Showing posts with label Air Malta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Air Malta. Show all posts

03 October, 2023

Air Malta to close in March, new airline to replace it

Malta's government will shut down loss-making airline Air Malta in March next year and immediately replace it with another flag carrier after the European Union refused to allow a fresh injection of state aid, Prime Minister Robert Abela said on Monday.

The new airline will retain the Air Malta name and aircraft, Abela told a press conference.

He said the transition would be largely seamless and services would not be affected although unprofitable routes would be discontinued. Air Malta operated to 37 destinations in 2019. The new airline will operate to 17.

Booked Air Malta passengers will be offered a refund or rebooking with the new airline. Air Malta workers will be re-employed by the new airline.

The new arrangement was agreed with the European Union and is broadly similar to what the EU agreed with the Italian government a few years ago when it closed down Alitalia and started a new airline, ITA.

Abela said the Malta government had persuaded the EU that it was essential for a small island state such as Malta to have its own airline.

The key principle behind the new move was to ensure a sustainable airline that did not rely on government support beyond fresh capitalisation.

He said the airline will continue to operate Air Malta’s current mix of eight leased Airbus A320 aircraft.

Finance Minister Clyde Caruana said that while the government would remain the majority shareholder in Air Malta, it planned to issue shares or reach a strategic partnership with some other airline.

"That will be good to ensure good governance, but control will be retained by the government," he said.

He expects the airline to become more efficient and return to profit in two years.

Air Malta was formed in 1973 and started services in 1974, flying to several European and North African countries.

It faced tough competition from leaner, more efficient low-cost airlines and the European Commission authorised state aid in 2012 after losses mounted.

A stuttering recovery eventually failed and the government asked the commission to authorise a fresh injection of almost 300 million euros ($315 million) in 2021 as the airline suffered a fresh blow when air travel was severely curtailed by the COVID crisis.

While the talks with the EU were underway, Air Malta slashed its workforce by more than half to just over 400, with the airline workers offered new jobs with the government or generous golden handshakes.

A gradual process to eliminate unprofitable routes was launched and the airline also discontinued unprofitable ground services and moved to cheaper headquarters.

($1 = 0.9532 euros)

Reporting by Christopher Scicluna; Editing by Susan Fenton, Bernadette Baum and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

19 April, 2023

Air Malta to be dissolved by the end of the year.....

Following the European Commission's decision to ban the Maltese Government from injecting €300 million to save Air Malta, the financially draining carrier will be dissolved by the end of the year.

The stark revelation came from the airline's Chairman David Curmi in an interview with The Times of Malta, who also promised that a new five-year business plan for a new aviation venture was close to being finished. “We are nearing the end of long, difficult and complex discussions with the European Commission, which did not want a photocopy of Air Malta,”

According to Curmi, the European Commission preferred an option similar to what happened with Alitalia being dissolved and replaced by ITA, and he believed the transition would be “seamless”.

Apparently, the new venture would not adopt the 'low-cost-carrier' business plan, unlike its rival Malta Air from Ryanair which already operates from the island.

Air Malta has actively tried to cut costs, from limited distribution channels, reducing affiliate earnings, axing nearly 700 staff members and changing contracts, yet losses at the carrier continue to mount.

Earlier last month, the carrier took delivery of its fifth Airbus A320neo, which bears the registration 9H-NEE. The jet replaces the A320ceo 9H-AEQ which will exit the Air Malta fleet.

20 October, 2021

Air Malta transported 135,690 AstraZeneca covid vaccines to Rwanda’s capital, Kigali........

Air Malta has operated its longest and farthest non-stop flight. The charter flight, to Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, carried 135,690 AstraZeneca vaccines donated by the Government of Malta to the African nation.

The seven-hour long direct flight, covered 2426 nautical miles, departed Malta at 2:00am on Friday morning and landed at Kigali at 9:00am.

Flight KM7510 was flown by the airline’s youngest Airbus A320neo aircraft (9H-NED). Such long-distance non-stop flights can now be operated with the airline’s new A320neo aircraft fleet that offers additional range, 20% lower fuel costs, are more environmentally friendly and have a 50% less noise footprint then the older Airbus A320ceo models.

