Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Air Malta A319 grounded in Paris after lightning strike

An Air Malta Airbus A319-100 (9H-AEL), operating flight KM-478 from Malta IAP to Paris-Charles de Gaulle (France), was hit by lightning while en route to the French capital this morning. The aircraft landed safely at Charles de Gaulle airport around 0930lt. No one was injured. The aircraft has been grounded pending checks. Air Malta is planning to send a relief aircraft this afternoon with a team of engineers to check the aircraft. (30-Dec-2014)

Saturday, December 20, 2014

ULS Airlines Cargo A310 diverts to Malta due to engine problem

A ULS Airlines Cargo Airbus A310-300 freighter (TC-VEL), performing cargo flight GO-452 from Misratah (Libya) to Istantbul (Turkey), had to divert to Malta International Airport this morning after the crew reported a problem with engine #1. The aircraft landed safely on RWY 31 around 0905lt. (20-Dec-2013)

Friday, December 19, 2014

Air Malta to charge economy passengers for hot snacks, beverages as from Jan. 1st

Hot snacks and beverages for Air Malta’s economy passengers will be against payment as from Jan. 1st, the airline said. In a statement this morning, Air Malta said that following an agreement with its catering supplier SkyGourmet, club class passengers will benefit from an upgraded in-flight menu while economy passengers will be offered a baguette and half a litre of water on all routes.

While the baguette and water will be free of charge, "a wide selection of good quality food items, including hot, will be available for purchase from cabin staff at a nominal fee in the near future". Chairwoman M. Micallef said the agreement will save the airline some €4 million each year. Air Malta said it was also reviewing other contracts in the various areas of its operation to achieve further cost savings whilst ensuring a better customer experience. (Source: timesofmalta.com, 19-Dec-2014)

AFM receives second AW-139 twin-engine helicopter

The Armed Forces of Malta’s (AFM) second AW-139 twin-engine helicopter landed at Luqa this afternoon. The helicopter, which is to be registered AS1429, will be used to perform border control tasks and SAR missions. Together with the AFM’s first twin-engine helicopter, it will help strengthen the AFM’s capabilities through the External Borders Fund 2007-2013. 

The AW139 has a maximum speed of 193 mph, a range of almost 600 miles, and service ceiling of 20,000 feet. It is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment package for maritime patrol and SAR missions that includes a high-definition FLIR system, search/weather radar, cabin mission console, naval transponder, search light, satellite communication system, a four-axis autopilot with SAR modes, external rescue hoist and four bag floatation system. This state of the art intermediate twin-engine helicopter features the largest cabin in its category for greater mission flexibility and comfort. (Source: timesofmalta.com)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Ryanair B738 en route to Malta diverts to Trapani due to bad weather

A Ryanair Boeing B737-800 (EI-DCM), performing flight FR-5382 from Madrid-Barajas (Spain) to Malta IAP, had to divert to Trapani-Birgi (Siciliy) this morning due to bad weather at Malta International Airport. The flight then continued to Malta landing with a delay of nearly three hours. (10-Dec-2013)

Turkish Airlines B738 returns to Malta IAP due to a lightning strike

A Turkish Airlines Boeing B737-800 (TC-JGY), performing flight TK-1370 from Malta IAP to Istantbul-Ataturk (Turkey), had to return back to Malta International Airport this afternoon, 30-mins after departure, after the crew reported that the aircraft was hit by lightning. The aircraft departed again to Istanbul after the aircraft was declared safe. (9-Dec-2013)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Maltafly begins flights to Sicily

Maltafly is a joint venture between an Italian businessman and Maltese marketing agency Markit Business Solutions Ltd. which began scheduled flights between Malta IAP and Palermo (Falcone–Borsellino airport) on Dec. 5th. The route operates twice weekly using an EMB-120, HA-FAI (c/n. 123), sourced from Hungary's Budapest Aircraft Services. (Source: ch-aviation.com, 7-Dec-2014)

Friday, December 5, 2014

M.I.A. plc releases traffic results for November 2014

Malta IAP hosted more than a quarter of a million passengers last month, an all-time record for November. In total, the airport welcomed 256,305 passengers in November, marking a 2.9% increase compared to the same month last year. This occurred despite aircraft movements having decreased by 1.8%.

The rise in passenger numbers was largely due to a record seat load factor of 80.4%, up from 76.4% last November. The seat load factor, which is the percentage of aircraft seats being filled, helped to compensate for the drop in capacity.
In November, all the airport’s main markets registered an increase in passenger movements when compared to the same period last year. The U.K.  remains Malta’s top market, seeing an increase of 3.8% in passengers passing through the airport. Meanwhile, Italy and Germany increased traffic by 2.5% and 2.8% respectively.
Turkey managed to climb into the five major markets when it registered a 75.3% increase in passenger traffic when compared to the same period last year. This is a direct result of the increased capacity on this route, with daily flights to and from Istanbul.
Between January and November this year, Malta IAP saw an increase of 6.5% when compared to last year’s figures, hosting a total of 4,063,836 passengers. The maximum take-off weight decreased by 3.3% and cargo and mail decreased by 8.8%. (Source: maltairport.com, 5-Dec-2014)

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Turkish Airlines A321 diverts to Malta IAP

A Turkish Airlines Airbus A321-200 (TC-JRE), performing flight TK-645 from Istantbul-Ataturk IAP (Turkey) to Misratah (Libya), had to divert to Malta International Airport this afternoon due to bad weather at destination. The aircraft returned to Istanbul after four hours on the ground. (28-Nov-2013)

Friday, November 21, 2014

Malta IAP hits four million passengers milestone in record time

Malta International Airport today welcomed its four millionth passenger this year, achieving this milestone in record time: more than a month earlier than last year. The figure means that the airport saw an average of more than 12,000 passengers every day, enough to fill up Wembley Stadium each week. 

