Ryanair is to introduce new routes linking Malta to Liverpool, Gotenburg and Milan/Bergamo, Deputy Chief Executive M. Cawley said this evening. Ryanair will operate daily flights to Milan/Bergamo, twice weekly to Gotenburg and three times a week to Liverpool from the end of March. The service to Liverpool will operate all the year round.
Ryanair is currently operating 36 weekly flights from Malta on its winter schedule after having operated 75 at the height of summer. Its current destinations include Madrid (Spain), six destinations in the U.K., six to Italy, one to Ireland (Dublin), one to Sweden (Stockholm-Skavsta), one to France (Marseille) and one to the Netherlands (Eindhoven). (Source: timesofmalta.com)
The Russian Federation naval auxiliary vessel RFS Ivan Bubnov - a Boris Chilikin class (Project 1559/1593) replenishment tanker - has sailed into Valletta Port (Grand Harbour) this morning on a four-day courtesy visit.
The Russian tanker is presently berthing alongside at Pinto-4/5 Wharf, and she's expected to sail from Malta on Monday, December 17th, 1630LT.
The German naval corvette FGS Magdeburg (F 261) - Braunschweig class (Type K130) - has sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) on a two-day courtesy visit. The German corvette is presently berthing alongside at Pinto-3 Wharf, and she's expected to sail from Malta tomorrow, December 9th, at 2355LT.
Air Malta has today resumed normal scheduled operations to Catania's Fontanarossa airport after infrastructural works on the city's airport runway were finalised. Due to the closure of this airport and the limited capacity at Sigonella airport, which was used as an alternative airport, Air Malta was forced to transfer its operations to Sigonella and cancel some services on certain dates.
Air Malta flies to Catania on a daily basis whilst offering its passengers the possibility of a day trip to the city on Mondays and Saturdays. Air Malta reminds its customers that check-in times have now also been reversed to the standard timings. Check-in in Malta and Catania will open two hours before departure and will close thirty minutes prior the scheduled time of departure. (Source: Air Malta)
Passenger movements at Malta International Airport in November reached 211,538 i.e. the highest number ever registered in November. The increase in passenger movements, when compared to the same month last year, is equivalent to an increase of 3.4%. Seat capacity in the same month was of 276,157, i.e. 2.5% more than in November 2011.
In November, aircraft movements increased by 1.6% over the corresponding period last year, whilst the average seat load factor remained constant with a slight increase of 0.7%, reaching 76.6%. The maximum take-off weight increased by 2.8% reaching 147,193 tonnes, whilst cargo and mail was 4.8% higher than that recorded during the same month in 2011.
In the same month, the French market registered considerable growth with an increase of 43.4%, whereas the Italian market also grew significantly with a 13.1% increase. The German market remained static with a negligible increase of 0.4%. On the other hand, the U.K. market registered a decrease of 1.5%. The Belgian market once again appears in the top five markets for the month of November, although it registered a decrease of 2.7% over the same period last year.
January – November 2012: The results for the first eleven months of the year, in terms of passenger movements, therefore show an increase of 3.7% when compared to the same period last year, totalling 3,457,083 passenger movements. This positive result was once again mainly due to the increase in the average seat load factor of 2.3% with an increase of 0.6% in the seat capacity when compared to those registered during the same period last year.
The Armed Forces of Malta today hosted an official inauguration ceremony by the Hon. Prime Minister Dr L. Gonzi at Air Wing base. After inspecting the Honour Guard, Brigadier M. G. Xuereb highlighted the fact that without close cooperation of other Government Ministries and the European Union such a modern project would not have materialised. PM Gonzi unveiled a commemorative plaque marking the official opening of Hangar 4. The ceremony ended with blessing of the plaque by AFM Chaplain Fr J. Meli.
The AFM hangar project was funded through the General Programme Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows 2007-2013 with a co-financing rate of 75% EU funds and 25 % National Funds. (Source: Armed Forces of Malta)
Air Malta has entered into a three-month wet lease agreement of an A320 aircraft to Sky Airline of Chile. The aircraft will increase Sky Airline’s capacity during the peak southern hemisphere’s summer. The aircraft, with registration 9H-AEF, will be operated by Air Malta cockpit crew and maintained by Air Malta’s engineers. A number of in-flight managers have also been sent over to Chile to train Sky Airline’s cabin crew. The pilots deployed with this aircraft have been given specialised training to operate the aircraft in South America and across the Andes. This is the fifth wet lease agreement between both airlines since 2007. The plane will re-join Air Malta’s fleet in early March 2013. (Source: timesofmalta.com)
SR Technics has secured a contract with Orbest. The Spanish-based airline, which operates charter flights to Europe and the Caribbean, has chosen SR Technics’ Malta facility to carry out two C-Checks on its Airbus A320 aircraft. The first aircraft was inducted in early October 2012, and the second will arrive in Malta in January 2013. (Source: SR Technics)
Air Malta has expanded its current code share agreements with partner airlines to provide more connectivity and accessibility to the Maltese Islands. This Winter the Maltese airline has revised its codeshare arrangments with Etihad, Austrian, Meridiana fly and Lufthansa to offer better connections to both its Maltese customers as well as tourists wishing to visit the islands from destinations not directly serviced by it. Commenting on these agreements, P. Saunders, Air Malta's COC said, "Through these partnerships with reputable airlines, Air Malta is offering the Maltese public an extensive array of destinations beyond its own network both for business and leisure travel. Together with our partners, we are increasing connectivity for more tourisim opportunities from far-flung countries to fly to Malta".