Commenting on this humanitarian mission, Air Malta’s Executive Chairman, David G. Curmi said, “We are proud to again offer our assistance to transport this humanitarian assistance donated by the Maltese people to this African nation. The WHO recently stated that Africa needs seven times more covid vaccines than it currently receives to meet its target to fully vaccinate 70% of its population by September 2022. As an airline, that believes in equality and solidarity, it is our duty to assist in such situations and be part of this global effort to help other parts of the world achieve immunity against this disease. Air Malta will continue to be of strategic importance to the Islands by offering its support when the need arises.”

During the pandemic, the airline was instrumental to the Maltese Islands by carrying hundreds of tons of cargo that included vaccines, medicines, medical supplies, and personal protective equipment. The airline has also taken an active role to assist the Maltese government to distribute covid vaccines abroad. Last August the airline transported 40,000 vaccines and a similar number of rapid testing kits to Libya.

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28 June, 2020

Air Malta slowly restoring the Islands connectivity.

Air Malta is slowly restoring its route network to enhance the island's connectivity for this summer with a schedule of at least 22 destinations. 

After the closure for over three months of Malta’s International Airport for commercial operations, Air Malta will commence its summer schedule on Wednesday 1st July, connecting Malta to 22 destinations within Europe.

Air Malta flights to Rome, Lyon and Marseille will now join the previously announced flights to Catania, Munich, Frankfurt, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Vienna, Zurich, Geneva, and Prague commencing on 1st July.

As from the 15th July, the Maltese Airline will also start operations to Amsterdam, Brussels, Milan, London Heathrow, Lisbon, Madrid, Palermo, Paris Charles De Gaulle and Orly.

August will also see Air Malta restarting flights to/from Manchester.

A ’new’ city destination on the list is Madrid. After a break of over 10 years of not operating to the Spanish capital, Madrid, Air Malta will restart scheduled services to the city on Saturday, 18th July 2020. The announced operations to Luxembourg will now be transferred to Brussels except for the planned flights to Luxembourg on the 4th and 11th July which will be operated as scheduled.

For more details on Air Malta,  please visit Air

More than just a sun and sea destination, Malta's culture has attracted millions of visitors over the years.

16 March, 2020

Malta introduces 14 day mandatory 14 day quarantine for all arrivals

Maltese Government Imposes Mandatory Self-quarantine

The Maltese Government has introduced strict new rules that all those persons who arrive in Malta from any country in the world will have to go into mandatory 14-day self-quarantine upon arrival. This was announced by Malta’s Prime Minister, Dr Robert Abela.

This directive is enforceable by law. Failure to observe this can result in fines of €1,000 for every instance of quarantine breach. This measure was taken to contain the spread of the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic.

As recommended by Malta’s Superintendent of Public Health and strictly in line with the commendations by WHO, IATA and EASA, Air Malta’s cockpit and cabin crew operating return flights do not need to observe this quarantine. This waiver of quarantine is given since crew don’t leave the aircraft at any time.

Air Malta advises customers to check entry requirements before travel

As many regulations are changing rapidly Air Malta urges its passengers to check the last status on entry and travel requirements and restrictions specially for their final destination before commencing travel.

Over the last few days, many countries have introduced restrictions on travel, changing entry requirements to contain the spread of the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic. These restrictions include an outright ban on entry of foreign nationals, suspension of visas, requirements to hold medical certificates, declarations that certain countries have not been visited in the past 14 days and others. Entry requirements keep changing.

Passengers who are not fully compliant with entry requirements risk being sent back to the originating country.

Passengers are strongly advised to check the entry requirements of their final destination, ensure that they have the correct documentation and continuously update themselves with the latest changes and be compliant therewith to avoid refusal of entry.

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01 March, 2020

Air Malta and Qatar Airways sign new codeshare deal

Qatar Airways has signed a comprehensive codeshare agreement with Air Malta, the two carriers have confirmed this week.  This new special partnership follows on from the Doha based airline introducing a direct flight to Malta last June.