The airport’s results are even more impressive when compared to other European airports in its category. For the period ending September, European airports reported a growth of 6.4% while the Malta International Airport registered an increase of 7.2%. These accomplishments were mainly driven by the additional seat capacity together with an improvement in average seat load factor to reach an overall 79.6%. (Source: maltairport.com, 21-Nov-2014)

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Hermes Aviation confirms Malta-Sicily-Italy flights

Maltese-based Hermes Aviation has confirmed plans to enter the Italian domestic market with effect from Dec. 15th. The return flights, operated under the Fly Hermes banner, will operate six weekly from Malta to Turin via Comiso and from Turin to Palermo. Operations are on-board the airline's only aircraft, a B734. (Source: ch-aviation.com, 19-Nov-2014)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Air Malta's flight to London-Gatwick returns back for technical reasons

An Air Malta Airbus A320-200 (9H-AEK), performing flight KM-116 from Malta IAP and London-Gatwick (U.K.), was enroute at FL360 about 130-nm northwest of Palermo (Italy), over the Tyrrhenian Sea, when the crew decided to return to Malta due to a cracked windshield The flight took-off from Malta IAP around 0850lt and re-landed normally around 1025lt. Flight KM-116 took-off again from Malta IAP at around 1210lt, operated by another A320 (9H-AEP).

M.I.A. plc releases traffic results for October 2014

Malta IAP saw a 2.9% increase in traffic in October 2014, welcoming a total of 421,726 passengers. During October, the total number of landings and take-offs at the airport increased by 0.5% to 2,997. These figures were stimulated by an overall seat load factor reaching 83.9% for the month, compared to 81.6% last year.

The airport's top market, the U.K. - representing over 28% of all traffic - saw a marginal drop of 0.8% over October 2013. France registered the largest growth at 25.8%, due to increased capacity on both Paris routes and the introduction of the Nantes route. The other core markets, Italy and Germany, saw an increase of 8.9% and 2.8% respectively. Switzerland established itself as the fifth major market last month, marking a growth of 20.2%. 

Between January and October this year, Malta International Airport saw an increase of 6.7% when compared to last year’s figures, hosting a total of 3,807,534 passengers. The maximum take-off weight decreased by 0.3% and cargo and mail increased by 12.1%. (Source: maltairport.com, 4-Nov-2014)

Friday, October 31, 2014

Refurbished AFM Air Wing hangar inaugurated

The refurbished and upgraded Hangar 3 (ex-RAF Hangar) and supporting facilities at the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) Air Wing has been inaugurated.

AFM Commander J. Curmi said more than €2 million were invested in the project to bring the Air Wing facilities to a standard that would reflect the technologically advanced assets recently purchased by the AFM and improve personnel environment. The facilities will host the two newly acquired AW 139 helicopters.

National Security Minister M. Mallia described the project as "a dream come true" for the AFM. The hangar, he said, was a monument that reflected the AFM’s hard work to ensure national security and for border control. These vital roles needed the highest possible standards for the maintenance of the modern air assets which would be provided by this new investment.

This project was coordinated by the Logistics Branch at HQ AFM, headed by Col. P. Vassallo and administered by Lt. Col. C. Attard and Lt. Col. R. Vella. The Ex RAF 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: timesofmalta.com, 31-Oct-2014)

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Air Malta halves its yearly loss to €16 million

Air Malta halved its losses during the financial year ending March 2014 and is projecting to maintain its position for the year ending March 2015, despite several major setbacks such as the closure of the Libyan routes and increased competition in the peak summer months.

Audited figures announced during the Air Malta Annual General Meeting showed that the airline posted a loss of €16 million (US$20.3 million) for the year ending at the end of March 2014, compared to €31 million (US$39.4 million) loss registered during the financial year ending at the end of March 2013.

The numbers show that Air Malta is moving in the right direction according to its Restructuring Plan, although it did not manage to reach the more ambitious annual targets of a €15 million loss in 2013 and a profit in 2014.

Air Malta chairperson M.a Micallef said the current financial year had been directly hit by the closure of the Libyan routes (losing the airline around €1 million per month, including incremental revenue from transit business) and a 20% increase in seat capacity of other airlines in the peak months.

“We were informed that our revenues would be hit by 10% and the bottom line was forecasted to be a loss of €25 million, unless immediate preventive actions were taken. We set ourselves a target that under these circumstances we try and target a bottom line of a loss of €16 million for Year ending March 2015,” said Ms Micallef, who was appointed chairperson in July.

Ms Micallef also highlighted the importance of thinking about the long term strategy of Air Malta, beyond the restructuring plan.

“In the longer term, it remains clear to me that the realities of the industry are such that the airline’s profit margins will always remain wafer thin unless we rethink our business model to truly ensure viability. We need to get out of restructuring mode and start thinking of long-term sustainability beyond 2016. We will need the economies of scale that we can never achieve with our size,” she said.

“If we are to make this work – and I am confident we will – we need everyone’s support. In some cases, this means holding back. That is my message to politicians, both Government and Opposition. The same applies to all the representatives of the various stakeholders, who for the first time have been invited to this AGM.”

