Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Air Malta introduces cheap fares, hives off ground handling to separate company

Air Malta has introduced a new system of cheap fares and hived off its ground handling operations into a separate aviation services company, Tourism Minister Dr K. Mizzi said today.

Dr Mizzi confirmed this morning that agreement was reached with the General Workers Union to move around 450 Air Malta ground and passenger handlers to a new company. "The new company will offer services to other airlines and it will also manage cargo operations," he said, adding this was part of the reform process at the airline.

Dr Mizzi called on Air Malta unions to accept changes in work practices as the airline tried to survive in a cutthroat environment. He said collective agreements with unions had to be in place by a Jan. 1st. He acknowledged the stumbling block was the financial remuneration package but insisted workers will lose nothing from their take-home pay.

He said pilots and cabin crew were being asked to accept changes in work practices in line with international standards and called for understanding. “I am sure common sense will prevail and everyone will be reasonable otherwise the airline runs the risk of returning to insolvency and this time around taxpayers will not be able to foot the bill,” he said.

Dr Mizzi was speaking at the launch of a new cheap air fare intended to attract more customers, who prefer traveling with just a hand luggage. Labelled Go Light, passengers can buy a one-way ticket from €39 for almost all Air Malta destinations with no bag allowance (apart from the hand luggage). Baggage allowance can be bought at an extra charge.

Company officials said the system was introduced in the airline's booking platform last week to test the package and Air Malta sold 25,000 Go Light tickets. Booking activity increased between 20% and 35% as a result of the new package, the airline said.

P. Sies, Air Malta chief commercial officer, said the airline had to attract more passengers to fill its seats. He said the new package, part of a three-way choice for customers, would make the airline more competitive in a cutthroat business.

Air Malta chairman C. Mangion said the airline had to take quick decisions to survive, expressing hope in the airline's future. "The new turnaround strategy is based on the trust we have in our employees… we want Air Malta to be a Mediterranean hub linking Europe with North Africa and the Middle East," he said. (Source: timesofmalta.com, 19-Sep-2017)

Malaga route for Air Malta next summer

Next summer Air Malta will inaugurate a twice weekly scheduled service to Malaga, the second-most populous city of Andalusia and the sixth-largest in Spain. 

Paul Sies, chief commercial officer, said the airline would be announcing more routes for summer 2018. 

Besides connecting the popular Malaga area, the new route is also the ideal gateway for travelling to and from Gibraltar. Nowadays thousands of expats mostly working in the iGaming industry travel frequently between Gibraltar and Malta, he added. 

Malaga lies on the Costa del Sol on the Spanish southern coast, some 100 kilometres east of the Strait of Gibraltar. (Source: timesofmalta.com, 18-Sep-2017)

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Ryanair's Malta-bound flight from Edinburgh diverts to Bergamo

A Ryanair Boeing B737-800 (EI-EBH), performing flight FR-6695 from Edinburgh (U.K.) to Malta IAP (Malta), had to divert to Milan-Bergamo (Italy) this morning due to a medical emergency on board. The flight then continued to Malta reaching destination with a delay of two hours on its original scheduled time. (17-Sep-2017)

French Navy Falcon 50 for 2017 Malta Int'l Airshow

The last few confirmations from much welcomed participants, keep trickling in, even in the last few days before the Airshow. This shows the dedication, commitment and enjoyment of aircrews, to participate in our Airshow, notwithstanding the fact that they are very much operationally constrained, which is the main reason why often, they cannot confirm earlier.

This late addition consists of the French Navy Falcon 50. This aircraft has participated in previous editions of our Airshow, including last year, but this time it will also take part in the flying display program, with some smooth flypasts, showing the gracefulness of this streamlined aircraft.

The basic air frame and design of this aircraft is that of a mid-sized long range business jet, but in time, Dassault developed a Maritime Surveillance and Environmental protection version of the aircraft, mainly for the French Navy.
More advancements may still be in sight for this aircraft as Dassault and Aviation Partners Inc. have announced that High Mach blended winglets, are being developed for the Falcon 50 as a retrofit kit.

The Malta Aviation Society would like to thank the French Navy for their continued support for our and we are grateful of having them back in both flying and static display. (Source: maltairshow.com, 17-Sep-2017)

Saturday, September 16, 2017

NATO E-3A for 2017 Malta Int'l Airshow

A late confirmation, but one that is always very much welcomed by the Malta Airshow organizing team, as well as the attending public. This is because it is perhaps safe to say that this is one of the most distinctive aircraft, which even the general public identify and are fond of, mainly because of the very evident, large rotating radar dome, above the fuselage.

People attending the Airshow, are also usually particularly interested in this large aircraft, because, although it is always subject to operational restrictions and permits, it is usually open for the public to climb on board and observe the internal of the aircraft and cockpit layout.