The codeshare agreement increases Malta’s connectivity with the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia, by enabling Air Malta’s passengers to travel on Qatar Airways’ flights to Doha and onwards to more than 170 destinations.

Qatar Airways’ passengers will also benefit from greater access to Malta and to Air Malta’s extensive Mediterranean network. Codeshare destinations include Cagliari, Palermo and Catania.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr Akbar Al Baker, said: “When we launched services to Malta in June 2019, I stated this was just the beginning of our long term commitment to boosting trade and tourism between our two countries. This agreement with Air Malta will provide significant benefits to both airlines and thousands of passengers, expanding both of our networks and setting the foundation to further enhance cooperation in other fields in the future.”

28 November, 2019

Air Malta Black Friday sale is now on. 50% off makes this a perfect time to visit Malta

It always surprises us that for an island nation of just 27km long, Malta always has so much on offer for the European tourists, from the historic architecture to fantastic festivals.

Now is just the right time to make a visit,  not only has the national carrier Air Malta launched its 'Black Friday' sale with 50% off flight tickets,  but also the Festival Mediterranea is now on.   This annual celebration of the culture of the Mediterranean, takes place on the history-laden island of Gozo.

Mythology has it that the charm of this island aided the most beautiful nymph Calypso to halt Ulysses on his journeys and hair-raising quests, to lull him, lure him away from his travels for seven mystical years. Today, Gozo’s charm seeks to lure its visitors into a kaleidoscope of events, and the Festival Mediterranea is one unmissable cultural appointment. 

25 March, 2019

Welcome profits for Air Malta.......

Its good news for Air Malta as the firm has returned to profitability, for the first time in almost two decades.  The airline released its Annual Report and Consolidated Financial Statements for the year ending March 2018 over the last few days.  The report shows the carrier managed to achieve an operating profit of €1.2 million, compared to a loss of €10.8 million last year. Its total profit for the year amounted to €15.7million, including the revenue generated from selling some landing slots.

During 2018 the airline carried some 1.7 million passengers, up 8.5% from the previous year, with load factors also up, to 77.6%.  The positive results were credited to better productivity among staff, renovated rates with suppliers,  increased fleet utilisation and better IT systems.

The news was welcomed by the Minister for Tourism Konrad Mizzi who said the profit showed perseverance, determination and commitment. The Minster also congratulated the airline on starting 21 new routes.  

Paul Sies, Air Malta’s Chief Commercial Officer said "During this financial year we increased capacity by 20%, achieving a growth of 11% more passengers. The new routes generated a +€12 million increase in revenue.". 

Air Malta has a fleet of ten aircraft made up of A319 and A320s, manufactured by Airbus seating between 141 and 180 people 

21 August, 2018

Ryanair to sell Air Malta tickets......

From today Air Malta tickets will be available on Ryanair's website in a tie-up between the two carriers.

The press release from Ryanair proudly boasted that the deal will allow Ryanair’s 139m customers to book Air Malta flights on the website. From today, Maltese customers can browse and book Air Malta flights on 21 new routes from Malta to 8 different countries across Africa, Asia and Europe, including Russia and Tunisia.

However, we tried to book flights from London Gatwick to Malta and flights from Malta to the London Heathrow on Air Malta on the Ryanair websites and were greeted with "Sorry we don't fly between" those cities. We also had colleagues check in both France and Norway and they were also unable to find Air Malta flights on the Ryanair website. 

21 June, 2018

Air Malta to start flights to Kiev

Air Malta has obtained sales assistance in the Ukraine with new representation by Discover the World in conjunction with the new weekly flight from Malta to Kiev beginning this June.

The airline of the lovely, friendly and picturesque Maltese Islands has been in service since April 1974 and currently, operates a fleet of 10 Airbus A320/219 aircraft, including the new A320neo.  It provides an essential service connecting Malta to 36 scheduled destinations in Europe, North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean.  Air Malta offers an additional 150 destinations through codeshare agreements with a number of quality airlines. The airline carries 1.8 million passengers every year, with approximately 80 percent coming to Maltese Islands for leisure purposes.   