“The reality is that this is Air Malta’s last chance for long term survival. We have 17 months left to get this right,” she concluded.

Meanwhile, newly-appointed CEO Philip Micallef outlined his vision for the airline and highlighted a number of initiatives being taken to bring the airline to profitability by 2016.

“One of the key missions of this new management team is to work much more closely with Malta Tourism Authority and other key stakeholders. MTA and Air Malta have a joint responsibility to attract tourism to the Maltese islands. In the past, the two entities complemented each other’s work but did not combine their resources as effectively as they could. We are holding joint meetings with tourism operators in various markets as Air Malta seeks to intensify its presence in foreign markets. We have entered into a new era of positive collaboration,” he said.

Similar joint initiatives are happening with Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) and Federated Association of Travel & Tourism Agents (FATTA).

“Our approach has been particularly successful with German tour operators, where committed seats have increased by 300% in winter 2014/15. Similar encouraging results are already being achieved on our Amsterdam and Brussels routes. Our code-share with Air France is doing even better, with a ten-fold increase in passenger revenue,” Mr Micallef told the AGM.

“At the end of summer we launched an aggressive promotion with a 25% discount, for travel from November 2014, to get early bookings for winter. In aggregate, early bookings for winter strongly indicate that we could start to mitigate the losses in passengers from Libya and slow-down in Russia through increased sales on other routes,” he said.

Mr Micallef said Air Malta now needed to improve its IT systems to facilitate customer experience and increase revenue by providing a more attractive pricing system for passengers.

“In the face of increased supply on some of our core routes during the peak summer months, we must respond by taking advantage of additional revenue streams. We are starting with generating ancillary revenue pre-flight through product enhancements and the right technology to promote the sale of these products. We are also looking at developing ancillary products while on board,” he said.

(Source: AirMalta, 28-Oct-2014)

Friday, October 24, 2014

Aegean Airlines to start Athens-Malta flights next year

Greek private airline Aegean Airlines is to start flights to Malta IAP in the summer season next year from its hub at Athens IAP. The airline said it intends to initially operate to Malta on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays in the afternoon. It eventually plans to add another flight on Sunday (Source: timesofmalta.com, 24-Oct-2014)

Al-Naser Airlines wet-leases an A346 from Hi Fly (Malta)

Iraq's Al-Naser Airlines has taken delivery of its maiden A340-600 9H-TEQ (cn 416), formerly with Virgin Atlantic as G-VOGE. The quadjet, which was ferried from Malta to Baghdad on Oct. 18th, is on wet-lease from Hi Fly subsidiary, Hi Fly Malta, which in turn sourced it from Voltrex Leasing.

According to a statement issued to ch-aviation by Hi Fly Malta, the lease agreement is only temporary as its long term plans for the aircraft involve its reconfiguration into a 475-seater to be used for Hajj operations. 

"Until reconfiguration Supplemental Type Certificate is approved, which might take up to one year, Hi Fly is subleasing the aircraft to Al-Naser in current configuration with crew and maintenance support to supplement their current fleet of A346s that are planned to be operated for Iraqi Airways," it said. (Source: ch-aviation.com, 24-Oct-2014)

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Ryanair B738 returns to Malta IAP after reporting a problem with the nose gear

A Ryanair Boeing B737-800 (EI-EPC), performing flight FR-6696 from Malta IAP to Edinburgh (U.K.) had to return back to Malta IAP yesterday evening after reporting a problem with the nose gear. The aircraft departed from RWY 13 at 1955lt, levelled off at 8000 feet to troubleshoot the problem and then to dump fuel, and re-landed safely RWY 13 at 2137lt. The stranded passengers where later trasferred to one of Ryanair's Malta-based B738s (EI-EVN) to operate the flight to Edinburgh. It departed Malta IAP at 0029lt (on 18th). 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

SWISS to launch Zurich-Malta route in summer 2015

SWISS today announced the launch of 19 routes across Europe in summer 2015 season. Amongst these new routes, is the luanching of the new route between Zurich and Malta IAP with effect from Jul. 1st, 2015. SWISS will be operating four weekly flights, Zurich-Malta-Zurich, using Airbus A320s. (Source: airlineroute.net, 7-Oct-2014)

M.I.A. plc releases traffic results for September 2014

Malta IAP registered a 2.4% increase in traffic last month, hosting a total of 463,215 passengers. The growth is seen in light of the closure of the Libyan airspace since mid-July, which has resulted in a passenger drop within this market.

During September, the total number of landings and take-offs at the airport increased by 0.9% to 3,199 while the number of people that could be flown to and from Malta (seat capacity) grew marginally by 1.1% to 540,423.  

France was the market to register the largest growth at 11.1%, thanks to increased demand on the Paris route. Traffic from Italy and U.K.  grew by 8.9% and 6.7% respectively. Meanwhile, Spain and Germany saw a decrease of 11% and 5.7% respectively. 

Between January and September this year, Malta IAP saw an increase of 7.2% when compared to last year’s figures, hosting a total of 3,385,808 passengers so far this year. The maximum take-off weight increased by 0.4% and cargo mail increased by 7.9%. (Source: maltairport.com, 7-Oct-2014)  

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Turkish Stars cancels its participation at 2014 Malta International Airshow, Red Arrows to display on both days

The Malta Aviation Society, organizers of the airX Malta International Airshow informs the public that due to circumstances beyond its control, the aerobatic team Turkish Stars will not be participating in the Airshow. 

