Malta International Airshow 2021

Luqa & Bugibba, 25-26 September 2021


The Malta Aviation Society organized its last airshow in 2017. Reconstruction at the showsite at the airport and precarious finances jeopardized this event which had such a proud history. The 2020 show was set to go ahead but then covid-pandemic put paid to that. Fortunately, the plan to hold the show in 2021 could go ahead.


The showsite on apron 4 had a very different outlook. Huge hangars now separate the apron from the adjacent street, though these hangars were still under construction and not in commercial use yet. This limits the amount of space available for airshow participants. Participants in the flying display were therefore parked elsewhere at Malta International Airport.


The Malta Aviation Society teamed up with the Malta Tourism Authority to promote the event, which is one of the largest outdoor events held on the Maltese islands. The event had two parts: the static display at the airport and the flying display, which moved from Smart City to a more traditional location near the national aquarium at Bugibba / St Paul’s Bay.


Parking for the static display was off-site this year, and the crowd then queued up to enter the static display, where they had to walk along a set route around the static, to avoid crowding. Masks and covid vaccination were mandatory to enter and staff was checking this. The static had some rare Italian helicopters from the Guardia di Finanzia, Police, Firecorps and Navy, as well as an Italian air force AMX and a pair of Italian Tornados. Also present were a Belgian air force C-130 and German C-160 Transall, both in special livery to commemorate them leaving service, a Danish Challenger and Polish M-28, plus the Armed forces of Malta and several flight schools. 2 nice star items were the Malta Aviation Museum Tiger Moth and Piper Cub, unusual participants at the show.



The flying display was held between 15:00 and 18:00 and boasted impressive international participation. After the Armed Forces of Malta opened the show with the flag pass using the Alouette III, the King Air and AW139 flew an impressive search-and-rescue demonstration. The only civilian act at the show was the Italian Silver Chicken, with the rest of the flying display coming the airforces of Turkey, Switzerland, France and Great-Britain.


The show drew an impressive crowd, which led to quite the traffic jam at the end of the day. Also, a lot of foreign tourists visited the island especially for the show so it was definitely a success from a touristic point of view. One hopes this can mark a new start for this famous show, offering a chance to discover Maltese history and culture together with a spot of airshow action.