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.