Once faced with this situation the organising committee managed to secure the RAF Red Arrows for both days of the airshow. 

This year's event will feature 3 display teams - the Italian team Frecce Tricolori, the Spanish team Patrulla Aguila and now the world famous RAF Red Arrows, all on both days of the event. (Source: maltairshow.com, 23-Sep-2014)

Italian AF donates Texan T6G trainer to Malta Aviation Museum

The Italian Air Force has donated a North American, Texan T6G trainer aircraft to the Malta Aviation Museum. The Texan T6G was a two-seat trainer used during WWII to train pilots, mostly in the United States and Canada. 

The aircraft donated to the Malta Aviation Museum was one of several hundred handed over by the United States to friendly nations during 1952-1953 to help them rebuild their air forces. After serving with at least two Italian Air Force flying schools the aircraft was retired and placed in storage.  

Aircraft engineers from the Aviation Museum, led by David Polidano, travelled to Forli to dismantle the aircraft and load it on a trailer for shipment to Ta’Qali. The aircraft finally ‘landed’ at Ta’Qali last Saturday and will be reassembled for display.

The museum said the donation was made possible by Col L. Mariz, Commanding Officer of the Italian Military Mission Malta, Maj M. Lumia, ex Brig (rtd) M. Xuereb, Col M. Said AFM and Warrant Officer O. Bennett AFM. (Source: timesofmalta.com, 22-Sep-2014)

Monday, September 22, 2014

ULS Airlines Cargo diverts to Malta IAP due to low visibilty at Misrata

An ULS Airlines Cargo Airbus A310-300 freighter (TC-LER), operating cargo flt GO-451 from Istanbul-Ataturk (Turkey) to Misrata (Libya), had to divert to Malta IAP this morning due to low visibility at Misrata airport. The freighter continued with its flight to Misrata after two-hours on the ground at Malta IAP. (22-Sep-2014)

Saturday, September 20, 2014

USN confirms participation with a P-3C at the 2014 Malta International Airshow

The United States Navy has confirmed participation with a P-3C Orion coming from Patrol Squadron 4 the Skinny Dragons. VP-4 is based at Marine Corps Base Hawaii. The Lockheed P-3 Orion is a four-engine turboprop anti-submarine and maritime surveillance aircraft developed for the United States Navy and introduced in the 1960s. At this time a squadron detachment is based in NAS Sigonella in Sicily, for patrol in the Mediterranean and further afield. (Source: maltairshow, 20-Sep-2014)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Air Malta A320 to fly in formation flight with the Red Arrows at the 2014 Malta International Airshow

An Air Malta Airbus A320 will fly in formation with the Red Arrows aerobatics team during the Malta International Airshow on Sunday week. The airshow will be held on Saturday and Sunday Sep. 27th and 28th, and, for the first time, will feature four aerobatic display teams.

Capt Martin Ferrando, who will pilot the Air Malta A320 said detailed preparations for the flypast were made over the past week. This, he said, would be a unique and spectacular display. The Air Malta plane will join the nine jets that make up the Red Arrows some six miles out at sea and fly back in formation over the Grand Harbour and onto the runway. (Source: timesofmalta.com, 16-Sep-2014)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Air Malta adding a third weekly flight to Djerba

Air Malta announced today that it will be increasing its schedule between Malta and Djerba with an additional weekly frequency every Tuesday with effect from Sep. 16th. The Maltese airline will therefore be operating three weekly flights to/from the Tunisian city every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. (Source: maltatoday.com.mt, 11-Sep-2014)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Finnair to offer seasonal services to Malta next year

Next summer Finnair will add seasonal flights to Malta International Airport from Finland's capital Helsinki, with timetables designed for optimal connections with Finnair's network of Asian destinations. Service to Malta begins Apr. 2nd and lasts until late October. Flights to Malta IAP will operate twice a week - Mondays and Thursdays - with A321 Sharklet aircraft. (Source: maltatoday.com, 9-Sep-2014)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

M.I.A. plc releases traffic results for August 2014

Malta IAP hosted 8.6% more passengers in August than it did during the same month last year welcoming 551,179 passengers. 

CEO M. Klaushofer said the growth was the result of an unprecedented increase in the number of aircraft seats being taken up, resulting in a seat load factor of 86.5%. Seat capacity increased by 6.6%, while flight movements rose by 5.1%.

"August's success was due to marked growth in some of the airport's major markets, namely the U.K., France, Germany and Italy," he said. Italy saw the highest growth - an increase of 16.5% due to the new routes added for the summer. Traffic from Germany and France grew by 10.4% and 9.1% respectively, followed by the U.K which grew by 8.7%.

The maximum take-off weight increased by 7.1% and cargo mail increased by 4.6%. 

Between January and August, MIA hosted more than 2.9 million passengers resulting in an eight per cent increase over the same months last year. (Source: timesofmalta.com, 5-Sep-2014)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Egyptian AF confirms a K-8E for static display at 2014 Malta International Airshow

For the first time ever in the history of the Malta International Airshow, Egypt will be participating with a K-8E trainer in the static display. 

The K-8E Karakorum is a two-seat intermediate jet trainer and light attack aircraft designed in the People's Republic of China by China Nanchang Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation. The primary contractor for this plane is the Hongdu Aviation Industry Corporation.

