The skies of Malta will welcome the Malta Air Show 2007 later this year, with display teams from across Europe, the US and possibly Canada participating.
The air show traditionally comes late in the Malta holidays season, and is a welcome late boost for the island's tourist industry with aviation enthusiasts descending for the weekend.
Despite some complaints from residents about noise and safety levels, the air show does produce publicity and income for the holiday and Malta hotels industry, which in previous years has been a welcome addition to the island's fortunes as visitor numbers have slipped away.
The 2006 event was a truly international one, as well as the Armed Forces of Malta participating, the French, Italian, Dutch Swiss and Spanish all had planes and crew in attendance, plus the British Royal Air Force and US Air Force.
Among the planes taking part were two Alpha jets from France, one of which performed an aerial display, six F-16's with two Dutch F-16's flying, and from the RAF two Harriers and two Tornados, with one of the Harriers undertaking an aerial demonstration.
Pick up points from around the island are available for spectators wishing to attend the show, and on previous occasions this has led to heavy traffic in and around the event, again making some local residents none too happy about the event.
While the organisers might have been able to justifiably claim in the past that the air show formed an important event in the calendar of tourist events drawing extra visitors to the Malta hotels, more conventional aircraft have reduced the value of this for 2007.
After some years of a declining tourist market, Malta has been boosted by the arrival of low cost flights from London and Dublin, traditionally important markets for the island.
Before the new cheap Malta flight passengers started arriving in November from London Luton, and in February from Dublin, the depressed Malta holidays market was in danger of being relegated from a mainstream travel destination to niche status, but the Ryanair flights have helped to start a turnaround.
Estimates suggest that an extra 80,000 visitors could visit Malta in 2007, bringing a real boost to the hotels in Malta and the island's economy overall.
'When Malta is accessible,' comment local destination guide YourMalta.com, 'Then holidaymakers will come. It's not just the Malta weather, but the history and a friendly people that draws people.'
The increase in visitor numbers could see property price rises, with two international estate agents who deal with Malta properties predicting a ten per cent rise in property values for 2007.
As with most popular holiday destinations, a percentage of tourists decide to buy a property in an area they like, and Malta is no exception.
The advantage Malta has for UK and Irish visitors is that they drive on the same side of the road and English is spoken, and for non British Isles visitors Malta has well known language schools where they can learn English.
A 2 bedroom apartment in the popular Malta holiday resort of Qawra is currently on the market for LM 72,000, and a three bedroom two bathroom apartment in equally popular Mellieha for LM 138,000.
Sunday, October 20, 2013