Saunders highlighted that Air Malta's frequent flights to Europe's prime hub airports are proving to be essential, not only for passengers, but also for the local manufacturing industry and the movement of cargo between countries in a fast and safe manner. The recently revised agreement with Etihad Airways makes it possible for passengers to travel between Malta and Abu Dhabi via London Heathrow, Manchester and Brussels airports. Air Malta will be the operating carrier from the UK to Malta and Brussels to Malta and vice versa. Etihad will operate flights between the UK and Abu Dhabi and flights between Brussels and Abu Dhabi. Both airlines will place their respective codes and flight numbers on the connecting services between Malta and Abu Dhabi.
Air Malta has also widened its code share cooperation with Austrian Airlines by extending its code and flight numbers to flights between Vienna and Bucharest in Romania and Warsaw in Poland, where passengers can benefit from excellent both way connectivity. Air Malta and Austrian Airlines offer good both way connecting flights via Vienna Airport to/from several other destinations including Toronto in Canada and John F. Kennedy Airport in New York in the USA. Through the agreement with the Italian airline Meridiana fly, Air Malta is now also offering connectivity between Malta and Torino through Rome's Fiumicino Airport. Air Malta has placed its code and flight numbers on all flights operated by Meridiana fly between Rome and Torino, that connects with Air Malta's flights between Malta and Rome.
The Royal naval amphibious transport dock HMS Bulwark (L 15) - Albion class - has sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a four-day informal visit. HMS Bulwark is presently in the Mediterranean as part of Royal Navy's Cougar-12 deployment, together with HMS Illustrious, HMS Northumberland, HMS Montrose, RFA Mounts Bay and MV Hartland Point.
The British amphibious ship is presently berthing alongside at Boiler wharf, and she's expected to sail from Malta on Friday, November 23th, at 1145LT.
The British merchant ship MV Hartland Point - Point class sealift - has sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a four-day informal visit.
MV Hartland Point is owned by Foreland Shipping. The Point class sealift ships are ordinary merchant ships (owned Foreland Shipping) and leased to the U.K.'s Ministry of Defence, as and when needed, to carry military cargoes and vehicles. MV Hartland Point is presently in the Mediterranean as part of Royal Navy's Cougar-12 deployment, together with HMS Illustrious, HMS Bulwark, HMS Northumberland, HMS Montrose and RFA Mounts Bay.
MV Hartland Point is presently berthing afloat in Dock-4 (at Palumbo SY, in French Creek), and she's expected to sail from Malta on Friday, November 23th, at 1300LT.
The Royal Fleet Auxiliary amphibious dock landing ship RFA Mounts Bay (L 3008) - Bay class - has sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this afternoon on a five-day informal visit. RFA Mounts Bay is presently in the Mediterranean as part of Royal Navy's Cougar-12 deployment, together with HMS Illustrious, HMS Bulwark, HMS Northumberland, HMS Montrose and MV Hartland Point.
The British dock landing ship is presently berthing alongside at Boiler wharf, and she's expected to sail from Malta on Friday, November 23th, at 1045LT.
The Royal naval assault carrier HMS Illustrious (R 06) - Invincible class - has sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a five-day informal visit. HMS Illustrious, commanded by Captain M. Connell, forms part of the U.K.'s Response Force Task Group (RTFG), headed by Commodore P. McAlpine, along with other five Royal Navy ships (HMS Bulwark, HMS Northumberland, HMS Montrose, RFA Mounts Bay and MV Hartland Point). All ships are taking part in a three-month training deployment to the Mediterranean, known as Cougar 12, involving more than 3,000 sailors, royal marines, soldiers and airmen.
This visit offers the opportunity for an operational stand-down for the RFTG and Illustrious will take the opportunity to re-establish the very important links with her Maltese affiliations.
HMS Illustrious currently on board ten helicopters: three Royal Navy Merlins, four Royal Navy Sea Kings and three British Army Apaches. The British assault carrier is presently berthing alongside at Pinto-4/5 wharf. She will be open to visitor on Wednesday and Thursday between 1pm and 4pm. HMS Illustrious is expected to sail from Malta on Friday, November 23th, at 0600LT.
Monarch has announced today a new route to Malta for summer 2013 from its newest base at East Midlands. Expanding on its network of scheduled destinations from East Midlands, which started in August of this year, the new flights to Malta offer customers another choice of summer sun destination. Flights will operate twice a week starting on May 7th and go on sale on Friday Nov. 16th. (Source: Monarch)
Air Malta has launched its new winter schedule of operations running up to end March 2013. This season the airline will again offer the best connections and services to major European gateways with over 100 weekly flights to a choice of 25 scheduled and 11 charter destinations.
"This winter, we plan to carry around 35,000 more passengers than last winter in line with our goals of bringing more visitors to Malta during the winter season and by becoming ever more attractive in the Maltese market. During this season, we will be offering more than 900,000 seats to and from Malta, and are confident of success. We have also revised our code share agreements to offer a wider range of destinations to the local public as well as enhance connection to Malta from destinations beyond our network", said P. Saunders, Air Malta's Chief Officer Commercial.
"During this winter period, we will continue with the repainting of our fleet in the new branding with the least possible disruptions to our schedule," added Saunders.
This winter Air Malta will be increasing its direct flights to Munich as well as doubling its capacity on the Moscow route with an additional weekly flight. Subject to market opportunities, the airline intends to increase its weekly service to Benghazi by another weekly flight.
The new revised code-share agreements with partner airlines offer more connectivity with destinations beyond Air Malta's network. The list of partner airlines includes Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines, Etihad, Meridiana fly, Turkish Airlines, Austrian Airlines and Swiss.