02 February, 2018

Air Malta and airBaltic to Start Codeshare Flights

The Latvian airline airBaltic and the national airline of the Maltese Islands – Air Malta have concluded a cooperation agreement, known as code-share agreement. This partnership with Air Malta will enable airBaltic passengers to reach Malta every day via common gateways in Europe as well as additional destinations served from Malta. In turn this agreement will offer Air Malta passengers better connectivity to the Baltics and Eastern Europe.

Martin Gauss, Chief Executive Officer of airBaltic: “We are delighted to collaborate with Air Malta thus further improving our strong network of codeshare partner airlines that ensures smooth and seamless travel for airBaltic customers. The new codeshare agreement will improve airBaltic services between Malta and the Baltics allowing passengers to connect every day on this route via such common gateways as Vienna, Munich, Brussels, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, London, Geneva, Zurich among others.”

Paul Sies, Chief Commercial Officer at Air Malta: “This agreement is yet another milestone for Air Malta in its growth strategy and widening its network. We are rapidly changing, transforming our business model to a hybrid carrier whilst rapidly increasing our frequencies on existing routes, we are opening new destinations and adding partnerships to the network. This agreement continues to expand and improve our network and adds to our range of codeshare partners with other like-minded quality airlines. Both Air Malta and airBaltic share the same commitment towards their customers and we are excited to work with them for the benefit of our mutual customers.”

04 December, 2017

SWISS top poll of short-haul operators

The readers of the UK's Telegraph Newspaper have been sending in their opinions of airlines and the airlines topping the polls may surprise you.

Considering the is a London based British Newspaper you might well have thought British Airways, once the claimed to be The Worlds Favourite Airline, would be in the top ten, if not taking the number one spot. However, that is not the case and the full listings of the airlines making the top ten may very well surprise you.

Looking at European or short-haul services, taking the top slot was SWISS, followed rapidly by Icelandair and tiny little Channel Island's operator Aurigny Air scoped third in the awards, compiled by the Telegraph from the opinions of 90,000 readers! 

Here is the short haul top ten.

1   Swiss
2   Icelandair
3   Aurigny Air
4   Jet2 
5   KLM 
6   Austrian Airlines 
7   Lufthansa 
8   Air Malta
9   Aer Lingus
10 CityJet 

Nick Trend, the Telegraph's travel consumer expert said: "No-frills airlines may continue to expand, but they have yet to win over readers’ hearts. Instead, Swiss - the national carrier for Switzerland -  tops the table."

"Of course, this result is a tribute to that old cliche of 'Swiss efficiency' but there is no doubt that service on board is slick and passenger-focused and it is this which has helped Swiss maintain its distance from the no-frills carriers."

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18 May, 2015

Air Malta in Talks With Turkish Airlines

Air Malta is currently in negotiations with Turkish Airlines – the fourth largest carrier in the world – regarding a strategic alliance and cash injection. 

Company sources at Air Malta have told local media that discussions are held on a regular basis with a number of airlines over alliances of some degree, however with Turkish these discussions are also including talks about a cash injection or a total buyout of the small and financially strapped Maltese airline. 

30 August, 2012

Air Malta Restructuring Go Ahead

The deal struck between pilots and Air Malta has overcome the last hurdle after a difficult restructuring exercise, according to the airline’s CEO.
Peter Davies yesterday said the four-year agreement clinched in the early hours of Saturday meant Air Malta “could now move forward”.
“It is critical that we got a deal on more efficiency and productivity that is within budget,” he said.

11 July, 2011

Updated - Air Malta: Strike may cause airline to collapse


Air Malta warned in a judicial protest today that it may have to permanently stop operations if a threatened pilots' strike goes ahead.

In a judicial protest filed against the Association of Airline Pilots (ALPA), the airline said that should its flights be stopped by the strike, it would incur enormous costs and there would be a clear and imminent danger of it having to stop operations.