The K-8 variant was developed for export to Egypt in 1999, featuring 33 modifications to the airframe and avionics. Built in Egypt from Chinese-supplied kits, production of 80 Egyptian-built Chinese kits was completed in 2005, with license production of an additional 40 K-8Es undertaken thereafter. (Source: maltairshow.com, 2-Sep-2014)

Monday, September 1, 2014

Hellenic AF cancels its participation at 2014 Malta International Airshow

The Hellenic Air Force has informed us that the F-4E Phantom II from the Hellenic Air Force has cancelled its participation for the static display in this year's edition of the airX Malta International Airshow. The Malta Aviation Society continues to work on other possible participants as we approach the event, now with less than 25 days from the 2014 airX Malta International Airshow. (Source: maltairshow.com, 1-Sep-2014)

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Malta-based Air X adds two B735s to its fleet

Malta-based air charter company airX has added two 44-seat Boeing 737-500 aircraft to its fleet. They are configured for executive business charter for larger groups such as government delegations, football teams and bands, company chairman J.B. Matthews said today.

Speaking during the launch of the 2014 Malta International Airshow 2014, of which airX is the title sponsor, Mr Matthews  said the company had signed Southampton FC as a client for the B735s for the forthcoming football season. 

"airX is increasingly becoming the air charter operator of choice for more and more A-list celebrities and VIPs. At the last count, our famous passenger list totalled over 100 celebrities and VIPs," he said. (Source: timesofmalta.com, 21-Aug-2014)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Jet 2 to operate Glasgow-Malta service from next summer

British low-cost airline Jet2 has announced it will operate a Malta-Glasgow service as from summer next year. The airline also announced new services from Glasgow to Prague, Cyprus and Antalya in Turkey. Jet2 is a subsidiary of the Dart Group PLC. It operates Boeing 737-800s and Boeing 757-200s. (Source: timesofmalta.com, 13-Aug-2014)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Italy's Guardia Costiera confirms participation at 2014 Malta International Airshow

The Guardia Costiera Italiana officially known as The Italian Corps of the Port Captaincies and Italian Coast Guard to some of us, has confirmed that an AugustaWestland AW-139 helicopter shall participate in this year's edition of the airX Malta International Airshow with a static display. 

The AgustaWestland AW139 is a 15-seat medium sized twin-engined helicopter developed and produced principally by AgustaWestland. The Guardia Costiera AW139 role is that of Search and Rescue. The Italian Coast Guard has 4 Aw139's, with deliveries taking place between July 2010 and February 2011. (Source: maltairshow.com, 13-Aug-2014)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Air Malta secures its European AOC

Air Malta has announced it has secured its European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)-sanctioned Air Operators Certificate (AOC) from the Maltese Civil Aviation Directorate of Transport. All European-based carriers are expected to have secured their respective EASA AOCs by Oct. 28th of this year.

"The extensive process for applying and obtaining regulatory approval involved a gap analysis between the current and new legislation. In order to comply with the new Regulations and transition to an EASA AOC, Air Malta was required to perform a thorough review of all policies and procedures," Air Malta said.

Among the certification's new measures is the introduction of a Safety Management System (SMS), which replaces the current Accident Prevention and Flight Safety Programme. The airline says it introduced SMS earlier this year in winter and in the process changed its safety processes and held appropriate SMS training for its entire workforce. (Source: ch-aviation.com, 12-Aug-2014)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Ryanair's Malta-bound flight from Madrid diverts to Trapani

A Ryanair Boeing B737-800 (EI-ENP), operating flight FR-5383 from Madrid-Barajas to Malta Int'l Airport, had to divert to Trapani in Sicily this afternoon after a passenger fell sick on board. The flight was due at Malta IAP at 1311lt. The flight then continued to Malta IAP landing at 1452lt.

WizzAir to start Warsaw-Malta service in April 2015

WizzAir on Wednesday announced planned expansion at Warsaw Chopin Airport in 2015, which sees the introduction of 5th based aircraft and 8 new routes. Amongst the planned new routes is the launching of a weekly flight between Warsaw and Malta IAP with effect from Apr. 5th, 2015. (Source: WizzAir, 6-Aug-2014)

M.I.A. plc releases traffic results for July 2014

Malta IAP hosted a record 511,243 passengers in July, marking an increase of 8.5% when compared to the same month last year.

These figures reinforce M.I.A. plc's decision to revise its forecast for the rest of the year. CEO M. Klaushofer announced last week that the aiRport was now expecting a year-on-year growth of 4.2%, revised from 2% originally forecast in January. This followed six record months which accounted for more than 1.8 million passenger movements.

July's figures were due to an overall seat capacity increase of 8.2% and a 0.2% increase in seat load factor, reaching 82.8% for the month. Aircraft movements for the month rose by 8.2%.

Traffic from the U.K. grew by 9.4% in July, as a result of the increased capacity to and from London-Gatwick. Traffic from Italy and France rose by 15% and 19.9% respectively, due to further growth in these markets over the July period. Traffic to and from Germany increased by 6.1%. (Source: maltairport.com, 5-Aug-2014)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Air Malta to launch scheduled services to Djerba, Tunisia

Air Malta will introduce scheduled services to Djerba airport in Tunisia with effect from this Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014. This decision was taken due to increased passenger demand from this airport due to the situation in Libya. The Air Malta flights will be operated twice weekly every Thursday and Sunday till Oct. 23, 2014. (Source: Air Malta, 6-Aug-2014)

AFM inaugurates their new twin engine AW-139 helo

The Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) this morning proudly inaugurated their new twin engine AW-139 helicopter (AS1428) at Air Wing Base, Luqa.  