This season Air Malta will be operating direct flights to: Amsterdam, Athens, Benghazi, Berlin, Brussels, Catania, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Istanbul, London (Gatwick and Heathrow), Manchester, Milan, Moscow, Munich, Paris (Charles de Gaulle and Orly), Rome, Sofia, Tripoli, Vienna and Zurich. The airline will also be operating intra- European flights between Amsterdam and Brussels, Catania and Munich as well as between Athens and Sofia.
Passenger movements at Malta Airport for the summer schedule (April - October) 2012 resulted in a record 2,687,845 passengers, i.e. an increase of 5.7% over the corresponding period in 2011. This was announced during a News Conference addressed by CEO M. Klaushofer and CCO A. Borg.
In a short presentation, CCO A. Borg gave an overview of the results for the first ten months of the year, in terms of passenger movements, which show an increase of 3.7% when compared to the same period last year, totalling 3,245,545 passenger movements.
October 2012: Passenger movements at Malta IAP reached 348,711, i.e. the highest number ever registered in this month, with an increase of 0.6% over October 2011. Seat capacity in the same month was of 435,542 or 1.2% more than that of October 2011.
Aircraft movements decreased by 0.6% over the corresponding period last year, whilst the average seat load factor decreased marginally by 0.4 PPD, and stood at 80.1%. The maximum take-off weight increased by 0.6% with a total of 219,445 tonnes, whilst cargo and mail was 26.5% less than that recorded during the same month in 2011.
The German market had a significant decrease of 26.7%, whereas the Spanish market registered a decrease of 7.3%. On the other hand, the Italian, U.K. and French markets registered increases of 5.9%, 5.6% and 2.5% respectively.
The Russian naval destroyer RFS Smetlivy (810) - modified Kashin class (Project 61) - has sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a five-day courtesy visit.
This is RFS Smetlivy's second port-call in the Grand Harbour this month, her first visit was between 22nd and 25th.
RFS Smetlivy has left from her homeport at Sevastopol on Oct 18th for the Mediterranean Sea to participate in the Ioniex-2012 joint Russian-Italian naval exercise to be held from 5th to 10th November off the Italian coast.
The Russian destroyer is presently berthing alongside at Boiler Wharf, and she's expected to sail from Malta on Sunday, Nov. 4th, at 0830LT.
Air Malta has announced yesterday its first piece of good news since 2008: an operational profit of €400,000 for the first half of the year. This was mostly due to increased revenue and lower costs, including better-priced fuel. The last time the airline recorded a profit was four years ago.
Air Malta registered an €8 million loss in the same period last year, which means the airline has climbed back by €8.4 million. These "interim results" also mean that the airline is €1.4 million ahead of budget, Air Malta said in a statement.
Air Malta handled 1.05 million passengers during this period (ending September), a slight reduction over last year’s 1.1 million. The seat capacity reduction was counteracted by successful efforts to fill planes, measured through the "passenger seat factor". This increased by 2% to an average of 79%.
The carrier reduced costs in various areas during the period under review, including a €3.2 million cut in fuel costs and €2.2 million on personnel. However, CEO P. Davies warned that the second half of the year, which includes winter, would be "undoubtedly tougher" due to Malta’s seasonality, diminishing hopes of registering another profit.
The closure of Catania-Fontanarossa airport from Nov. 5th to Dec. 5th due to infrastructural works on the runway, will be affecting Air Malta's flights to this airport. The airline said in a statement this evening that as Sigonella military airbase can only handle a maximun of four arrivals/departures per hour, it was forced to transfer its operations to Sigonella and cancel some services on certain dates.
Air Malta said that flight check-in will still be done at Catania's Airport and will open three hours prior to the schedule time of departure. Check-in will close 90 minutes before the scheduled time of departure. Checked in passengers will then be taken by coach to Sigonella. Passengers arriving at Sigonella from Malta will be transferred by coach to Catania airport, from where they will pick their luggage. Air Malta said it is contacting passengers booked on these flights advising them of the changes and offering them alternatives. (Source: timesofmalta.com)
A Ryanair Boeing 737-800, with registration EI-DYD, operating retun flight RYR7794 from Bologna (Italy) to Malta IAP was forced to divert to Trapani, in Sicily, this evening because of a severe thunderstom in the Sicily-Malta channel. The flight continued to Malta IAP later on in the evening.
During a press conference, L. Ferendez, marketing manager for Malta, said that during the coming winter season, Ryanair will reduce Madrid-Malta route from three flights per week to two and suspend services to Valencia, Girona and Seville. The Girona and Seville routes were also suspended last winter.
There will be just one flight a week to Stockholm and Edinburgh; two per week to Eindhoven, Madrid, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Stansted, Dublin, Marseille, Bari, Pisa and Turin. There will be three flights a week to Luton, Treviso, Trapani and Bologna. A number of other routes from Malta have been suspended for the winter. These are Billund, Kaunus, Olso, Krakow, Wroclaw, Bournemouth and Glasgow. They are almost certain to be reinstated in the summer Mr Fernandez said. He said that the airline is this winter is operating 36 weekly flights, down from 75 in August and one less than last winter. One aircraft will continue to be based in Malta. He said the cutbacks were dictated by low demand during the winter, as well as fuel prices.
Passenger movements at Malta IAP in September reached 407,917 – i.e. the highest number ever registered in September, registering the sixth consecutive record month. The increase in passenger movements, when compared to the same month last year, is equivalent to an increase of 6.6%.
This record result in September was achieved with an increase of 3.6% in seat capacity over the same period last year, with a total of 476,074 seats. In the same month, aircraft movements increased by 3.5% over the corresponding period last year, whereas the average seat load factor increased by 2.5% to reach 85.7%. The maximum take-off weight was 2.9% higher than that registered in September last year, whilst cargo and mail was 3.6% lower than that recorded during the same month in 2011.
