Friday, April 28, 2017

American Airlines signs a contract for four additional E175s

American Airlines Group (AAG) have signed a firm order with Embraer for four E175 jets. The contract, in addition to the original order placed by the airline in 2013, for 60 E175s, has a value of USD 182 million, based on current list prices, and will be included in Embraer's 2017 second-quarter backlog. The deliveries will start in the last quarter of this year. (Source: Embraer, 27-Apr-2017)

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Russian AF MiG-31 crashes near the Telemba proving ground, Republic of Buryatia

Russian Defence Ministry reported that a MiG-31 interceptor jet of the Eastern Military District crashed today during a training flight near the Telemba proving ground, the Republic of Buryatia, at 12:05 Moscow time. Both crewmembers reportedly ejected themselves. A search and rescue service helicopter was dispatched to the site of the incident were the crew were promptly evacuated (Source:, 26-Apr-2017)

China Southern Airlines signs a purchase agreement for 20 A359s

China Southern Airlines has signed a purchase agreement with Airbus for 20 A350-900s, becoming the latest customer for the aircraft. China Southern Airlines now operates one of the largest Airbus fleet in the world with more than 300 Airbus aircraft in service, comprising the A320 Family, the A330 Family and five A380s. (Source: Airbus, 26-Apr-2017)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Condor launches flight operations to Malta IAP from Hamburg and Frankfurt

Condor has launched flight operations today between two major German airports and Malta IAP. 

The first scheduled flight from Frankfurt, operated with an Airbus A320-200 (D-AICC), landed at Malta IAP at 0715lt (DE-1384). The aircraft departed after turnaround to Frankfurt at 0808lt (DE-1385).

The first scheduled flight from Hamburg, operated with an Airbus A320-200 (D-AICl), landed at Malta IAP at 1826lt (DE-1386). The aircraft departed after turnaround to Hamburg at 1933lt (DE-1387).

Condor will be operating the Frankfurt-Malta IAP and Hamburg-Malta IAP routes this summer twice weekly, on Wednesdays and Sundays. (26-Apr-2017)

Royal Jordanian A320 diverts to Malta IAP due to a medical emergency

A Royal Jordanian Airlines A320-200 (JY-AYM), performing flight RJ-522 from Tunis-Carthage (Tunisia) to Amman-Queen Alia (Jordan), had to divert to Malta International Airport this afternoon due to a medical emergency on board. The flight then continued to Amman reaching destination with a delay of two-hours on its original scheduled time. (26-Apr-2017)

Air Malta to resumes schedule services to Tunis

Air Malta is reconnecting Malta to North Africa following the re-start of schedule services between the islands and Tunis-Carthage Airport as from Monday, Jun. 26th, 2017.

“We are very excited to announce that we will be returning to North Africa this summer with up to three direct flights a week. This is the second destination we are announcing in as many weeks. 

"We have been following the situation in North Africa every day. Now that the situation in Tunisia has stabilised, we want to be amongst the first Airlines to connect Europe with the country again," said P. Sies, Air Malta's Chief Commercial Officer (Source:, 25-Apr-2017)

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Asiana Airlines takes delivery of its first A350 XWB

Asiana Airlines of South Korea has taken delivery of its first A350-900, becoming the 12th airline to operate the twin engine widebody airliner. Asiana's A350-900 is configured with a three class layout with a total of 311 seats, comprising 28 in Business Smartium, convertible to fully flat beds, 36 in Economy Smartium and 247 in the main cabin. (Source: Airbus, 24-Apr-2017)

Monday, April 24, 2017

Italian Navy ITS San Giusto calls at Valletta Port

The Italian Navy San Giorgio-class amphibious transport dock ITS San Giusto (L 9894) sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit. She has on board an AgustaBell AB-212 helicopter, serial MM81090.

The Italian amphibian is currently deployed in the Mediterranean and is the flagship of the E.U.'s Naval Force Mediterranean (Operation Sofia). 

ITS San Giusto is presently berthing alongside at Pinto-3 wharf, and she's scheduled to sail from Valletta Port on Thursday, Apr. 27th. (24-Apr-2017)

Saturday, April 22, 2017

USN F/A-18E crashes on final approach to carrier USS Carl Vinson

A pilot safely ejected and was quickly recovered by a helicopter assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 4 aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) while conducting routine flight operations during a transit in the Celebes Sea.

