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Looking Ahead at Malta's Private Jet and Superyacht Industry

Quaynote Communications hosted the 9th annual conference focusing on Opportunities in Private Jets and Superyachts, a return to live conferences after a two year lull due to the pandemic. Guest speakers travelled from various countries as far as USA and Canada and others from as near as France and Italy.

A varied panel and audience discussed the present challenges and conditions facing the complementary industries and the projected targets for the future remaining greatly optimistic that both are growing at exponential rates and preparing for the needs of their respective sectors.

The pandemic years saw an increase in both private jet and superyacht purchases and as well an increase in charter bookings. Malta saw an increase in private jet registrations of 200% with head of Aviation, Mr Charles Pace at the forefront, ensuring Malta remains an attractive hub for aviation. Those affiliated with the Superyacht industry saw a similar spike in sales, with Mr Niki Travers Tauss admitting the last two years were also the best years for Azimut sales in his 15 year career in yachting.

During the second day of the conference, ‘a shameless Malta panel’, as labelled by moderator Dr. Alison Vassallo, Partner at Fenech & Fenech Advocates, discussed ‘Malta as a Destination & Luxury Brand’.

Rightly so, Mr Richard Hekker, Founder and CEO of OPES Jet Holdings, commented from the audience that ‘Malta is not often considered for luxury internationally’, but we are making leaps and bounds in improving the offering to the customer.

Malta offers a great and inclusive net of services for the superyacht industry with plenty of shipyards and ancillary services. Mr Avnish Dhall of Melita Marine Group, who has been in Malta for 25 years now, agrees that Malta has accessibility to nearly all one needs to service their ship or superyacht and has chosen Malta for all these years because of this convenience.

So where can Malta improve? Malta currently has approximately 2000 berths, with only 30 for superyachts. Authorities and entities including Yachting Malta are studying possibilities of new marinas and more berths to continue making Malta an attractive destination.

Yachting Malta encourages youngsters to train in the industry. Mr Michael Mifsud, General Manager of Yachting Malta gladly admitted that enrolment in Yachting Malta’s sailing school all but doubled during the pandemic and wishes to work on increasing the subscription as the yachting industry forecasts needing 10-15,000 crew members in the coming years.

But in support of this industry Malta faces challenges in its luxury offering. Does it? Although maybe not evident to a first-time visitor or one considering Malta for a ‘luxury getaway’, Malta has increased its offering and is continually upgrading.

Entertainment and hospitality venues now offer superior quality with over 30 restaurants currently featured in the Michelin Guide, 5 of which have earned a star! Hotels are improving their offering with Iniala Harbour House leading the way in luxury, service, design and comfort having with it an array of extra guest services to ensure guests truly have a 5-Star plus stay.

Shopping is still sporadic and a little lacking but the small size of the country makes it easy to hit the prime destinations all in one day: from Tigne Point to the recently upgraded Baystreet and Portomaso in between, visitors will find brands like Max Mara, Longchamps, Ted Baker, Calvin Klein, Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, Hugo Boss, Fendi, Valentino, Gant, Yves Saint Laurent and more.

By the end of the year Malta will see another top end shopping destination opening in St Julians at the Mercury Tower development designed by the late Zaha Hadid and developed by Joseph Portelli Group.

Sports and adventures a plenty on the island with some of the worlds top diving destinations and historic sites not to be missed. Malta is a great island to explore summer and winter as the climate is temperate most of the year.

Malta can only improve its offering for private jet and superyacht travellers alike in the coming years and there is a great enthusiasm to do so. Guest speakers on the ‘Malta panel’ were all in agreement and ready to work together to do so.

For future conferences contact Quaynote Communications


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