In this same month, the Spanish market grew considerably, registering an increase of 14.7%, whereas the French, Italian and U.K. markets grew slightly, by 2.5%, 0.5% and 0.2% respectively. The only main market to register a decrease in September when compared to same period last year was the German one, with a decrease of 5%.
January – September 2012: The results for the first nine months of the year, in terms of passenger movements, therefore show an increase of 4.1% when compared to the same period last year, totalling 2,896,724 passenger movements. The increase of 2.8% in the seat load factor – which for the period January to September 2011 stands at 78.9% – together with the marginal increase of 0.4% in seat capacity was the main driver of this result.
Air Malta's new aircraft livery has been greeted with enthusiasm and given a huge welcome at this year's Malta International Airshow. The fresh new look of the airline was one of the highlights at this year's popular show.
Around 1605LT today, to the delight of the thousands of spectators present at the airshow, Air Malta's Airbus A320 aircraft 9H-AEN in the new colours, made a number of flypass over runway 23/05.
The aircraft, operating flight KM070, flew to Malta just after being repainted in the new livery. The flight number was chosen to celebrate the 70th anniversary since the award of the 'George Cross' to Malta that is being commemorated this year.
The new livery design is fresh, bold, colourful and displays a new sense of pride in being ‘the airline of the Maltese Islands.’ The design reflects the uniqueness of the Maltese islands with their proud heritage, colours, culture, symbols, hospitality and language.
This is the first step in a series of projects aimed to re-brand the airline. Other projects in this area will be finilised and communicated in the coming months.
Commenting during a press confernce held upon the aircraft's arrival Peter Davies, Chief Executive of Air Malta stated: ‘Air Malta represents the values of Malta. The new airline brand is based on the history, heritage and colours of the Maltese Islands. With our new brand and identity, we will be ideally positioned to become the ambassador and guide of choice to the very best Malta can offer.’
The new livery also marks another milestone in airline’s cultural revolution, both internally and externally, and will support the airline’s new vision of ‘Flying The Pride of Malta’.
The aircraft in new livery has joined the static display and will be on show for the two days of the event. Air Malta's pilots will also be at the airshow to meet the public. The airline will also have a stand that will feature limited edition merchandising material. (Source: Air Malta)
It is with regret that the Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, The Red Arrows, must announce that they will be unable to travel to Malta to display as part of the Malta International Airshow. We hope the airshow remains a huge success, and that all those planning to attend enjoy the event. "Following our departure from Menorca, yesterday, we experienced a minor technical problem. This forced us to divert to Italy until the aircraft is repaired. We will return to the UK on Monday. We are deeply disappointed at not being able to take part in the Malta International Airshow however; safety is always paramount". said Squadron Leader Jim Turner, Red 1 (Source: Red Arrows)
The Red Arrows have experienced technical difficulties on their way to Malta and had to divert to a military base in Sardegna. The team's engineers are doing their best to have the aircraft serviceable again but it is not yet known if they will be able to perform during the Malta International Airshow this weekend. (Source: timesofmalta.com)
The Malta International Airshow 2012 takes place this weekend 29th and 30th September. Six countries shall participate namely, Malta, United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, United States & Qatar for the first ever time, NATO will also be participating.
Old Flying Machine Company's Spitfire Mk.IXB (MH434/ZD-B) was the first aircraft to arrive. It has arrived yesterday after a long journey all the way from the U.K., with various stops along its route. This is the most famous aircraft operated by the Royal Air Force in WWII and there are only a few remaining flying examples of this aircraft in the whole world.
The Malta Aviation Society succeeded in attracting the Spitfire as part of the celebrations marking 70 years from Malta becoming ‘The George Cross Island’ and the aircraft will be flown during the airshow by the world-renowned Paul Bohomme who besides flying Jumbo Jets is also twice winner of a the world’s fastest air race. The Spitfire will be hangered in one of the Air Wing’s hangers of the Armed Forces of Malta.
The RAF Red Arrows will be the Aerobatic Team this year at the event, it will be the seventh time that the Red Arrows participate in the airshow. Before their dislplay the Red Arrows and the Spitfire shall do a joint flypast with the Spitfire leading the formation, a flypast that will be a first in Malta's skies. Air Malta will be a very important participant at this year's airshow. The airline has kindly agreed to have the first Airbus 320 in the brand-new colours fly directly from the paint shop straight to the airshow grounds. KM070, with registration 9H-AEN will fly in on Saturday at 1330LT, the flight number having been chosen to commemorate 70 years of the George Cross Medal to Malta. After a brief flyby, the jet will land and park for the airshow public to see from close range. Air Malta's pilots will stand by the jet to answer questions from the visiting public.
Other Aerial displays include the RAF Hawk, RAF Tucano, RAF King Air, the AFM Alouette III Helicopter, the Italian Military Mission in Malta AB-212 SAR display. From the civilian side we also have an Extra 200 from Diamond Aviation and also a Learjet 60 from Eurojet.
On Friday, Park 4 at Malta IAP co-organisers of the event, will become full to the brim with many other participating aircraft coming from six different nations. The Red Arrows will arrive in the afternoon from Spain and will fly on both days, bringing the Malta International Airshow 2012 to a close.
Passenger movements at Malta IAP in August reached an all-time record of 461,153, breaking the record achieved in July 2012 (445,232). The increase in passenger movements is equivalent to 7.9% or 33,578 movements when compared to the same month last year. In August, seat capacity has also hit an all-time record of 536,632, an increase of 7.5%. The average seat load factor also increased by 0.2% to reach a record 85.9%.