Following an inspection of the Honour Guard, AFM Commander Brig. J. Curmi addressed those present. He said that "The acquisition of the AW-139 is a milestone in Malta's Military aviation history. This new rotary wing aircraft will increase safety standards for AFM personnel and provide superior capabilities for night operations and poor weather conditions."

The Hon. Dr E. Mallia, Minister for Home Affairs and National Security, expressed deep satisfaction with this project and said that "this is not only proof of the government's commitment towards the AFM but is also indicative of Malta's border and security policy." Dr Mallia also mentioned the operational advantages of possessing an air asset of such high caliber and took the opportunity to thank the families of military personnel that work on these assets around the clock.

The AW-139 costed around 15 million Euros and was purchased with the help of E.U. funds through the External Border Control with a co-financing rate of 75% E.U. funds and 25% National Funds.  This is the first of two aircraft which have been purchased by the AFM with the second helicopter expected in December. (Source: Armed Forces of Malta)

Thursday, July 24, 2014

ATAC L-39 on static display at the 2014 Malta International Airshow

The Team on the Malta International Airshow 2014 is proud to confirm yet another participant with non-standard attributes. An L-39ZA from U.S. commercial company ATAC has agreed to provide one jet for static display. The nicely-camouflaged L-39 is mainly used for supporting air forces in various roles and ATAC is currently also operating in Germany supporting US Forces in Europe.

ATAC (Airborne Tactical Advantage Company) comprises the world's largest out-sourced civilian, tactical airborne training organization and is proud to provide the highest-quality live training to fleets, squadrons and battalions that put their lives on the line every day in the name of freedom.

The L-39 Albatros is a widely flown trainer/light attack aircraft similar in mission to the Italian MB339. Until now is in service with various former Soviet allies. The basic trainer is not armed, but has two underwing pylons for drop tanks and practice weapons. Light-attack variants have four underwing hardpoints for ground attack stores; the ZA also has an underfuselage gun pod. (Source: maltairshow.com, 24-Jul-2014)

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Air Malta and Etihad Airways expand code-share partnership

Air Malta and Etihad Airways have expanded their code-share agreement to provide travellers with improved connections between Europe, the GCC region and Australia. 

The two airlines extended their partnership to coincide with the launch of Etihad Airways’ service between Abu Dhabi and Rome this week. Air Malta is placing its ‘KM’ code and flight number on the new route, while Etihad Airways is placing its ‘EY’ code and flight number of Air Malta’s non-stop service between Rome and Malta.

In addition, Air Malta’s code and flight number will be placed on Etihad Airways’ services from Abu Dhabi to Australia for the first time, covering the UAE carrier’s existing flights to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, as well as Perth, which also launched this week.

The expanded agreement follows the success of Air Malta’s existing code-share on Etihad Airways’ flights between Abu Dhabi and London Heathrow, Brussels and Manchester. (Source: Etihad Airways, 17-Jul-2014)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Medavia's Dash 8 9H-AEY damaged in Tripoli airport

A Maltese-registered Dash 8 belonging to the Maltese-Libyan airline Medavia was damaged during the fighting in Tripoli airport. The aircraft was hit late yesterday. The damaged, to the fuselage, is still being assessed. Several other aircraft were damaged by bullets and shrapnel. The airport is currently closed. (Source: timesofmalta.com, 15-Jul-2014)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Air Malta flights to Tripoli to remain suspended

Air Malta said today that Tripoli airport is expected to remain closed for a number of days because of security concerns and its service to the Libyan capital will therefore remain suspended. The airline said it would resume services when it is safe and secure to do so. Customers booked onflights to Tripoli are being offered a full refund of their tickets or the possibility to change their date of departure for free. Air Malta’s flights to Benghazi are also suspended following the closure of the airport in May. (Source: timesofmalta.com, 14-Jul-2014)

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Hi Fly Malta gets U.S. carrier permit

Malta-based Hi Fly Malta has been granted a U.S. Foreign Carrier Permit from the U.S. Department of Transportation, enabling it to operate passenger flights between Europe and the United States. Hi Fly Malta, which focuses on charters and wet lease of aircraft recently returned its only aircraft, a leased A340-500, but plans to acquire two Airbus A333-200s. (Source: timesofmalta.com, 8-Jul-2014)

Friday, July 4, 2014

RAF confirms participation in the static display at 2014 Malta International Airshow

The Royal Air Force, having already confirmed its participation by way of the Red Arrows (Sunday only) and the Tucano in the flying display programme, has informed us that for static display there will be an additional Tucano from RAF Linton-on-Ouse, a Beech 200 King Air from RAF Cranwell, two Hawk T.1s from RAF Valley and at least two Tornado GR4s from RAF Lossiemouth, in Scotland.

The RAF is the only air force that has consistently participated with foreign-based aircraft all through the 22 years of the Malta International Airshow, for which the Malta Aviation Society is very grateful and is yet one more way of displaying the long-standing relationship between Malta and the Royal Air Force. (Source: maltairshow.com, 4-Jul-2014)

M.I.A. plc releases traffic results for Jan-to-Jun 2014

Malta International Airport has already welcomed over 1.8 million passengers from January to date. The increase registered was of 7.7%, when compared to the same period last year. Positive results were registered in all source markets, with France registering the highest growth of 17.9%. The United Kingdom remains the largest market, maintaining first position with a growth of 6.7%.  

