Thursday, January 17, 2019

Two B738s collide while manoeuvring on the ground at Malta IAP

Two aircraft have collided this evening at Malta International Airport while manoeuvering on the ground around 2100.  The collision happened when a Ryanair Boeing B737-800 (EI-DHW), that has just arrived from Bari (FR-9874) and was vacating the runway 13 via taxiway 'Charlie', clipped the left elevator of a Turkish Airlines Boeing B737-800 (TC-JHM), holding on taxiway 'Delta' ready to depart to Istanbul (TK-1372), with its left wing.  No one was injured in the collision.  Both aircraft are at the attention of engineers to see the extent of the damage caused.  (17-Jan-2019)

Armed Forces of Malta orders new offshore patrol boat

On Wednesday, the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) marked another important milestone and goal of enhancing and modernising the force with a new patrol boat which will be delivered in 2020. The project of an additional and more capable Offshore Patrol Vessel (OPV) was launched in 2015, and has since then started to take shape, the AFM said in a statement. 

The contract was awarded to Cantiere Navale Vittoria on the 10-Oct-2018.  Construction is planned to begin in the first quarter of 2019, and delivery of the OPV is planned for the second half of 2020.

During a speech, AFM's Commander Brig. J. Curmi stated that:  "The response of the shipbuilding industry was overwhelming.  This OPV had to have more endurance, better sea-keeping, and provide better living conditions for our crews.  Furthermore, we wanted this new OPV to have improved life-cycle costs in order to ensure that its operations could be sustained in an efficient and effective manner along the years, including better fuel consumption and maintenance costs." 

Brig. Curmi highlighted the commitment of all the team involved in this project, together with the assistance of the Ministry for Home Affairs and National Security, the Ministry for Finance, the Ministry for European Affairs and Equality, the Department of Contracts, and the Funds and Programme Division. 

The ceremony ended with the signing of the contract by Brig. J. Curmi, and the President of Cantiere Navale Vittoria SpAL. Duo. 

The characteristics of the vessel are as follows:
Overall Length: 74.8m
Moulded breadth: 13m
Speed: more than 20 knots
Displacement: 1800t
Draught: 3.8m
Propulsion: 2 x 5440 kW Hybrid with PTI
Propellers: 2 x CPP

(Source: independent.com.mt, 17-Jan-2019)

M.I.A. plc releases 2018 traffic results, 2019 forecasts

Having just closed off another record year, Malta International Airport is now forecasting an increase of 5.8% in traffic for 2019, driving passenger movements up to 7.2 million.  This forecast as well as highlights from 2018, were presented at the company’s yearly traffic press conference.

Malta IAP reported a 47% increase in traffic in the last three years, with passenger movements for 2018 reaching an all-time high of 6,808,177.

The airport's most popular markets during 2018 were the U.K., Italy, Germany, France and Spain.  Following the introduction of better connections with these countries, the airport's top five markets registered varying degrees of growth over 2017, ranging from a humble 2% to a more impressive 37.8%.

"While our 100-destination summer schedule was an important contributing factor to these numbers, it is encouraging to see that, for the fifth consecutive year, our shoulder and winter months have outpaced the peak summer months in terms of growth," commented M.I.A. CEO A. Borg, whilst thanking the airport team and all stakeholders for their maintained efforts in making Malta a year-round destination.

He went on to note that nine airlines had either extended routes originally introduced in summer into the present winter season or else increased flight frequencies on certain routes, highlighting their confidence in the island’s potential as a holiday destination even in the off-peak months.

Looking ahead to summer 2019, Mr Borg noted that the schedule for the season will be an exciting one.  Featuring 18 new developments, including flights to Amman and the launch of daily operations to Doha by newcomer Qatar Airways, this schedule will broaden the choice of destinations for locals, even outside of Europe.

With over €20 million earmarked for 2019 projects, the airport campus will continue to develop infrastructurally, paving the way for more ambitious long-term developments such as the expansion of the terminal building.  The company will be working on finalising plans for this project, which will see the terminal occupy a larger footprint and offer better facilities, throughout 2019. 

Complementing this land side project, the multi-million development of Apron-10 is expected to provide Malta IAP with aircraft capacity stability for the long term.  Plans for the development of this aircraft parking area, which will cater for seven additional stands for Code C aircraft, four stands for Code E, or a combination of both, are in the works.  (Source: maltairport.com, 17-Jan-2019)

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Air Malta to double number of flights to Ukraine

Air Malta will be doubling the number of direct flights to Ukraine during the coming 2019 summer period.  The additional flight frequency on Malta-Kyiv route will start from Apr. 26th, avianews.com reports.

Air Malta will be performing two weekly flights from Malta to Kyiv at 16:00 on Tuesdays and at 20:40 on Fridays; from Kyiv to Malta at 21:05 on Tuesdays and at 01:45 on Saturdays.

Air Malta had resumed direct scheduled flights to Ukraine after a long break on 19-Jun-2018.  Later, Malta decided to extend the Malta-Kyiv service even to the winter season, although was originally planned as a seasonal until the end of the 2018 summer schedule.  (Source: ukrinform.net, 16-Jan-2019)

Monday, January 14, 2019

Air Malta's Gatwick-Malta flight diverts to Catania

An Air Malta Airbus A320-200 (9H-AEI), performing flight KM-117 from London-Gatwick (U.K.) to Malta IAP (Malta), had to divert to Catania-Fontanarossa (Sicily, Italy) this afternoon because of bad weather over Malta.  The aircraft then continued to Malta reaching destination with a delay of nearly 3-hrs.  (Source: flightradar24.com, 14-Jan-2019)

Vueling's Barcelona-Malta flight diverts to Palermo

A Vueling Airbus A320-200 (EC-LRM), performing flight VY-8744 from Barcelona (Spain) to Malta IAP (Malta), had to divert to Palermo (Sicily, Italy) this afternoon because of bad weather over Malta.  The aircraft then continued to Malta reaching destination with a delay of nearly 3-hrs 45-mins.  (Source: flightradar24.com, 14-Jan-2019)

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Ryanair's Malta-Leeds flight diverts to Liverpool

A Ryanair Boeing 737-800 (EI-ENA), performing flight FR-2449 from Malta IAP to Leeds-Bradford (U.K.), had to divert to Liverpool (U.K.) this afternoon after the crew aborted twice to land at Leeds-Bradford after being blasted by 50-mph gust winds before touches down.  The aircraft then continued to Leeds-Bradford reaching destination with a delay of nearly 5-hrs.  (Source: dailymail.co.uk & flightradar24.com, 13-Jan-2019)

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Britten-Norman heading to Malta

Britten-Norman, the aircraft manufacturer, has announced plans to expand its overseas training capabilities by signing a lease on new premises at Malta International Airport.  Whilst training will be the primary focus, the company is also working closely with Transport Malta's Civil Aviation Directorate to introduce other aviation-related services at the same site, including the establishment of an International Air Operator's Certificate.

Chief Executive, W. Hynett, says Malta was selected because of its historic links with the U.K. and its strong cultural and operational fit:  "Malta benefits from favourable weather conditions and relative airspace freedom, making the archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea an excellent location to help broaden Britten-Norman's training output.  Malta also offers a sensible solution to the Group's requirement for a Brexit contingency plan in the event that the U.K. and E.U. fail to negotiate an effective bilateral relationship."

Meetings with Transport Malta have been very positive, with the senior management team making Britten-Norman most welcome.  C. Pace, the Director at Transport Malta, says that he is looking forward to a 'healthy and happy relationship' with Britten-Norman.  (Source: mavio.org, 11-Jan-2019)