In August, aircraft movements grew by 6.6% over the corresponding period last year, whilst the maximum take-off weight was 8.6% higher than that registered in August last year. Another positive result was achieved in cargo and mail with a staggering 14.6% increase over the same month in 2011.
All the core markets registered increases during the month of August with Germany and France growing significantly by 14.7% and 14.6% respectively, whereas Spain and Italy recorded an increase of 6.2% and 5.7% respectively. Passenger movements from the U.K. were more or less the same with a 0.2% increase.
January – August 2012: The results for the first eight months of the year, in terms of passenger movements, therefore show an increase of 3.7% when compared to the same period last year, totalling 2,487,903 passenger movements. The increase of 2.8% in the average seat load factor was the main driver of this result, whilst the seat capacity and aircraft movements remained more or less unchanged; the former registering no change whereas the latter registering a 0.1% drop for the period January to August 2012. (Source: maltairport.com)
Malta is interested in replacing its armed forces inventory of three Aerospatiale SA316 Alouette III helicopters, according to a contract solicitation released by the E.U. on Aug. 30th. The Maltese government hopes to acquire up to three new aircraft, which will be primarily required to perform border control missions, using money from the E.U.'s External Borders Fund (EBF) programme.
An initial deal to order one aircraft this year is outlined, with this to be "subject to availability of funds from the European Borders Fund programme 2012". An option for a second helicopter to be ordered in an identical configuration would also be contingent on securing EBF funds the following year, the notice says.
Valletta will also consider acquiring another identical aircraft from the same funding route in 2014, with its request noting: "bidders have to guarantee the supply of the third helicopter until the year 2015 with a justifiable and reasonable price escalation not exceeding 5%".
Potential suppliers are due to respond to the request by 30 October, with Malta also seeking associated training services and potentially an in-service support package for the new type. (Source: flightglobal.com)
Air Malta said today that it made an operating loss of €6.1 million in the first quarter of its financial year (April-June) -€1.2 million lower than projected and €3.9 million lower than in the same period last year. The airline registered an increased turnover on budget of €2.1m. The airline said that during the quarter it carried 472,000 passengers and increased its passenger load factor by 2.6% to 75%.
Peter Davies, CEO said: "Air Malta is particularly pleased with these results as they continue to show that we are on track with the Restructuring Plan. We are cautiously optimistic that we will be able to maintain this momentum and achieve our planned results at the end of this financial year. This we can achieve, despite some setbacks which we need to manage that include the OLT Express aircraft lease termination. (Source: timesofmalta.com)
A Maltese-registered Bombardier private plane has been impounded by the Spanish police in the Canary Islands after it was allegedly found to be carrying a ton of cocaine. According to reports in the Spanish media, the drug was concealed in boxes carrying Red Cross markings. The plane had previously flown from Venezuela to Miami and then the Canary Islands. The Colombian pilot and two Germans are under arrest. (Source: timesofmalta.com)
The Bombardier private plane is BD-700 Global Express, with registration 9H-FED, registered to Hyperion Aviation.
The Indonesian Navy sail training ship KRI Dewaruci has sailed into Valletta Port (Grand Harbour) this morning on a five-day courtesy visit. KRI Dewaruci is a Class A tall ship and the only barquentine owned and operated by the Indonesian Navy. She is used as a sail training vessel for naval cadets and is the largest tall ship in the Indonesian fleet.
Built in Germany by HC Stülcken & Sohn. Construction on the Dewaruci began in 1932, but was suspended due to the outbreak of WWII, which caused heavy damage to the shipyard where she was being constructed. She was finally completed in 1952 and launched in 1953. Since then, she has been based out of Surabaya on the Java Sea. Her name and figurehead represent and display the mythological Javanese wayang god of truth and courage.
The Indonesian training ship is presently berthing alongside at Pinto-3 Wharf, and she's scheduled to sail from Malta on Tuesday, August 14th, at 1000LT
A Royal Jordanian Airbus A320-200 (JY-AYU), operating flight RJA6053, was forced to divert to Malta IAP this morning, reason unkown. The aircraft landed safely on RWY 31 around 0430LT. The aircraft departed again from Malta IAP around 0755LT to Tripoli International, Libya.
A Corsair Boeing B747-400 (F-HSUN), operating flight CRL903 from St. Denis (Reunion) to Paris-Orly (France) was forced to divert to Malta IAP this morning, reason unkown. The aircraft landed safely on RWY 31 around 0510LT. The aircraft departed again from Malta IAP around 0635LT to Paris-Orly.
Following the 1.6% growth reported for the first half of 2012, passenger movements at Malta IAP in July increased by 7.1% reaching an all-time record, for any month ever, of 445,232 passengers. The previous record for any one month was achieved in August 2010 with 427,924 passengers.
In July, aircraft movements and seat capacity increased by 4.8% and 5.7% respectively over the corresponding period last year, whilst the average seat load factor (SLF) increased by 1.1% to reach 85.1%. This increase in SLF is the 16th monthly consecutive growth. The maximum take-off weight also increased by 5.6% on that registered in July last year, whilst cargo and mail were 8% higher than that recorded during the same month in 2011.
All the core markets, with the exception of Germany, registered increases during the month of July with Italy, France and Spain and showing an increase of 10.2%, 9.7% and 3.5% respectively. The largest market, the United Kingdom, resulted in an increase of 2.4%. The German market on the other hand registered a slight decrease of 1%. January – July 2012: The results for the first seven months of the year, in terms of passenger movements therefore show an increase of 2.8% when compared to the same period last year, totalling 2.02 million passenger movements. This overall increase in the first seven months was mostly due to the record number of passengers in the month of July. (Source: maltairport.com)
Following last year’s initiative of giving a 100% refund to all scheduled airlines on all their landing fees last winter, Malta International Airport plc will once again waive landing fees for the coming winter season with the aim to further stimulate traffic during the shoulder/winter months.
