The airline itself would only say it lost hundreds of thousands of euros a day when asked to quantify the damage. But Finance Minister T. Fenech said the financial impact alone had cost Air Malta about half a million euros a day in lost revenue.
Speaking yesterday at the launch of this year's Amitex travel fair, Mr Fenech praised the airline for stepping in to provide extra capacity and flights during the seven-day crisis.
The airline had to cancel 336 flights from and to Malta over the seven-day span, meaning a drop of 51.8% on regular traffic, equivalent to 32,044 passengers.
Mr Fenech said Air Malta had stepped in and provided extra capacity and flights, helping both the Maltese community and the islands' tourism and manufacturing industries.
The airline had diverted and increased staff at customer points and, this notwithstanding, some clients still had to wait some time before being able to change their tickets or offered re-routings.
Air Malta said it had honoured all tickets it had issued and also those issued by code-shared partners. It offered its passengers free re-booking on any Air Malta operated scheduled flight or full refund of tickets.
It started working on aggressive marketing plans in all destinations in the wake of the ash cloud disruption in a bid to return to the demand it was registering over the last months.
To minimse inconvenience to its passengers over the last few days, Air Malta operated over 60 relief flights to Rome, Graz, Marseilles, Zurich, Toulouse and London Gatwick.
It also made alternative arrangements for cargo stuck in Frankfurt by trucking it to other airports serviced by Air Malta such as Rome, Marseille, Toulouse and Rome.