The aircraft is a Boeing E-3A, more commonly known as AWACS, which is short for Airborne Warning and Command service, alternatively referred to as Airborne Early Warning Command and Control. It is originally an American project based on the Boeing 707 airliner in the early seventies. It provides aerial surveillance and traffic control over the sparse war zones, as well as command, tactical control, and communications, in all kinds of weather.

NATO presently operates 16 aircraft of this type, with multinational crews, with a fully integrated workforce consisting of more than 3,000 military and civilian personnel from 16 NATO member nations. The Malta Airshow, aviation enthusiasts and the general public, warmly welcome the NATO Component E-3A AWACS back to our shores.
 (Source: maltairshow.com, 16-Sep-2017)

Friday, September 15, 2017

French Navy FS Cdt. Ducuing at Valletta Port

The French Navy D'Estienne d'Orves-class corvette FS Commandant Ducuing (F 795) sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit. 

FS Cdt. Ducuing is presently berthing alongside at Pinto-4 wharf and she's expected to sail from Valletta Port on Monday, Sep. 18th. (15-Sep-2017)

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Light aircraft crash lands at Malta IAP

A Piper PA-34A-200T Seneca II, operated by the European Flight Academy in Malta, crashed whilst landing at the Malta Int'l Airport.

Emergency teams were sent but no one was hurt, a spokesperson for the airport confirmed.

The incident took place at 1722lt.

Movement on runway 23/05 have been temporarily suspended following the incident.

The aircraft with registration number 9H-AEB, is a twin-engined turboprop light aircraft, used by the academy for instrument rating training. (Source: 
maltatoday.com.mt, 14-Sep-2017)

U.K Border Force HMC Protector recalls at Valletta Port

The United Kingdom's Border Force cutter HMC Protector sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) early this morning on a brief visit. This was her eighth visit in Valletta Port this year. The Border Force cutter departed Valletta Port after a few hours visit. (14-Sep-2017)

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Ukrainian AF AN-30 for 2017 Malta Int'l Airshow

The Ukrainian Air Force has officially confirmed the participation of an AN-30 ''Open Skies'' for the static display at the 2017 Malta International Airshow.

The AN-30 aerial photographer was developed on a basis of the AN-24 passenger airplane. It is the first in the history of domestic aviation building machine designed with the only purpose – to perform aerial photography. From basis version it differs with the navigator's nose glass cock-pit and photo-doors in the floor of the cabin. It has nine modifications. It can be used in a cargo version.

The Treaty on Open Skies entered into force on Jan. 1st, 2002, and currently has 34 party states. It establishes a program of unarmed aerial surveillance flights over the entire territory of its participants. The treaty is designed to enhance mutual understanding and confidence by giving all participants, regardless of size, a direct role in gathering information about military forces and activities of concern to them. Open Skies is one of the most wide-ranging international efforts to date promoting openness and transparency of military forces and activities.

The Malta Aviation Society organisers of the Malta International Airshow is overwhelmed with the confirmation by the Ukrainian Air Force participation in the static display of the AN-30. We are very grateful for such an addition in this ever listing growing list of participants. (Source: maltairshow.com, 13-Sep-2017)

U.K. Royal Navy HMS Diamond calls at Valletta Port

The Royal Navy Daring-class destroyer HMS Diamond (D 34) has sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit. She has an AgustaWestland AW-159 Wildcat HMA.2 helicopter on board, serial ZZ380.

The British destroyer is presently berthing alongside at Pinto-4/5 wharf, and she's expected to sail from Valletta Port in the coming days. (13-Sep-2016)

Tuesday, September 12, 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-SKM - Gulfstream G450 (c/n. 4024), registered to Sky Prime Malta Aviation Services Ltd.
Cancellation/s: none

(Source: Transport Malta, 11-Sep-2017)

AFM's 2017 Open Day to be held at the Air Wing facility

The Armed Forces of  Malta (AFM) will hold their popular Open Day on Sep. 30th between 11am and 7pm. This year's edition will be held at the Air Wing facility in Kirkop, where the AFM will be able to showcase its new fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and hangars.

Equipment by the other sections of the AFM, including the Maritime Squadron, the infantry, the explosive ordnance unit and the band will also be on display. The entrance will be free. (Source: timesofmalta.com & AFM, 11-Sep-2017)

Sunday, September 10, 2017

U.K Border Force HMC Protector recalls at Valletta Port

The United Kingdom's Border Force cutter HMC Protector sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this early morning on a courtesy visit. This is her seventh visit in Valletta Port this year.