This initiative forms part of Malta Airport’s Incentive Programme for airlines which has just been updated. The first Airline Incentive Scheme – launched back in 2007 – was aimed to attract airlines interested to start off their operations to Malta or looking at increasing their presence on the Maltese Islands. The Scheme targeted markets which back then were considered strategic, like the Iberian peninsula, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. (Source: maltairport.com)
SR Technics, part of the Mubadala Aerospace MRO network, has received certification from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), for the completion of maintenance, repair and overhaul services on Airbus A320fam and Boeing 737NG aircraft types in Malta. SR Technics is currently the only facility on Malta with this approval, which will enable the dual release for N-registered aircraft. Since the opening in October 2010, the 150-strong Maltese team has serviced around 60 aircraft, under its existing European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) approval. (Source: SR Technics)
An Air Malta Airbus A320 leased to Polish airline OLT Express has returned to Malta after the company stopped flying over the weekend. The aircraft is one of two that Air Malta leased to third parties as part of its restructuring programme. The development is a setback for Air Malta since ten pilots that were seconded with OLT Express as part of the lease agreement reached in April will also be returning.
In a statement issued this evening, Air Malta said it had agreed to provide the aircraft to OLT Express up to November 2015. It said it was not owed money by the Polish airline for the aircraft lease and although outstanding aircraft leases would become payable, it had a deposit of half a million dollars, agreed upon in the negotiations, to cover this debt. The airline said it had already started discussions with several airlines to lease this aircraft and interest has been shown. (Source: timesofmalta.com)
Air Malta’s operating loss for the year which ended March 31st, was €29.8 million, an improvement of €4.3 million over that in the previous year, airline chairman Louis Farrugia said this afternoon.
Speaking during the presentation of the airline’s results, Mr Farrugia said the year’s performance was further adversely affected by an increase of 30% in the price of fuel. This significantly increased the company’s fuel costs by €17 million. It also had a €4 million drop in profitability as a result of the imposed reduction in capacity as part of the restructuring agreement.
Mr Farrugia said that the target for the current year was to reduce the loss by 50% to €15 million. The airline had also negotiated a strong hedging agreement to buy 79% of its fuel at €108.75 dollars which is 3% better than the average hedged price obtained by the competition. The airline, he said, would be seeing a futher 10% reduction in capacity next year, resulting in a €16 million drop in revenue.
CEO Peter Davies said the company has implemented a new pricing system. Half its destinations had so far been covered by this system, the rest would be covered by October. Mr Davies said that Air Malta had negotiated new contracts with Lufthansa Technik for the overhaul of engines, with M.I.A. plc, leading to a substantial reduction in costs and it was in the process in the process of negotiating a new catering contract, among others. These would save the airline €8 million.
The company was also planning to increase €10 million in revenue by filling its aircraft more, increasing the yield per seat sold and through pre-and inflight ancillary services. Regarding cargo, which the airlines was criticised about by the Airline Pilots Association, Air Malta was overhauling its strategy and it expected to make €2 million more out of cargo handling in the current year.
Mr Davies said that the way forward for the airline was the continuation of the implementation of its 160+ programmes and projects it had in place as part of the restructuring exercise. He said that the company at the moment had 1,000 employees, who had to be cut down to 800. (Source: timesofmalta.com)
AFM's former Swift Class Patrol Boat P24 was this morning officially handed over to the Maritime Museum of San Diego during a ceremony at Hay Wharf base.
Operations director Mark J. Gallant extended the appreciation of the chairman of the San Diego Maritime Museum and said that such an initiative between Malta and the U.S. would continue to strengthen a long history of friendship. He said the museum would have a display that paid tribute to the fallen Maltese servicemen who died on board the P23 (the sister vessel of P24) during a tragic accident on Sep. 7th, 1984.
During this morning’s ceremony, the P24 was towed away as an AFM soldier played the bagpipes and a fog horn salute was sounded from the P61. The Austal Class P24 was aptly chosen to tow its predecessor to the Malta Freeport for eventual shipping to San Diego. (Source: timesofmalta.com)
Passenger traffic at Malta IAP for the period between January and June 2012 stands at a marginally higher level than that recorded last year, with a slight increase of 1.6%, registering a record total of 1.58 million pax movements for the first half of the year. The loss in traffic registered during the first quarter of the year has been countered by the increase registered in the second quarter of the year.
Aircraft movements for the first half of 2012 were 2.8% lower than the same period in 2011, whilst seat capacity was 3.1% below last year. On the other hand the average seat load factor so far has been 3.5% above that achieved last year. In the same period, the maximum take-off weight (MTOW) decreased by 1.2% whereas cargo and mail increased significantly by 9.4% over the same period in 2011.
The German market registered the highest growth for the first six months of 2012 with an increase of 11.5%. The French and the U.K. markets registered a minimal increase of 2.1% and 1.4% respectively whereas both Spain and Italy registered decreases, of 7% and 7.5% respectively.
June 2012: For the month of June, passenger movements at Malta IAP grew by 8.5% reaching 375,204 passengers – which is also a record for this month. Aircraft movements registered an increase of 4.7% and seat capacity grew by 5.3%. The average seat load factor went up by 2.4% over the same month last year. In June, there was also an increase of 7.2% in the MTOW, whereas cargo and mail registered a staggering 34.9% increase. (Source: maltairport.com)
The Italian Coast Guard offshore-patrol vessel Michele Fiorillo (CP 904) - a Diciotti class - has sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this evening on a brief visit. This is M. Fiorillo's fifth visit in Valletta Port this month.
