In the past 18 months, over 350,000 passengers have flown to or from Malta with Ryanair - bringing much needed tourism to the Mediterranean island. However, in a statement from Ryanair, the airline said that it is looking closely at routes to Malta and may stop routes over the winter period because of increasing costs. Bridget Dowling, Ryanair's recently appointment sales and marketing manager said [quote] "Despite our positive results in Malta to date, further growth or the establishment of a base (in Malta) are unrealistic in the absence of lower airport costs, particularly in a market environment where continuing record oil prices threaten to make some existing routes unviable. " Malta as an island has a big potential to handle more tourists by Ryanair said that lowering airport costs would be a great move by the Maltese government to open up competition on routes to the island. Ryanair, Air Berlin and Air Malta are the two main airlines serving the island and the high airport costs have, from passenger comments, deter people from flying there more often. No announcement has been made yet as to any specific timetable or service changes on Ryanair flights to Malta.