Saturday, December 24, 2016

Air Malta to discontinue its Manchester route next summer

As of May 2017, Air Malta will be discontinuing its Manchester route to focus on other, more profitable ones, the national airline said in a statement. Air Malta said that it will be increasing frequencies on Munich, Brussels, Amsterdam, Vienna, Zurich, Rome, Catania, Lyon, Palermo, Prague and Moscow.
 


"Air Malta is focusing its efforts on its best performers and will operate with up to double daily flights in peak summer to Munich, Rome and Catania," Air Malta said. "Next summer, Air Malta will be operating 150 weekly flights to 29 destinations and planning to carry 1.2 million passengers while continue operating with a fleet of eight aircraft similar to this year," it added. (Source: maltatoday.com, 23-Dec-2016)

Afriqiyah A320 diverts to Malta IAP after hijacked by two pax

An Afriqiyah Airways Airbus A320-200 (5A-ONB), performing flight 8U-209 from Sebha to Tripoli (Libya) with 111 passengers and six crew, was en route at FL340 nearing the top of descent into Tripoli when the aircraft did not start the descent but changed the course to Malta due to unlawful interference on board.

The aircraft landed safely on Malta's RWY 31 about 40-mins later at 11:32L (10:32Z). The aircraft taxied onto RWY 23 and stopped 850m short of the runway end of that runway. Engines were still running 90-mins after landing and were subsequently shut down.

Malta's government reported two hijackers claiming to be armed with hand grenades took control of the aircraft and that negotiations with the hijackers were under way.

Malta's Prime Minister reported at 14:50L that all passengers and some crew members have been released, only the two hijackers and some crew were still on board of the aircraft.

At 15:45L Malta's Prime Minister reported that the hijackers surrendered and were taken into custody. All people aboard the aircraft have disembarked.

Police later reported the weapons (hand grenade and pistols) were dummies. (Source: avherald.com, 23-Dec-2016)

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Emirates to fly daily between Dubai and Malta via Cyprus from Feb. 1st

Emirates is to re-route its daily service between Dubai and Malta via Larnaca, Cyprus, from Feb. 1st, 2017. The current five-days-a-week Dubai/Tunis/Malta/Dubai route will be changed to Dubai/Larnaca/Malta/Larnaca/Dubai, the same as the current flight operating every Monday and Wednesday.

The Malta route allows travellers to book tickets between Malta and Cyprus. The service will be operated by Boeing 777-300ER aircraft in a three-class configuration, with eight private suites in First Class, 42 lie flat seats in Business Class, and 310 spacious seats in Economy Class. 

Starting Feb. 1st, EK-109 will depart Dubai at 0750, arriving in Larnaca at 1020. It will then depart Larnaca at 1150, arriving in Malta at 1325. The return flight, EK-110, will leave Malta at 1455, arriving in Larnaca at 1815. It will then depart Larnaca at 1930, and land in Dubai at 0125 the next day. (Source: timesofmalta.com, 22-Dec-2016)

Wizz Air to launch Katowice-Malta service in summer 2017

Wizz Air, the largest low-cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe, announced a new summer route from Katowice (Poland) to Malta with effect from Mar. 10th, 2017. This new route will be offered twice weekly, on Mondays and Fridays. (Source: routesonline.com, 22-Dec-2016)

Malta IAP celebrates its five millionth passenger this year

Malta International Airport today celebrated its five millionth passenger this year, marking a new milestone in its aviation history.

This means that the airport increased its annual traffic by one million passengers in three years and gains further significance when considering that the airport went from three million passengers to four million between 2008 and 2013.

"This is a remarkable accomplishment for us, especially since not long ago, the numbers reached today were inconceivable for Malta. Our five millionth passenger is welcomed as a testament to the hard work put in by all industry stakeholders," said Malta IAP CEO, A. Borg. 