Significant growth was also registered by the Italian market were improved results on existing routes and traffic on new routes Parma and Venice contributed further to this growth.  Libya also showed signs of recovery during this period securing fifth place. Overall Seat Load Factor for the first six months of the year was increased by 0.5%, reaching an average of 75.6%.
In June, the number of passengers increased by 3% in comparison to the same month in the previous year. Seat Load Factor in June was slightly lower, by 0.8%. Seat Capacity increased by 4.1%. Aircraft movements increased by 5.3%. 

Meanwhile in June, the United Kingdom continued to lead as the biggest market, increasing its passengers by 3.7%. The highest growth for the month was registered by France at 19.4%, standing at the fourth biggest market. This was a direct result of an increase in traffic from Paris airports, together with the growth generated from the recently introduced route to the western French city of Nantes. 

Similar to the previous month, The Netherlands remained in the same position, registering an increase of 6%. Whilst the German market generated substantial increases from routes such as Frankfurt, the overall decline from this market is directly related to the fact that the Cruise and Fly operation started later. For the period under review, Cargo and Mail registered a positive increase of 3.6%. (Source: maltairport.com, 3-Jul-2014)

Friday, June 27, 2014

Lufthansa flight to Malta diverts to Rome to offload sick passenger

Lufthansa’s flight to Malta from Frankfurt this afternoon was diverted to Rome where it made an emergency landing to offload a sick passenger, a spokesman for the airline said. The Airbus A320, which left Frankfurt at 1322, will continue on its way to Malta after refuelling. Originally due in Malta at 1545, the flight is now expected to arrive at 1925. (Source: timesofmalta.com, 27-Jun-2014)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Air Berlin A320 diverts to Malta IAP

An Air Berlin Airbus 320-200 (D-ABDQ), performing flight AB-8886 from Munich (Germany) to Catania-Fontanarossa (Italy), had to divert to Malta IAP this afternoon around 1455lt due to volcanic ash cloud on eastern Sicily. The aircraft continued with its flight to Catania-Fontanarossa after a tech-stop at Malta IAP. (14-Jun-2014)

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Armed Forces of Malta takes delivery its first brand new helicopter, an AW-139

Today is a historic day for the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) as for the first time in its history, it received a brand new multipurpose helicopter, an Agusta Westland AW-139, designed specifically around the operational requirements of the service. Visibly happy, AFM personnel inspected their new aircraft once it landed at the Malta International Airport a few hours ago. For logistics officers involved in this EU co-financed project as well as for operational airmen, it was a very special day seeing a brand new helicopter gracing the apron of their base. (Source: AFM, 14-Jun-2014)

Turkish Cargo A332 freighter diverts to Malta IAP

A Turkish Cargo Airbus 330-200 freighter (TC-JDO), performing flight TK-6733 from Istanbul-Atatürk (Turkey) to Misratah (Libya), had to divert to Malta International Airport this morning around 0710lt due to low visibility at destination. The freighter continued with its flight to Misratah after 1.5-hrs on the ground (14-Jun-2014)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Hermes Aviation starts operations with a single B734

Hermes Aviation (FlyHermes.com) started operations with this single Boeing 737-4K5 registered as 9H-HER (msn 24901). The airliner was delivered on May 26, 2014. The first revenue flight was on  Jun. 6, 2014. (Source: worldairlinenews.com, 8-Jun-2014)

Thursday, June 5, 2014

M.I.A. plc releases traffic results for May 2014

Malta IAP this year registered a significant increase in May traffic, welcoming a total of 402,289 passengers. This marks a 6.4% rise in passenger movements compared to last year. May’s figures were due to an added seat capacity of 4.9%. Seat Load factor increased by 1.1%, reaching an overall 76.5% for the month.

Traffic from the U.K. grew by 8.9%, as a result of the growth being experienced in London-Gatwick as well as regional airports in the U.K.. Traffic from France improved by 21.4% following the growth on Paris flights by Air Malta and the introduction of a new Transavia route from Nantes. 

Growth in travels towards and from Italy also rose significantly by 13.9%, retaining its place as an ever-popular European destination, while traffic to and from Germany achieved a similar result to 2013. A 9.1% increase in traffic towards the Netherlands resulted in this country featuring for the first time as our fifth top destination.

Malta International Airport also saw significant growth from emerging markets Turkey, Hungary and Lithuania.

Overall, aircraft movements for the month rose by 6.5%, which was reflected in an increase of 24,341 passengers, when compared to the corresponding period of last year. (Source: maltairport.com, 4-Jun-2014)

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Malta's Hermes Aviation eyes Malta-Italy market

Hermes Aviation has taken delivery of a first aircraft, ex-Blue Panorama Airlines B737-400, 9H-HER (msn 24901), into Malta earlier this week according to Skyliner Aviation. While little details have so far emerged about the start-up's plans, it is reportedly planning to launch scheduled services linking the island state with several destinations in Italy. (Source: ch-aviation.com, 31-May-2014)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Air Malta A319 lands safely at Malta IAP after reporting a flaps problem

An Air Malta plane had an emergency last night when it was unable to deploy its flaps while landing in Malta. The aircraft was flying in from Frankfurt. 

Air Malta confirmed the incident. It said that as a precautionary measure the captain advised emergency services to be on standby and advised the passengers accordingly. The aircraft performed a normal landing after the crew completed the required procedure.