The incident occurred as the F/A-18E assigned to Carrier Air Wing 2 was on final approach to Carl Vinson. The incident is currently under investigation. The pilot is being assessed by the medical team aboard Carl Vinson and there are no apparent injuries at this time. (Source: U.S. Navy, 21-Apr-2017)

Friday, April 21, 2017

SNMCMG-2 calls at Valletta Port

Standing NATO Mine Countermeasure Group (SNMCMG) 2 sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit. The Group arrived with four vessels:
  • Polish Navy Bereza-class support vessel ORP Kontradmiral X. Czernicki (551) - flagship.
  • Turkish Navy Aydin-class mine countermeasure vessel TCG Alanya (M 265).
  • German Navy Frankenthal-class mine countermeasure vessel FGS Rottweil (M 1061).
  • Spanish Navy Segura-class mine countermeasure vessel ESPS Tajo (M 36).
SNMCMG-2 is presently berthing alongside at Wine & Gun wharves and is expected to sail from Valletta Port on Monday, Apr. 24th. (21-Apr-2017)

Kazakhstan orders two more C-295 aircraft

Kazakhstan is to acquire two more Airbus C-295 transport aircraft following the signature of a new contract with Airbus Defence and Space. The agreement, which includes a spares and support package, covers the final two aircraft included in a memorandum of understanding signed in 2012. Both aircraft will be delivered in the second half of this year and will take the Kazakhstan Air Defence Forces' C-295 fleet to eight. (Source: Airbus D&S, 20-Apr-2017)

Airbus delivers first ever A321neo to Virgin America

Airbus has delivered the first-ever A321neo (N921VA). The latest generation aircraft powered by CFM International's LEAP-1A engines was handed over to U.S. airline Virgin America, an all-Airbus operator, at a ceremony in Hamburg, Germany. (Source: Airbus, 20-Apr-2017)

Italian Navy takes delivery of sixth FREMM frigate

The frigate "Rizzo" (F 595) was delivered today to the Italian Navy at Fincantieri's shipyard in Muggiano (La Spezia). It is the sixth vessel of the FREMM program – Multi Mission European Frigates – commissioned to Fincantieri. "Rizzo" is the sixth unit built by Fincantieri including the combat system, the second in multipurpose configuration after the "Carlo Bergamini", delivered to the Italian Navy in 2012. (Source: Fincantieri, 20-Apr-2017)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

French Navy FS Cdt. Birot recalls at Valletta Port

The French Navy D'Estienne d'Orves-class corvette FS Commandant Birot (F 796) sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit. This is her fourth visit in Valletta Port this year.

The French corvette is currently deployed in the Mediterranean and assigned to E.U. Naval Force Mediterranean (Operation Sofia).

FS Cdt. Birot is presently berthing alongside at Pinto-3 wharf and she's expected to sail from Malta in the coming days. (20-Apr-2017)

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

TM/DCA: Malta Aircraft Registry update

Transport Malta/Directorate of Civil Aviation published today the latest update of the Maltese Aircraft Register.

New addition/s: 

  • 9H-AHR - Airbus A320-232 (c/n. 1979), registered to Air Malta plc, (ex EC-LQJ)
  • 9H-AUL - Boeing B737-375F (c/n. 23708/1395), registered to Maleth Aero AOC Ltd. (ex M-MOVE)
  • 9H-PLM - Cessna 650 Citation VI (c/n. 650-0217), registered to Luxwing Ltd. (ex 5Y-YAH)
  • 9H-SKI - Piaggio P180 Avanti (c/n. 1040), registered to Kemmunett Ltd. (ex I-BCOM)
  • 9H-USM - Aerospol WT-9 Dynamic (c/n. K14/2008), registered to Aero Club Malta
(Source: Transport Malta, 18-Apr-2017)

Monday, April 17, 2017

Turkish Navy commissions first Bayraktar-class landing ship

The Turkish Navy commissioned the lead ship of a new class of landing ships, TCG Bayraktar (L 402), on Apr. 14th, Turkish minister of defense tweeted. This was first reported by Turkish Bosphorus Naval News who noted that the ship will remain under the shipyard's warranty for 12-months. After the 12-month period, TCG Bayraktar will become responsibility of the Turkish Navy.

TCG Bayraktar and sister ship TCG Sancaktar, the second ship in the class, are being built under a contract signed between Anadolu Shipyard and the Turkish Ministry of Defense in May 2011. TCG Bayraktar and her sister ship displace over 7200 tonnes at 139 meters. They are capable of transporting up to 1200 tonnes of cargo (18 tanks). (Source:, 17-Apr-2017)

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Silk Way announces an order for ten 737 MAX 8s

Boeing and Silk Way today announced an order for ten 737 MAX 8 airplanes. The order, valued at $1.1 billion at current list prices, was previously attributed to an unidentified customer on the Boeing Orders & Deliveries website. (Source: Boeing, 14-Apr-2017)

Friday, April 14, 2017

Spanish Navy ESPS El Camino Espanol calls at Valletta Port

The Spanish Navy auxiliary transport ship ESPS El Camino Espanol (A 05) has sailed into Valletta (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit.  