"With this new milestone under our belt, we now shoulder added responsibilities that inevitably stem from these numbers. At the top of our priority list is doubtlessly the need to constantly invest in infrastructure that is fitting for Malta's only air terminal," Mr Borg added.

While encouraging everyone to continue to pursue service excellence in the coming year, Mr Borg went on to thank the team at Malta International Airport and all stakeholders who were crucial in achieving this milestone. (Source: maltairport.com, 21-Dec-2016)

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Wizz Air to launch Cluj-Malta service in summer 2017

Wizz Air yesterday announced planned service expansion from its Cluj base in Romania, scheduled to commence in summer 2017 season. Planned new service includes the launching of four routes from March 2017. One of the new routes being Cluj will be to Malta IAP (effective from Mar. 26th). This new route will be offered twice weekly, on Wednesdays and Sundays (Source: routeonline.com, 14-Dec-2016)

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Alitalia & Air Malta begins codeshare service

Alitalia and Air Malta today will commence reciprocal codeshare partnership, covering 34 routes between Italy and Malta, as well as within and beyond Italy. Planned codeshare routes as follow:

Flights operated by Alitalia: Catania – Bologna, Milan-Linate – Alghero, Milan-Linate – Brindisi, Milan-Linate – Cagliari, Milan-Linate – Frankfurt, Milan-Linate – London City, Milan-Linate – Pescara, Milan-Linate – Rome, Rome – Amsterdam, Rome – Ancona, Rome – Bari, Rome – Bologna, Rome – Brindisi,
Rome – Cagliari, Rome – Catania, Rome – Florence, Rome – Geneve, Rome – Genoa, Rome – Lamezia Terme, Rome – Malta, Rome – Naples, Rome – Nice, Rome – Palermo, Rome – Paris-CDG, Rome – Pisa, Rome – Reggio di Calabria, Rome – Trieste, Rome – Turin, Rome – Venice and Rome – Verona 

Flights operated by Air Malta: Malta – Catania, Malta – Milan-Linate, Malta – Palermo and Malta – Rome. (Source: routeonline, 12-Dec-2016)

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

M.I.A. plc releases traffic results for November 2016

The winter season opened on excellent footing at Malta International Airport, with November registering a staggering growth of 22.4% over the same month last year.

This is by far the highest monthly increase for 2016, going on to displace March’s 19% growth rate from the top spot. November’s spurt augurs well for the key stakeholders in the industry’s stepped up efforts, to ensure that the Maltese islands are an attractive, year-round holiday destination.

This growth in passenger movements was recorded in parallel with an upturn of 17% in aircraft movements and an increased seat capacity of 21.3%. This increase partly stemmed from the airport’s enhanced winter schedule, offering no less than 18 new connections for the season.

Airlines were also more efficient in filling up the available seats, with November having registered a seat load factor (SLF) of 82.4%. In absolute terms, the airport gained more than 63,000 passengers over the same month last year.

The airport’s top five markets all grew by varying degrees and featured a newcomer. Belgium made an appearance in this list for the first time, following increased connectivity to Brussels.

Outside of the top five markets, and in line with the airport’s strategy to recoup traffic from the Iberian Peninsula, Spain continued to grow at an impressive rate. The Spanish market’s 87% upturn resulted from the introduction of a twice-weekly flight to Valencia, increased operations to both Madrid and Barcelona, and Girona’s extension into the winter period.

November’s results further enhance Malta International Airport’s optimism for the winter period, as the airport focuses on welcoming 5 million passengers before the year is through. (Source: maltairport, Dec-2016)

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Air Malta launches its 2017 summer schedule

Air Malta is planning to operate 150 weekly flights to 29 destinations next summer. With this schedule, running from the Mar. 26th till Oct. 28, 2017, the Maltese airline is planning to carry 1.2 million passengers while continue operating with a fleet of eight aircraft similar to this year.

