufthansa, Luxair, Medavia, Norwegian Air Shuttle, Qatar Airways, SkyUp, Swiss, Transavia, Tunisair Express, Turkish Airlines, Volotea, Vueling, and Wizz Air.
There are several covered and uncovered public parking lots that function as both short- and long-term lots. All are within walking distance of the terminal.
The first 120 minutes of parking are always free. After that, rates are as follows: Up to one hour is 2 euros and one to two hours is 3 euros, scaling up to a maximum of 15 euros for 12 to 24 hours. Each subsequent day is also 15 euros. Remember not to leave your parking stub in the car, as you'll need it to pay at one of several ATMs before you can leave the parking area.
If you are driving from Valletta, the 9-kilometer trip to the airport is a fairly direct shot along Route 6, which merges onto Route 1. The trip should only take about 15 minutes under the right conditions. However, as traffic jams in Valletta and on the highways can slow you down, be sure to allow some extra time. If you're traveling from Mdina, Mgarr, or other areas in the southwest, pick up the Triq L-Imdina road and follow it east, watching for signs for the airport. From either the Gozo ferry port or Birżebbuġa, located on opposite ends of the island, Route 1 is the main artery to reach MLA.
Public Transportation and Taxis
There are four public bus lines that serve MLA, connecting it to points across Malta. Tickets can be purchased on-board, and cost 2 euros from June to October and 1.50 euros the rest of the year. The journey from the airport to Valletta takes about 20 minutes, and buses run every half hour. The airport bus stop is just outside the departures hall.
Malta Transfer is the official hotel shuttle partner, offering transfers to hotels across the island and as far as the Gozo ferry terminal. (Upon arriving in Gozo, you can catch another shuttle or taxi.) They're located in the arrivals area, and have a dedicated waiting room. Rates are fixed and can be calculated on the Malta Transfer website.
If you decide to take a taxi from the airport, you'll find them right outside the terminal. The airport website offers a list of sample fares to destinations around Malta.
Rental car companies serving MLA include Hertz, Dollar, Thrifty, Sixt, Avis, Europcar, and Budget.
Where to Eat, Drink, and Shop
There are fast food restaurants, including McDonald's and Burger King, in the land-side part of the terminal. Past security, travelers will find a wine bar, coffee bar, and a Hard Rock Café, as well as a grab-and-go deli and salad eatery.
There are a total of 12 retail venues in the airport, ranging from duty-free and luggage stores to women's fashions and gift shops. You'll find sundry shops here as well, including a pharmacy and bookstore.
The independent La Vallette executive lounges are complimentary for Air Malta business class passengers and Priority Pass holders, and may also be available to those flying business class. If none of these apply to you, you can choose to purchase a one-time pass for 35 euros. There are two lounges, one in the departures area and one in arrivals.
Wi-Fi and Charging Stations
There is free Wi-Fi in the airport, as well as power outlets throughout the terminal.
Malta Airport Tips & Facts
- A game room on the lower level is open to adults and supervised children and teens.
- There's an open-air observation deck on the third floor, where visitors can watch planes take off and land.