A new airside business class lounge has been opened at Malta International airport (MLA), replacing the existing lounge. As the only lounge at MLA, this is the facility all business class passengers flying out of the airport will use, including those travelling with Air Malta, British Airways, Lufthansa and Emirates.
The lounge is situated on the first floor, accessible to the right at the top of the escalators (follow signposts for VIP lounge), and has free wifi, European and British plugs, five internet terminals and televisions. Snacks are available throughout the day, as well as four different meal services (breakfast, lunch, tea and dinner).
Although flights are not called, staff walk around to notify passengers when their flight is departing. The whole lounge has windows looking out onto the front of the airport and is air-conditioned. In one corner there is a glass-sided smoking area.
The new lounge has 120 seats, an increase on the 80 seats of the old lounge, which will be particularly useful during the peak hours of 10.30am-1.30pm, when departures by Lufthansa, Air Malta, Alitalia and Emirates used to cause congestion.
Emirates flies five times weekly from Malta, rising to daily from December. With over 600,000 ethnic Maltese living in Australia, the main route between the two countries is via Dubai, with the carrier using a B777 on the route. Malta’s airport will see approximately 3,150,000 passengers in 2008 (up 5.5 per cent from last year), 35 per cent of whom are flying to and from the UK.
The lounge is open 24 hours a day and access will be available for one-off purchase at check-in from January at a price of €29 per passenger. The airport also runs a La Valette Club for frequent flyers, with two tier levels costing €190 or €750 per year (the latter includes free travel insurance, free parking in the airport’s main car park, use of the lounges both on departure and arrival, and the handling of banking requirements).
For more information visit maltairport.com.
Report by Tom Otley