TRIP REPORT: Ryanair, Niš - Paris via Malta


Written by Nikola Lazić


Flight number : FR 5583
Date : August 21, 2023
Airline : Ryanair (operated by Malta Air)
Flight duration : 1:50 hours
Load factor : around 90 to 95%
Seat : 12B

My trip started in Niš where I spent three days with relatives before my flight. I’m originally from Kosovo but was born in France, some of my cousins and grandparents stayed there and some move to Serbia to have a better life. To get myself to the airport, I opted for the taxi even though taking the bus was way cheaper but not convenient since the bus stops aren’t that efficient in my opinion, I clearly noticed that using public transport when you are a foreigner can actually get complicated: bus stops don’t show which lines stop there and so on, no waiting time information, no bus route plan and no apps such as Google Maps or Citymapper showing Niš’s bus network. The airport is connected to the city center by bus line 34A / 34B that costs 105 dinars (something around €0,90) which is dirty cheap, my taxi charged me 530 dinars (€4,50) which is interesting if you are sharing the trip with other people.

The flight I booked in April cost me €45 which is reasonable for me. I visited relatives in Serbia for a month and then went back to France by flying to Malta first and staying there one day. This was the cheapest option, Wizz Air’s SKP-BVA was more than €350 one-way for that period which I couldn’t afford.

When I arrived at the airport, the terminal was empty since I got there three hours before my flight (turned out I was at Niš Airport five hours before, since my flight departed late). I stayed outside and the airport got busier. A whole group of Maltese tourists came by minibus. 

Both passport and security controls were fast meaning I had to wait almost two hours in the waiting area, if we can call it that by its size which is quite unusual for an airport. As two flights were departing - one to Malta the other to Stockholm - the airport got busy really fast, and it became overcrowded.

People killed their time by purchasing stuff at the sole duty free store which has extremely limited options (cigarettes, alcohol, some chocolate and that’s it) Then the staff opened a sort of tunnel linking the terminal to the tarmac to make more space. My flight was delayed by an hour at the beginning which later turned into two hours, since the previous flight of the aircraft was coming from (Trieste) was delayed, affecting mine.

Boarding started at 23:45 (the time I was supposed to land initially) and turned into a mess: no distinction between Priority and Economy, everybody boarded at the same time. I was sitting 12B so I used the front door. It was my first flight onboard Malta Air B737-8 MAX, or B737 8200 if you prefer.

 The seat pitch was horrible, as I’m tall I didn’t have enough space for my legs given that I had a middle seat. 12D was available so I asked the crew members to switch so I can fit my legs. I was surprised by the seat pitch because Ryanair B737 seem to have a larger space, at least for me when I flew WMI-BVA last June. The flight was almost full in terms of capacity and a lot of Serbian diaspora on board which surprised me. I noticed some French-Serbian people going to Malta just to go to France after that. I guess it was cheaper for them too (as explained in the beginning). I was able to switch to 12D as the seat was free. I have no other pictures because I slept during the whole flight. 

According to Flightradar 24 we flew over Montenegro and the Adriatic Sea before reaching Italy and finally our final destination. We landed in Malta at 1:40, almost two hours after the scheduled arrival time. Busses came and transported us to the non-Schengen arrivals terminal. Eight desks were opened for passport control, so the process went really fast. I waited maybe two minutes and was welcomed by this huge ad « Welcome to Malta »


Flight number : KM 478
Date : August 23, 2023
Airline : Air Malta
Flight duration : 2h55
Load factor : almost full (95%)
Seat : 7A

Welcome again to Malta’s only and unique airport, this time for the second leg of my journey. After this little stay in Malta, it was time to go back to Paris after a month in Serbia. I left my hotel at 4AM and arrived at the airport some 15 minutes later by Uber.

I immediately went to the security control which was fast. Once done, I decided to see what the duty-free had. I bought a magnet to put on my fridge which was really cute for 4 euros only. I had enough time so I headed to the smoking area and at 5:40 our gate was shown.

This time no bus boarding as the airplane was straight in front of us. What is cool and notable with Air Malta (and I know Transavia does it too) is that you choose your seat when checking-in online and you’re not given random seat like Ryanair does so I picked seat 7A in order to be at the front and benefit from an engine and window view.

The flight was uneventful, I was sitting behind business class which was hidden by those curtains separating business from economy. I’ve seen that they had meals and beverages during the whole flight, however I didn’t see what the food was exactly. The A320neo had USB outlets which is great too. Wifi was also available on board however it didn’t work for me, it might be only if you pay. Cabin crew went through the aisle to serve beverages to economy class passengers. I chose a coffee and that was all. We started the descent into Paris and were able to see the city.

We landed on runway 08R after which followed a 15-minute-long taxi to our gate at Terminal 2D. An Air Serbia A320 was right behind us coming from Belgrade. While landing, I saw an Air France A220 taking off and shortly after a Delta A350.

I left the airplane and went to the exit. It took time to collect luggage as there were multiple flights coming - American Airlines from Dallas Fort-Worth, from Malta of course and British Airways from London. CDG has always been the best airport for me even though I heard multiple critics about it being too big and complicated. I’m always happy to depart or arrive at CDG. I took the RER B to Gare du Nord where I live by using my Navigo monthly-card.

Share your travel experience by submitting a trip report to


  1. Anonymous09:36

    Nice trip report ! It leads me to say that INI-Paris is a huge opportunity to any carrier seeing the big diaspora

    1. Anonymous00:04

      if the country was not centralized af, INI would already have a flight to BVA/ORY, atm Sofia/Skopje are top choices

  2. Anonymous10:45

    Pitty that Air Malta will soon banckrupt

    1. Anonymous10:50


    2. Anonymous11:43

      Malta Air and Air Malta are not the same company.

  3. Anonymous13:46

    Eight booths open for non-Schengen? Was your flight the only one arriving from non-Schengen or were there more flights? Because EIGHT booths open is really a lot for one flight

    1. Anonymous14:19

      We're talking about a Mediterranean airport in high season, of course there were other non-Schengen flights.

    2. Anonymous14:22

      Hi ! We landed late that day and we were the only non-EU flight at that time, I guess they just wanted to go fast and open as much booths as possible

    3. Anonymous16:33

      This blog is full of arrogant commentators like anon 14:19 who turns out is even wrong.

    4. Anonymous22:57

      The "arrogant commentator" is actually right, there was a flight from LGA landing at MLA at 01:50 local time, so the OP's flight can't have been the only one at the time.

    5. Anonymous00:06

      Didn’t know Malta had flights from LaGuardia Airport.

  4. Anonymous03:15

    Some of the information has been misrepresented in this story. Comment on Malta public transport lack of GOOGLE like app is incorrect. I have just returned from 7 weeks in Malta and the MPT (Malta Public Transport) website and the Tallinja APP offers comprehensive routes and time tables. This being the case the buses are unreliable. As a regular visitor to Malta it is very noticeable that the drivers have significantly changed and not for the best. . I had an example on route 82 Birzebbuga to Valletta only last week where empty bus failed to stop at Despott bus stop as there my wife(Maltese citizen) and I, plus approx 20 migrants waiting. All too hard for driver.but no one complains as it so common.

    1. Anonymous11:12

      I was talking about Nis’ transport system not Malta’s one ;)


Post a Comment

EX-YU Aviation News does not tolerate insults, excessive swearing, racist, homophobic or any other chauvinist remarks or provocative posts with the intention of creating further arguments. A full list of comment guidelines can be found here. Thank you for your cooperation.