Air Malta has resumed scheduled air services to Libya carrying 175 passengers to/from Tripoli International Airport today. Air Malta's flight KM696 touched down at Tripoli International Airport at 11:55am with the return flight KM697 landing back in Malta at 2:30pm.
On board the first flight was a high level Air Malta delegation which included the airline's Chairman, L. Farrugia, and Chief Executive, P. Davies. Whilst in Tripoli, they held talks with top Libyan Civil Aviation authorities and addressed a press conference together with E. Elnaas, Director of Tripoli IAP and I. Wali, Air Transport Director of the Libyan Civil Aviation Authority. (Source: timesofmalta.com)
A privately-operated light aircraft, a Socata TB-20 Trinidad with registration N123XX, has ditched into the sea five miles off the west of coast of Malta, near the island of Filfla, this morning around 1115LT. The sole person aboard, the pilot, was able to exit the sinking aircraft and climb into the aircraft's emergency dinghi. He was airlifted to Mater Dei hospital by an Armed Forces of Malta's helicopter (SA-316B Alouette III, serial AS9315) after few minutes. (Photo: Roberto Benetti)
Libyan Airlines has resumed flight operations on scheduled between Tripoli International Airport and Malta International Airport this afternoon, after more than eight months since their last scheduled flight to the island. This first flight, operated by CRJ-900 '5A-LAC', has landed at Malta IAP around 1500LT and departed again to Tripoli after one-hour on the ground.
A United States Department of State Air Wing DC-3T (N707BA) has burst the main undercarriage's right-hand tyre on landing on RWY13 at Malta IAP this afternoon, around 1545LT, leaving the aircraft disabled on the runway. All other aircraft arriving at Malta IAP had to be diverted on the shorter runway, RWY 23/05. Two Ryanairs arriving from Birmingham and Leeds/Bradford had to divert to Trapani-Birgi, arriving at Malta IAP later on in the evening. The DC-3 was finally towed from the main runway around 2000LT.
The airport arrivals lounge was briefly evacuated this afternoon after a man raised suspicion when he left a suitcase in the hall and ran out, eyewitnesses said. The incident happened at about 4 p.m. The suitcase was in the street side of the building, close to the car park ticketing machines. The building was sealed off and army bomb disposal experts were on the scene to check the suitcase. The suitcase was 'blown up' using a high pressure water jet. It was found to be empty. (Source: timesofmalta.com)
The German naval auxiliary vessel FGS Alster (A 50) - an Oste class (Type 423) electronic surveillance vessel has sailed in Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning around 0915LT on a courtesy visit.
FGS Alster is presently berthing alongside at Laboratary (South-2) Wharf and she's scheduled to sail from Valletta Port on Saturday, November 26th, at 1000LT.
Air Malta flight KM117 (A320, 9H-AEO) was today delayed from departing the U.K. to Malta after one of the emergency chutes deployed from a side emergency exit door, according to passengers onboard who informed di-ve.com. Due to international regulations the flight could not depart before the number of passengers was reduced to comply with safety procedures. The flight which usually departs at 11:55am from Gatwick landed at Malta IAP at around 10:30pm. The last 30 passengers to check in for flight KM117 were made to disembark the aircraft and will be flying to Malta on another flight. (Source: di-ve.com)
The Portuguese naval vessel NRP D. Francisco de Almeida (F 334) - a Bartolomeu Dias class frigate (ex HNLMS Van Galen) - has sailed in Valletta Port (Grand Harbour) this morning, around 0910LT, on a three day courtesy visit.
NRP D. Francisco de Almeida is presently berthing starboard alongside at Pinto-3/4 Wharf and she's scheduled to sail from Valletta Port this Thursday, November 10th, at 1600LT.
Malta International Airport (MIA) plc is proud to announce that for the current Winter Schedule – November 2011 to March 2012 – it will be giving a 100% refund to all scheduled airlines on all their landing fees with the aim to stimulate traffic during the shoulder/winter months.
When commenting about this decision, CEO A. Calleja said that Malta Airport has already announced that 2011 will be another record year, and that this incentive related to commercial scheduled passenger traffic is being enacted to keep the momentum reached thus far. (Souce: maltairport.com)
Passenger movements at Malta IAP in October reached 346,480, i.e. the highest number ever registered in October and the second time the 300,000th mark has been reached in October (following 2010). The increase in passenger movements, when compared to the same month last year, is equivalent to an increase of 4.4%. Seat capacity in the same month was 6.5% less than that of October 2010.
In October, aircraft movements decreased by 8.2% over the corresponding period last year, whilst the average seat load factor increased by a staggering 8.3 PPD, reaching 80.5% - up from the 72.2% registered in October 2010. The maximum take-off weight decreased by 6% with a total of 218,000 tonnes, whilst cargo and mail was 4% higher than that recorded during the same month in 2010.
The German market had a significant increase of 24%, whereas the U.K. market registered a modest increase of 2.1%. On the other hand, in this month, the Spanish, Italian and French markets all registered a decrease, with -5.6%, -4.8% and -1.7% respectively.
January-October 2011: The results for the first 10 months of the year, in terms of passenger movements, therefore show an increase of 7.3% when compared to the same period last year, totalling 3,128,418 passenger movements. Once again, this positive result was mainly brought about by the strong increase in the average seat load factor which stands at 5 PPD, and this is more noteworthy when one considers that aircraft movements has decreased by 2.2% over the same period last year. (Source: maltairport.com)
Two Russian naval vessels, RFS Smetlivy (801) - a Kashin mod. class (Project 61M) guider-missile destroyer - and RFS Epron - a Prut class (Project 572M) salvage/rescue tug, have sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) today, at 0855LT and 1410LT respectively, on a courtesy visit.
The two Russian vessels, from the Black Sea Fleet, are presently on deployment in the Mediterranean Sea to take part in Ioniex 2011 Russian-Italian naval exercise in early November. The Ioniex exercise is held every two years as part of the cooperation program between the Russian and Italian navies.
The two Russian vessels are presently berthing alongside each other (RFS Smetlivy alongside the quay) at Boiler Wharf in the French Creek. Both vessels are expected to sail from Valletta Port this Sunday, November 6th, at 0800/0900.