The British cutter is presently berthing alongside at Coal wharf, and she's expected to sail from Valletta Port on Wednesday, Sep. 13th. (10-Sep-2017)

Ryanair to introduce 12 new Malta routes next summer

Ryanair has announced plans for 12 new routes from Malta next summer and says it intends to base a fifth aircraft on the island. D. O’Brien, chief commercial officer, told a press conference that the low-cost airline will operate 54 routes to 18 countries from Malta next summer.

The new routes are Aberdeen, Belfast, Seville, Pescara, Bratislava, Gothenburg, Paris-Beauvais, Porto, Tallin and extended services to Barcelona, Naples and Riga. Services to Naples and Riga are being introduced from this winter. The service to Barcelona will fly to the city's main airport. 

"This is good news for Malta as new routes will enhance diversification of inflows and outflows," Tourism Minister K. Mizzi observed. He said most of the services were new for Malta and there was hardly any overlap with Air Malta. 

Mr Mizzi said plans were also in train for cooperation between Ryanair and Air Malta in sales and commercial aspects, including sales on the Ryanair commercial portal. Talks are in hand on cooperation on connecting flights.

It was also announced that Ryanair will make a bid for ailing Italian flag carrier Alitalia in the coming weeks. (Source: timesofmalta.com, 10-Sep-2017)

Saturday, September 9, 2017

AFM to display at 2017 Malta Int'l Airshow

Naturally synonymous with the Malta Airshow, is the ever present air assets of the Air Wing of the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM), both in the static display and in the flying program. The Air Wing is the aerial component of the Maltese military. 

The Air Wing has responsibility for the security of Maltese airspace, conducts maritime patrol and Search and Rescue duties, and provides military assistance to other government departments of Malta. It is based at apron 7 of the Malta International Airport.

One of the assets we will be enjoying during the Airshow is the new rotary wing workhorse of the Air Wing – the AugustaWestland (now Leonardo) AW-139. Three of these helicopters were acquired by the AFM. They carry a crew of five, including two rescue swimmers. It can carry a total of 15 persons. The helicopters are equipped with state-of- the-art avionics and imaging systems, a hoist for SAR operations and a stretcher for medical evacuations.

Another Air Wing asset planned to take part in our flying program, is the fixed-wing Hawker Beechcraft B200 King Air MPA. This is a state-of-the-art maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) for border control. It has the capability, and sustainability, to enable the AFM to continue effectively patrolling the E.U.'s maritime borders both by day and night, and in support of other E.U. border-related missions.

The Malta Aviation Society organizer of the Malta International Airshow 2017 are proud to have the Armed Forces of Malta Participating with their air assets during the show. (Source: maltairshow.com, 8-Sep-2017)

Friday, September 8, 2017

Three flights en rotue to Malta IAP diverts to other airports due to bad weather over the airfield

Three flights en route to Malta IAP this afternoon where forced to divert to other airports due to a thunderstorm over the airfield. 

The first aircraft to divert was a Gryphon Airlines McDonnell Douglas MD-87 (ZS-TRJ), operating scheduled flight UG-1300 for Tunisair Express between Tunis-Carthage (Tunisia) and Malta IAP. After a missed approach the crew decided to return to Tunis airport. The flight was subsequently cancelled.

Next to divert was a Volga-Dnepr Airlines Ilyushin IL-76 (RA-76951), operating cargo flight VDA-4044 between Châlons-Vatry (France) and Malta IAP. The IL-76 diverted to Palermo airport (Sicily/Italy). The flight was subsequently re-scheduled to tomorrow.

The last flight to divert was an Alitalia Airbus A320-200 (I-BIKA), operating scheduled flight AZ-886 between Rome-Fiumicino (Italy) and Malta IAP. The A320 diverted also to Palermo airport (Sicily/Italy). The flight then continued to Malta IAP reaching destination with a delay of 1-hr 35-mins on its original time.

Besides these diversions, numerous fights that had depart from Malta IAP had to be delayed too. (8-Sep-2017)

Friday, September 1, 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: none


  • 9H-NGX - Bombardier Global 6000 (c/n. 9451), registered to Elit'Avia Malta Ltd. (rrg N668JS)
(Source: Transport Malta, 1-Sep-2017)

USN P8 and MH-60 for 2017 Malta Int'l Airshow

Visitors to the Malta Airshow can hardly realize how fortunate we are, to once again, have the United States Navy’s (USN) latest asset, in the form of a Boeing P-8 Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft, gracing our static park for the whole weekend and even with a possibility of having the aircraft performing a flying display over Smart City (flying to be confirmed).

The Boeing P-8 Poseidon has been developed by Boeing, based on the Boeing 737-800ER (extended range) airliner air frame. The P-8 conducts anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, and shipping interdiction, along with an early warning self-protection ability, otherwise known as electronic support measures. This involves carrying torpedoes, depth charges, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and other weapons. It is able to drop and monitor sonobuoys.