Air Malta's summer 2017 schedule sees the airline operate increased frequencies on Munich, Brussels, Amsterdam, Vienna, Zurich, Rome, Catania, Lyon, Palermo, Prague and Moscow. The airline will operate with up to double daily flights in peak summer to Munich, Rome and Catania. 

Next summer Air Malta will decrease some frequencies for all or part of the season on London Gatwick, Berlin, Manchester and Geneva and dropping Athens and Frankfurt. However the airline will still retain its code-share flights to Frankfurt where Lufthansa will be the operating carrier with two daily flights.

The airline will continue code-sharing agreements with Air France, Alitalia, Aeroflot, Austrian Airlines, Emirates, Etihad, KLM, Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines, Czech Airlines, Meridiana, Swiss Airlines and Turkish Airlines. These agreements expand Air Malta's network to other markets worldwide. 

This summer schedule will maximise opportunities, increase efficiency and make flights more attractive, both for travellers from Malta as well as for the tourists visiting the islands next summer. 

"We have focused on our core routes; increasing frequencies on them whilst decreasing or stopping operations to low performing ones. We have increased frequencies to the most convenient international airports enabling our guests to fly when they want with the least ground transportation costs possible. Our strategy to increase frequencies will translate into better opportunities for short-break visitors, growth in tourism numbers to Malta, whilst operating with increasing aircraft utilisation", said J. Galea Air Malta’s Acting Chief Executive.

"We are determined to continue maximising our limited resources to achieve better operational efficiency and reap the best opportunities from our route network. We pride to operate the best conveniently timed flight schedule and route network to and from Malta by operating to the best airports that offer connections far and beyond Air Malta's network though our code-share partners", added Mr Galea.

Next summer Air Malta will also continue being the largest charter operator to/from Malta and is planning an interesting program for Maltese and foreign operators. Discussions with charter operators are currently underway. (Source: Air Malta, 30-Nov-2016)

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Malta's Hi Fly A343 hits an air bridge at Amsterdam-Schiphol

A Hi Fly Airbus A340-300 (9H-TQM) was damaged at Amsterdam-Schiphol International Airport in the Netherlands when the no.2 engine contacted the air bridge at gate G6. The aircraft had arrived as flight ferry flight AB-107P from Berlin-Tegel Airport, Germany and was due to operate flight OR-341 to Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic on behalf of TUI Airlines Netherlands. (Source: aviation-safety.net, 21-Nov-2016)

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Communications glitch causes seven Air Malta flights to delay

Seven Air Malta flights departing from Malta IAP were delayed this morning following a disruption in the airline's international communications network.
 


The affected flights, destined for Milan, Rome, Charles de Gaulle, Heathrow, Gatwick, Munich and Amsterdam, were delayed for 15-mins to three hours as a result of a computer link in the airline's international communications network which dropped. 

This meant that all passengers had to be checked in manually – a time consuming process – an Air Malta spokesperson told MaltaToday.
 
"The network has since been restored and operations are back to normal now. We apologise for the inconvenience caused," he said, while adding that it was an issue beyond the airline’s control. (Source: maltatoday, 10-Nov-2016)

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

M.I.A. plc release traffic results for/up to October 2016

Summer closed on a sunny note for Malta IAP, registering 3,645,812 passenger movements, which translate into a 6.3% growth.

During the summer period — which for the aviation industry stretches from the end of March until the end of October — the airport hosted over 210,000 passengers more than it did during the same period in 2015. These figures mark Malta IAP's busiest summer yet.

This increase was registered on the back of an upturn of 4.3% in seat capacity and an improved seat load factor, which climbed up to 85% from 83.3% in summer 2015. Moreover, a rise of 1.4% was also recorded in aircraft
movements.

The top five markets for the summer months were the U.K., Italy, Germany, France and Poland. A spike in passenger numbers of 46% put Polands growth well above that registered by the other four markets. While the U.K. and Germany both recorded an increase of 3%, the French market grew by 5% and Italy registered a more significant 11%.