Guardia Costiera M. Fiorillo is presently berthing alongside at Gun Wharf and she's scheduled to sail from the Grand Harbour on Monday, June 25th, at 1400LT.
A Thomson Airways Boeing 767-300 (G-OOAN), performing flight TOM076 from London-Gatwick (U.K.) to Mombasa (Kenya), was forced to divert to Malta IAP early this morning, around 0220LT (0020z), after a heated argument developed between a young man and his girlfriend. The couple were taken into custody by the local police after the aircraft landed safely in Malta. The aircraft continued with its flight to Mombasa later in the evening, departing around 1845LT (1645z).
Two Royal Navy mine coutermeasure vessels HMS Atherstone (M 38) and HMS Shoreham (M 112) - a Hunt class and a Sandown class respectively - have sailed into Valletta Port (Grand Harbour) this late afternoon on a five-day courtesy visit.
The two British MCMVs are presently berthing alongside at Wine Wharf, and they're expected to sail from Malta on Wednesday, June 13th.
Two German Navy fast-attack crafts, FGS S71 Gepard (P 1621) and FGS S73 Hermelin (P 6123) - both Gepard class (type 143A) - have sailed into Valletta Port (Grand Harbour) this afternoon on a two-day courtesy visit.
The two German crafts are presently berthing alongside at Pinto-3 Wharf and are scheduled to sail from the Grand Harbour tomorrow, June 7th, at 1000LT.
Passenger movements at Malta IAP grew by 5.8% during the month of May reaching 344,008 passengers – which is a record for the month under review. Aircraft movements and seat capacity also registered an increase on those registered during May 2011, with an increase of 2.2% and 2.7% respectively. The average seat load factor went up by 2.2% over the same month last year. The increase in aircraft movements resulted also in an increase in the maximum take-off weight (MTOW) of 3%, whilst cargo and mail registered a 3.8% increase.
All five major markets registered growth during May 2012 when compared to the same month last year. The highest increase – 18.7% – was registered in the Spanish market, followed by an increase of 6% in the German market, 5.8% in the French market, and 3.5% from the U.K.. The Italian market registered an increase of 2.3%.
January – May 2012. Passenger traffic for the period between January and May 2012 stands at the same level of last year, with a slight 0.4% decrease. The increases registered in April and May have countered the decrease registered in the first quarter of the year. Aircraft movements registered a decrease of 4.7% when compared to the same period in 2011. Seat capacity was 5.2% lower whilst the average seat load factor increased by 3.6%. In the same period, the MTOW decreased by 3.3% whereas cargo and mail increased by 4.7% over the same period in 2011. (Source: maltairport.com)
Air Malta touched down in Benghazi this morning in an inaugural flight which will see the airline resume a twice-weekly service after an absence of four years. The airline's CEO, P. Davies, was on the flight and officially launched the service at a press conference in Benina airport.
The service to Libya's second city, comes after the airline started flying to the capital Tripoli in November, initially three times a week, before switching to a daily flight earlier this month.
Mr Davies stressed that the Malta connection offers Libyans a gateway to Europe, and the flights were timed to facilitate such connections. The flight leaves Malta at 4:40 a.m. arrives at 6.05 a.m. leaves Benghazi at 7:05 a.m. and touches down in Malta at 8.25 a.m. (Source:timesofmalta.com)
The Indian Navy Talwar class frigate INS Teg (F 45) has sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit.
INS Teg, the fourth frigate in the Talwar class, is presently on her delivery voyage to India. She was commissioned into the Indian Navy by Vice Admiral KN Sushil, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Southern Naval Command, on Apr. 27th, 2012, at the Yantar SY at Kaliningrad in Russia. Her first commanding officer is Captain R. Kumar Dahiya
The Indian frigate is presently berthing alongside at Pinto-2 Wharf, and she's expected to sail from the Grand Harbour on Wednesday, May 30th, at 0600LT.
Hawker Beechcraft Corporation has announced today that Malta-based Orion (Malta) Ltd. has ordered a Hawker 4000 jet to meet the growing demand for charter services from business owners across the EMEA region.
Orion-Malta will be adding the Hawker 4000 – the world’s most advanced super-midsize jet – to its Luqa-based Air Operators Certificate; the aircraft will complement Orion-Malta’s current fleet that includes a Hawker 900XP. (Source: Hawker Beechcraft Corporation)
Passenger movements at Malta IAP grew by 1.4% during the month of April reaching 304,198, i.e. the highest number ever registered in April. This was brought about notwithstanding a decrease of 3.3% in the seat capacity for the month, which reached 397,773.
The average seat load factor was on the increase when compared to April 2011, reaching 76.5% - an increase of 3.5%, whilst aircraft movements for the month were 2.9% less than those in the corresponding period last year. The maximum take-off weight (MTOW) was 0.6% higher, whilst cargo and mail was 22.9% higher than that recorded during the same month in 2011.
The French, Spanish, German and Italian markets all registered increases in April, with 4.1%, 3.3%, 2.2% and 0.5% respectively, whereas the U.K. market registered a negligible decrease of 0.8%.
January – April 2012: Between January and April, passenger movements decreased by 2.6%, with aircraft movements registering a decrease of 7% over the same first four months of 2011. The seat capacity decreased by 7.9% whereas the average seat load factor increased by 3.9% over the first four months of 2011. In the same period, the MTOW decreased by 5.4% whereas Cargo and Mail increased by 5% over the same period of 2011. (Source: maltairport.com)
NATO's Mine Countermeasure Group 2 (SNMCMG2) has sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a four-day visit.