Accompanying the P-8, the U.S. Navy MH-60 Seahawk will also be returning to the Malta International Airshow static park, after previous participation.

The Sikorsky MH-60 Seahawk is a twin engine, multi-mission U.S. Navy helicopter based on the U.S. Army UH-60 Black Hawk and a member of the Sikorsky S-70 family. The most significant air frame modification for seaborne naval use, is a hinged tail to reduce its footprint aboard ships, when parked.

Both U.S. Navy assets will be flying-in from nearby U.S. Navy Air Bases in Sigonella (Sicilly) and Naples (Italy).

The Malta Aviation Society is proud that once again the U.S. Naval Air Forces is participating with their assets at our show. (Source: maltairshow.com, 1-Sep-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-RWM - Hawker Beechcraft Corp B200GT (c/n. BY-102), registered to Air CM Global Ltd. (ex EC-LIH)
  • 9H-GMT - Dassault Falcon 900LX (c/n. 247), registered to Skyfirst Ltd.
(Source: Transport Malta, 30-Aug-2017)

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Russian Navy RFS Perekop calls at Valletta Port

The Russian Navy Project-887 (Smolny-class) training ship RFS Perekop (310) sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this evening on a courtesy visit. 

The Russian training ship is presently berthing alongside at Pinto-4 wharf, and she's expected to sail from Valletta Port on Friday, Sep. 1st. (29-Aug-2017)

Monday, August 28, 2017

U.K. Border Force HMC Protector recalls at Valletta Port

The United Kingdom's Border Force cutter HMC Protector sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this early morning on a courtesy visit. This is her sixth visit in Valletta Port this year.

The British cutter is presently berthing alongside at Coal wharf, and she's expected to sail from Valletta Port on Thursday, Aug. 30th. (28-Aug-2017)

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Air Malta carried more than 12,200 pax last weekend

Air Malta carried more than 12,200 passengers last Saturday and Sunday, considered to be the busiest weekend of the year so far. In a statement, the national airline said it had carried 1,200 passengers (+11%) more than in the corresponding period last year for a total of 12,210 pax and registering a seat load factor of about 90%.

"For many of our guests, last weekend was the start of holidays and we are happy that they chose to travel on Air Malta. With over 80 flights running on-schedule, we had a very busy operation," said P. Sies, the airline" chief commercial officer. He said Air Malta was the airline that offered "the most interesting schedule with excellent timings” to travel to the best airports in Europe." (Source: timesofmalta.com, 26-Aug-2017)

Friday, August 25, 2017

USAF KC-135 for 2017 Malta Int'l Airshow

Another welcomed addition to our ever growing static display park is the United States Air Force (USAF) KC-135 Stratotanker, a favorite with many aviation enthusiasts.

Based on the Boeing 707 commercial airliner, the KC-135 is USAF main aerial refueling tanker. It has been refueled other military aircraft in the air since its entry into service 60 years ago, in 1957. This makes the presence of the legendary KC-135 at our airshow even more significant. 

The participating aircraft is one which is based in Europe, namely at RAF Mildenhall, in the U.K. The Malta Aviation Society is extremely grateful to welcoming back the USAF at the Malta International Airshow 2017. (Source: maltairshow.com, 25-Aug-2017)

Two French AF Alpha Jets for 2017 Malta Int' Airshow

We are pleased to announce a further addition to the flying and static display program, with the confirmation of two French Air Force Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet. 

The Alpha Jet was originally designed and co-produced by Dassault in France and Dornier in Germany, as a light attack aircraft, although it was primarily and extensively used, as an advanced/lead in, jet trainer aircraft, produced in large numbers by both the French and the German AF.

The aircraft has already participated in our airshow in past editions, both in the static display and also in our flying programs. Moreover, the aircraft is also used for the French AF's National Display Team – the Patrouille de France, who have also participated in our past editions, namely in the very first Malta airshow, back in 1993.

The Malta Aviation Society organizers of the Malta International Airshow would like to publicly thank the French AF for confirming their participation once again in Malta. (Source: maltairshow.com, 25-Aug-2017)

Maleth-Aero to add maiden Embraer aircraft to its fleet

Maleth-Aero has confirmed it will shortly be introducing its maiden Embraer regional jet equipment in the form of four ERJ-145s. The Malta-based ACMI/charter specialist said in a statement the first aircraft of the type, 9H-REY (c/n. 145036), would be delivered shortly ahead of its deployment into service in September.

"We are very pleased to be introducing this product to our fleet and expect 9H-REY to be on the ramp next month. Thereafter we expect to take up the remaining units prior to the year end," M. O'Brien, Chief Executive Officer of Maleth-Aero, commented. (Source: ch-aviation.com, 24-Aug-2017)