Air Malta fly between Prague and Malta twice weekly from March 2021. With flights from less than 100 Euros and a flight less than two and a half hours, it’s easy to visit Malta from Prague or vice versa.
Air Malta wan a few flights over Christmas 2020 and so we took the opportunity to spend a few warm days away. We did have to take a Covid PCR test beforehand.
Although the flights are twice weekly, it’s really only practical to fly PRG-MLA on a Wednesday (departs 10.20) and MLA-PRG on a Saturday (departs 16.00). The alternate route would be PRG-MLA on Saturday at 19.20 and MLA-PRG on Wednesday at 07.00 – arriving late in the evening, departing early in the morning.
The flights are good value at less than 100 Euros return in Economy Light – no checked baggage or seat choice.
Entry Requirements due to Covid
Malta is part of the Schengen area but currently requires:
- A negative PCR test certificate, with the test performed within 72 hours of arrival in Malta.
- A public health declaration form.
- A passenger locator form.
Hopefully all of these requirements will be removed within a few months – check this site for the latest situation https://reopen.europa.eu/en/map/MLT/7001.
Like many airlines, Air Malta use the PlusGrade system whereby you can bid for an upgrade. It’s only worth upgrading on a short flight if you can choose a low bid. I was surprised to find the lowest bid was 120 EUR per person one way. The same offer on the return flight.
I would have gladly bid 60 EUR and Air Malta would have gained an extra 240 EUR rather than leave their Business Class almost completely empty – which it was both ways.
Prague to Malta
Online check-in wasn’t available – I suspect this was so they could check PCR certificates. Sadly, the check in was a complete shambles. The single line barely moved and the check in staff didn’t seem to have a clue. There were three desks, only two in operation, with one woman acting as supervisor.
After almost an hour, we neared the front of the line. Suddenly, the supervisor beckoned the back of the line to queue at the second desk. You can imagine how this annoyed me and the others who had spent so long waiting and now had to rely on just one desk. Worse still, it was apparent that the man at our desk was the reason for the slow movement – he was completely inept, barely looked at our PCR result and insisted we take another version of the passenger locator form, despite our showing him a completed version.
Security was almost empty, but with only two belts in operation, we only just arrived at the gate while the flight was boarding. Luckily, the same staff from check-in were there, so boarding was proceeding very slowly.
Once on board, we found that our check-in genius had seated us in the aisle and middle seat and a lady in the window. With the aircraft half full, we moved to an empty row.
A really poor check-in experience – I suspect that Air Malta outsourced that part as their cabin crew are friendly and efficient.
After the check-in stress I was ready for a drink and found the menu in the in-flight magazine.
The ‘Meal Deal’ with Prosecco is good value at 10 Euros. We ordered the Sweet & Sour Chicken.
It looked like this:
And wasn’t bad for airline food. Masks were required on board, but obviously could be removed when eating or drinking.
The flight was smooth and landed early – a bus took us to the terminal. There was a bit of a scrum, while PCR test and passenger locator forms were collected, but we were through immigration quite quickly.
I used the Malta ECabs app to book a taxi. The taxi arrived within a few minutes and was about 16 Euros to the Hilton Hotel, Malta an excellent hotel – so good that, last year, it made Number One on the BugAdvisor.com list of Hilton Hotels & Resorts worldwide.
Malta to Prague
There is a Czech passenger locator online form to complete before you fly – again check the https://reopen.europa.eu/en/map/CZE/7001 for the latest situation. I printed this at the hotel in case someone wanted to see it. Online check in was available. It was great to see that all middle seats had been blocked
Mobile boarding passes are accepted, so I didn’t print those.
Malta airport security was fast and we were soon waiting airside in the World’s saddest Hard Rock Café – only chosen so we could remove our masks because we ordered drinks.
I could see that ours was the last flight out that day.
Boarding was smooth and we just walked to the aircraft. There was plenty of space and not many passengers.
Sadly, there wasn’t any hot food loaded, so we had to make do with the Tapas Tray.
It looked like this:
It was okay, but I would have preferred the Sweet & Sour Chicken.
The flight landed half an hour early and the aircraft was connected to a jet bridge.
Passport control was fast and they didn’t really look at my passenger locator form – I assume that the system shows if a form hasn’t been completed online.
And we were back in Prague.
The airline really need to sort out the Prague check in staff before they re-commence flying in March.
Lower bids should be possible via the PlusGrade system.
Despite the above, I like Air Malta and I’d certainly consider flying with them again.