The Air Malta spokesman said that the airline's crew are routinely trained for such eventualities. The aircraft has been serviced by the airline’s engineers and will re-enter service this morning. (Source: timesofmalta.com, 19-May-2014)

Friday, May 16, 2014

Polish Navy confirms participation at 2014 Malta International Airshow

In the 2014 edition of the Malta International Airshow Poland will participate with a Polish Navy M28 Bryza that shall be taking part in the static display. This will be the third time that Poland will participate in the Malta Airshow after taking part in the 2011 and 2013 editions.  

The Bryza is one of the many variants of the An-28, the Bryza is the Maritime Patrol reconnaissance variant (equipped with: 360° Search and Surveillance Radar ASR-400, Link-11 datalink). Used mainly for sea border patrolling, search and rescue operations and protection of the national economical sea zone. (Source: maltairshow.com, 16-May-2014)

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Lufthansa A321 in scare as smoke detector goes off at Malta IAP

A Lufthansa Airbus A321 caused a scare at Malta IAP this afternoon when a smoke detection alarm in the hold went off. The aircraft stopped on the runway as soon as it landed after a flight from Frankfurt. Fire teams were dispatched to the spot but there appeared to be no fire. Passengers disembarked on the runway. Chutes were not used. Airport operations resumed after a few minutes. The aircraft was taken to Lufthansa Tecknik for an inspection. The departure from Malta to Frankfurt at 4.50pm was cancelled. (Source: timesofmalta.com, 15-May-2014)

Friday, May 9, 2014

Germany confirms participation at 2014 Malta International Airshow

Germany will be increasing its participation this year with both the German Navy and the Air Force making a presence. The German Navy has confirmed a Do228 and a P-3 and the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) will be sending a Tornado from JG33. All three aircraft will be in the static display line and this is a most welcomed return of the German Air Force to the Malta International Airshow after an absence of a number of years. (Source: maltairshow, 9-May-2014)

Monday, May 5, 2014

M.I.A. plc releases traffic results for April 2014

Malta IAP, in April, hosted a total of 376,935 passengers, resulting in an increase of 13.7% when compared to the same period last year. The U.K. continues to lead as the biggest market, increasing its passengers arriving on Malta by 14.8%. Germany and France registered even higher growth at 21.6% and 21.4% respectively. 

Meanwhile, aircraft movements for April increased by 11.1%. This mirrored the increase of 11.7% in seat capacity which reached 491,856, when compared to the corresponding period of the previous year. Seat Load Factor registered an increase of 1.3%, while the maximum take-off weight (MTOW) increased by 10.5% when compared to 2013 figures. Cargo and mail registered a decline of 8.7% over the previous year. (Source: maltairport.com, 5-May-2014)

Friday, April 25, 2014

RAF's 'Red Arrows' confirms participation at 2014 Malta International Airshow

In a strong show of support by Great Britain and the Royal Air Force, the Red Arrows will be performing one show at this year’s Malta International Airshow. The Team has been to the Island several times but this year marks a double celebration for both Malta and the Red Arrows as together they have reached the 50 year milestone – Malta as an independent nation and the Red Arrows from their first-ever display.  

To the Malta Aviation Society and the Malta International Airshow this also marks a new height in the number of participating teams as the official confirmation by the Red Arrows means that for the first time ever there will be more than two national display teams lined up to offer a great spectacle in Malta’s skies. The Reds will be arriving Saturday afternoon after a display in Greece to get the jets prepared for the Sunday show. (Source: maltairshow.com, 25-Apr-2014)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Wizz Air to launch Gdansk-Malta route on June 20

Wizz Air, the largest low-cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe today announced a new route from Gdansk to Malta which will be operated from June 20, 2014, two times a week, on Mondays and Fridays. (Source: Wizz Air, 22-Apr-2014)

Vueling to add seasonal Sevilla-Malta service between June and August 2014

Vueling from 27-Jun-14 to 30-Aug-14 is introducing Sevilla-Malta service, offering twice weekly flights (Mondays/Tuesdays and Fridays/Saturdays) on board Airbus A320 aircraft. The flight from Sevilla (VY8872) departs at 2359lt, arriving at Malta at 0240lt the following day. The return flight (VY8873) from Malta departs at 0350lt arriving at Seville at 0645lt. (Source: airlineroute.net, 21-Apr-2014)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Air Malta dry leases A320 to Monarch Airlines

Air Malta dry leased one of its Airbus A320-200 (c/n. 2142, ex 9H-AEF) to U.K. carrier Monarch Airlines. The A320, now re-registered as G-ZBAR, departed for the last time form Malta IAP this afteroon on its ferry flight (by Monarch) to Birmingham IAP (U.K.). (23-Apr-2014)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Transavia flight from Nantes welcomed to Malta IAP

Malta International Airport this morning welcomed the first weekly flight from Nantes, France operated by Transavia, a French low-cost company created by Air France and KLM Group. Passengers were welcomed by dancers in traditional Maltese costumes and were given a flower, courtesy of the Malta Tourism Authority. A cake was also prepared for the occasion highlighting aspects of Malta and Nantes as well as the Transavia brand. (Source: maltairport.com, 22-Apr-2014)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Air Malta flight from London-Heathrow cancelled due to technical issues

An Air Malta flight from London-Heathrow was cancelled last night due to technical issues. Passengers were provided with hotel accommodation and transport to and from the airport, a spokesman for the airline said. He said that 60 passengers will be returning to Malta early this afternoon and another ten this evening. (Source: timesofmalta.com)