Looking back at October shows that this month grew by 10.4% over 2015 to host over half a million passengers for the first time ever.

October's list of top drivers of traffic largely reflected the one for the summer months, with the U.K. (4%) holding to its top spot, followed by Italy (23%), Germany (18%), France (5%), and Switzerland (25%). 

The varying rates of growth for these markets in October stemmed from the launch of a number of new routes, enhanced operations to destinations such as Zurich, and a better seat load factor on flights to Amsterdam and Turkey. Moreover, an improvement of 2.5% brought October's seat load factor up to 86%. (Source: maltairport.com, 7-Nov-2016)

Friday, November 4, 2016

Ryanair's Malta-bound flight from Brussels diverts to Pisa

A Ryanair B737-800 (EI-DCW), performing flight FR-2906 from Brussels (Belgium) to Malta IAP (Malta) had to divert to Pisa (Italy) last night after a fight broke out between passengers on board. After a number of passengers were removed from the aircraft in Pisa, the flight continued to Malta, reaching destination with a delay of 1-hr on its original scheduled time. (4-Nov-2016)

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Ryanair launches new route Malta IAP-Toulouse

Ryanair launched today its new route between Malta IAP and Toulouse (France). The first scheduled flight, operated with Boeing B737-800 (EI-EVF), departed from Malta IAP (FR-3008) at 0750lt. The return flight from Toulouse landed at Malta IAP (FR-3009) at (sta 1240) 1248lt. Ryanair will be operating this route twice-weekly. (3-Nov-2016)

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Ryanair launches new route Valencia-Malta IAP

Ryanair launched today its new route between Valencia (Spain) and Malta IAP. The first scheduled flight, operated with Boeing B737-800 (EI-EBP), landed at Malta IAP (FR-7212) at 1516lt. The return flight to Valencia (FR-7213) departed from Malta IAP at 1621lt. Ryanair will be operating this new route twice weekly. (2-Nov-2016)

Ryanair launches new route Malta IAP-Nuremberg

Ryanair launched today its new route between Malta IAP and Nuremberg (Germany). The first scheduled flight, operated with Boeing B737-800 (EI-ESO), departed from Malta IAP (FR-2561) at 1738lt. The return flight from Nuremberg landed at Malta IAP (FR-2562) at 2306lt. Ryanair will be operating this route twice-weekly. (1-Nov-2016)

Ryanair's Malta-bound flight from London-Stansted diverts to Bologna

A Ryanair B737-800 (EI-DLV), performing flight FR-8853 from London-Stansted (U.K.) to Malta IAP (Malta) had to divert to Bologna (Italy) this evening due to medical emergency on board. The aircraft then continued with its flight to Malta IAP reaching destination with a delay of 1.5-hrs on its original scheduled time. (1-Nov-2016)

Monday, October 31, 2016

Ryanair launches three new routes from or to Malta IAP

Ryanair launched today three 'new' routes from or to Malta IAP.

The Catania and Brussels routes were both launched from Malta IAP - both operated with Boeing B737-800 (EI-EVP). Malta-Catania flight departed from Malta IAP at 1340lt and returned back at 1524lt, while the Malta-Brussels flight departed from Malta IAP at 1658lt and returned back at 2257lt. 

On the other hand, the route from Vilnius, operated with Boeing B737-800 (EI-FOV), landed at Malta IAP at 1844lt and re-departed after turnaround at 1935lt.

This winter season, Ryanair will be offering the Catania and Brussels routes on a daily basis, while the Vilnius route only once weekly, on Sundays. (30-Oct-2016)

Monday, October 24, 2016

CAE Aviation SW4 crashes shortly after take-off from Malta IAP

A Fairchild SA227-AT Metroliner (N577MX) registered in the United States and leased to Luxembourg company CAE Aviation has crashed this morning shortly after taking-off from RWY 13 at Malta International Airport. The crash happened around 0720lt on the road (Triq l-Industrija, Kirkop) just outside the airport perimeter fence, very close to the spotter's wall.