The group consists of: the Turkish Navy TCG Sokullu Mehmet Pahsa (A 577) - flagship and TCG Akcakoca (M 268), the Royal Navy HMS Ledbury (M 30), the Spanish Navy SPS Turia (M 36), the German Navy FGS Sulzbach-Rosenberg (M 1062) and the Italian Navy ITS Alghero (M 5556)
SNMCMG2 is currently under the command of Captain Abdulhamit Sener from Turkish Navy.
The vessels are currently berthing alongside at Pinto-3 and Pinto-4/5 wharves, and they are scheduled to sail from Valletta Port on Monday, 23rd April, at 0600LT.
Libyan Airlines will restart operations to and from Malta today after wet-leasing an aircraft to circumvent the ban imposed by the European Commission earlier this month. The airline will fly out twice weekly, Monday and Thursday, after managing to strike a wet-leasing agreement with Nouvelair, Tunisia’s leading private airline. Libyan Airlines' representative in Malta, Kevin Farrugia, said the new aircraft, an Airbus A320, would allow the airline to continue flying between Libya and Malta. (Source: timesofmalta.com)
A hoax call about migrants having entered Malta IAP perimeter this morning may have been an attempt to hinder the deportation of a group of 35 migrants to Ghana, officials suspect. The call was made to the control tower at about 10 a.m., shortly before the Air Malta plane carrying the migrants was due to leave for Accra. The call forced a brief closure of the airport while airport officials and soldiers conducted a search, but found nothing. A Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt was diverted to Palermo as a consequence of the airport closure. (Source: timesofmalta.com)
Passenger traffic at Malta IAP for the first quarter of 2012 experienced a decline of 4.7% when compared to the same period in 2011. This drop, which is equivalent to a reduction of 27,427 passenger movements, was brought about by a decline of 10% in seat capacity.
The average Seat Load Factor for the quarter was stronger than that achieved in the same period last year - 69% in 2012 as opposed to 65% in 2011. Cargo and Mail for the first three months were marginally lower than 2011, registering a drop of 0.5%, whilst the maximum take-off weight which to a certain extent is dependent on aircraft movements, dropped by 8.1%.
A look at the airport’s core markets reveals that the U.K. registered the same level of traffic as that of 2011, 33%. Italy on the other hand registered a 6% increase in the Seat Load Factor (from 56% in 2011 to 62% this year) whilst passenger movements for this market dropped by 16%. On a more positive note, the German market experienced growth both in terms of seat capacity as well as Seat Load Factor, resulting in a substantial increase in passenger movements of 21%. The French and Spanish markets registered drops in passenger movements of 11% and 38% respectively.
March 2012: Passenger movements at Malta IAP in March 2012 reached 221,912. The decrease in passenger movements, when compared to the same month last year, is equivalent to 7.7%. Seat capacity for the month was 9.9% less than last year, whilst the average seat load factor increased by 1.7% over March 2011. Excluding the effect of the unrest in North Africa last year, passenger movements for March 2012 would have been 5.5% less than last year. (Source: maltairport.com)
The Air Wing of the Armed Forces of Malta has this morning commissioned into service, during an official ceremony at apron-7 at Malta IAP, its second Hawker Beechcraft B200 King Air (A1227) maritime patrol aircraft. This second King Air, delivered brand new and tailored to AFMs' needs at Malta IAP on Mar. 5th, 2012, was co-financed, like the first King Air (AS1126) already in service, from the E.U.'s External Border Funds.
Air Malta's Airbus A320 '9H-AEF' has departed this morning around 0900LT from Malta IAP on its delivery flight to OLT Express in Warsaw, Poland, in full OLT Express livery. This A320 is being dry leased by Air Malta to OLT Express for a number of years. A number Air Malta's pilots will also be seconded with OLT Express during the lease period. The aircraft will be the de-registered from the Malta Aircraft Register and re-registered on the Polish Aircraft Register as 'SP-IAD'.
Air France has launched today flight operations on schedule between Toulouse-Blagnac (TLS/LFBO) and Malta Int'l Airport. This first flight, operted by an Airbus A319 (F-GRHD), has landing at Malta IAP at 0909LT. Air France will be operating two weekly flights between Toulouse-Blagnac and Malta IAP on Saturdays and Sundays.
Air Malta's A320 '9H-AEF' has returned to Malta IAP this afternoon, around 1230LT, from Budapest where it has been resprayed by Lufthansa Technik in the livery of its future operator OLT Express. The A320 is being dry-leased by Air Malta to OLT Express for a number of years. It will to re-registered as 'SP-IAD' by the end of the month before being delivered to Poland.
An Air France B747-400 (F-GISD), performing flight AFR3591 from Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International (Mauritius) and Paris-Charles de Gaulle (France) had to divert to Malta International Airport this early morning due to medical emergency. The aircraft landed safely around 0440LT and departed again, to Paris-CDG, around 0645LT.
It was a grand arrival for Air Malta's Airbus A320 9H-AEO this afternoon, which has been rebranded with the Valletta 2018 logo to promote Valletta’s bid to become European Capital of Culture 2018.
The aircraft returned to Malta from Shannon in Ireland where it had been getting its brand new look, sporting Valletta's iconic skyline, in the past days. It came to Malta with flight number KM2018, a number specifically chosen to commemorate the event.
Prior to landing, Captain L. Gatt, who was flying the aircraft, performed a fly-past over the Luqa airstrip and upon landing, it was given a water cannon salute by two vehicles from M.I.A.'s fire-fighting section that were parked on each side of the taxiway. (Source: timesofmalta.com)