The Spanish auxiliary is currently berthing alongside at Pinto-3 wharf, and she's expected to sail from Malta in the coming days. (14-Apr-2017)

Boeing's 737 MAX 9 completes first flight

The Boeing 737 MAX 9 completed its first flight today in the skies above Puget Sound. The airplane completed a successful 2-hr 42-minute flight, taking off from Renton Field in Renton, at 1052lt and landing at 1334 at Seattle's Boeing Field.

Piloted by Boeing Test & Evaluation Capts. Christine Walsh and Ed Wilson, the airplane performed tests on flight controls, systems and handling qualities. The MAX 9 will now undergo comprehensive flight testing before customer deliveries begin in 2018. (Source: Boeing, 13-Apr-2017)

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Volotea launches flights between Bordeaux and Malta IAP

Volotea has launched flight operations today between Bordeaux (France) and Malta IAP.

The first scheduled flight, operated with Airbus A319-100 (EI-FMY), landed at Malta IAP at 1319lt (V7-2452). The aircraft departed after turnaround at 1425lt (V7-9085). (13-Apr-2017)

Air Malta to start scheduled services to Tel Aviv this month

Air Malta will start scheduled services between Malta and the Israeli city of Tel Aviv as from Apr. 21st. The Maltese airline will operate with up to three flights a week during summer 2017.

"We are thrilled that we can announce Tel Aviv as our new destination for this season. We have been operating regularly on this route offering Malta as a charter destination in Israel for years, working closely with leading Israeli tour operators. Now the market has matured enough that we can start offering this destination as a scheduled service, providing opportunities to visit the rest of Israel including Jerusalem and the Holy Land," added P. Sies Air Malta's Chief Commercial Officer. (Source: Air Malta, 13-Apr-2017)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

France takes delivery of fourth FREMM frigate Auvergne

French shipbuilder DCNS delivered the Marine Nationale's fourth FREMM multi-mission frigate Auvergne on Apr. 11th, in Toulon. Auvergne is also the fourth anti-submarine warfare (ASW) variant ship. The French Navy has a total of eight frigates in the class on order, six ASW and two anti-air warfare variants. The frigate was launched in September 2015 and started sea trials in September 2016. (Source:, 12-Apr-2017)

SR Technics releases 200th aircraft for easyJet out of Malta

SR Technics, a world leading MRO service provider, recently completed the 200th aircraft for easyJet at its Malta facility. The landmark aircraft from easyJet departed from Malta International Airport for Geneva, Switzerland.

"As our launch customer in Malta, the partnership with easyJet has been essential to our company’s success and development at our Mediterranean hub," says SR Technics CEO J. Remacha. "We’ve been working with easyJet for well over a decade, and the 200th aircraft symbolizes our long-term partnership." (Source: SR Technics, 10-Apr-2017)

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

M.I.A. plc releases 2016/2017 winter traffic results

Malta International Airport welcomed over 1,662,659 passengers during its 2016/17 winter period, extending from November to March. This figure translates into an upturn of 25% in traffic, which growth was reached on the back of an increase of 19% in aircraft movements and an improvement of 26% in seat capacity.

The top five contributors of traffic at Malta IAP during winter were the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Belgium, and France. All of these markets reached varying levels of growth over last year following developments such as the introduction of new routes to Catania, Germany, and France and increased flight frequencies on existing routes.

The season was closed off with March registering an increase of 53,795 passenger movements over 2016, even though the Easter effect was registered in March last year. Last month also marked the launch of two new routes – Katowice in Poland and Cluj-Napoca in Romania, with more new connections expected to commence operations in the coming weeks. (Source:, 10-Apr-2017

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Eurowings launches flights between Vienna and Malta IAP

Eurowings has launched flight operations between Vienna (Austria) and Malta IAP this morning. 

The first scheduled flight, operated with Airbus A320-200 (OE-IQC), landed at Malta IAP at 0812lt (EW-5874) and was welcomed by a celebratory water arch from Malta IAP's fire and rescue team. The aircraft departed after turnaround to Vienna at 0913lt (EW-5875)

Eurowings will be operating this route this summer twice weekly, on Tuesdays and Sundays. (9-Apr-2017)