Malta IAP's Fire and Rescue Services were quickly dispatched to crash scene to control the blazing aircraft full of fuel. These were soon joined by members from the Civil Protection Department, several ambulances and police oficers. The Police later reported that all five French people on board the aircraft were killed in the crash.

According to a press release by the Maltese Government's Deparment of Information, the flight was part of a French Customs surveillance operation which has been taking place for the past months, with the aim of tracing routes of illicit trafficking of all sorts, including human and drug trafficking. The said flight was registered with the Malta Air Traffic Services as a local flight and was to return to Malta within hours without landing in third countries. (Info from various sources / Photo: Edward Grech, 24-Oct-2016) (Video clip)

Sunday, October 9, 2016

M.I.A. plc releases traffic results for September 2016

September became the third consecutive month to register more than half a million passenger movements this year with a total of 531,962 passengers welcomed at Malta IAP. This translates to an increase of 5.8% over the same month in 2015.

September's upturn was bolstered by improved connectivity to the Maltese islands throughout the summer. Seat capacity, which indicates the number of seats available to Malta, registered a 4.2% rise over last year. Moreover, at 87.5%, September’s seat load factor experienced a growth of 1.3%, indicating that airlines were very efficient in filling up these available seats.

Malta's top drivers of traffic remain the U.K., Italy, Germany, France and Spain, with all five markets registering varying degrees of growth ranging from 2% to 14%. The growth of the French market mainly stems from an increased capacity to one of France's major airports, Paris-Orly. Furthermore, September marks Spain's third consecutive appearance among Malta IAP's top five markets, following added flights on the Madrid route.

Although they did not secure a spot among the top five markets last month, both Poland and Switzerland experienced a remarkable hike in passenger movements compared to 2015, amounting to 36% and 14%, respectively.

Up until the Sep. 30th, Malta IAP hosted 3,894,040 passengers – a growth of 7.5% over last year. Aircraft movements grew by 2.4% while seat capacity increased by 5.3%. The seat load factor also rose to 83.4% compared to 81.7% last year. (Source: maltairport.com, Oct-2016)

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Malta's Air X eyes U.S. charter flights

Air X has applied to the U.S. Department of Transportation for exemption authority as well as a Foreign Air Carrier Permit (FACP). The Maltese VIP charter specialist is seeking permission to operate charter flights ferrying persons, property and mail from any point or points behind any member state of the European Union, via any point or points in any member state and via intermediate points to any point or points in the United States and beyond. It intends to use "large aircraft" for its proposed services. (Source: ch-aviation.com, 4-Oct-2016)

Friday, September 30, 2016

Transavia to launch Munich-Malta service in summer 2017

Transavia, Air France-KLM's low-cost subsidiary, in summer 2017 season plans to offer flights on Munich-Malta route. The Munich-Malta-Munich will commence on Apr. 13th and will be offered twice weekly. (Source: routesonline.com, 29-Sep-2016)

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Ryanair to extend new winter routes to summer

The six new winter routes low cost airline Ryanair launched from Malta last April - to Brussels, Catania, Nuremberg, Toulouse, Valencia and Vilnius - will be retained year round, the airline said today. The new flights will be increasing the airline’s summer schedule by 20%, bringing the total number of routes to 42

The airline said it will operate the flights to Brussels and Catania daily, and to Nuremberg, Toulouse, Valencia and Vilnius twice weekly. It will also be increasing flight frequency to Dublin and East Midland and adding an aircraft to its Malta routes. (Source: timesofmalta.com, 27-Sep-2016)

Technical problem on Air Malta aircraft delays 7 flights

Seven Air Malta flights were delayed between one and five hours today due to a technical problem on an aircraft. The aircraft is currently being serviced by the airline's engineers.

A spokesman for the airline said the longest delay lasted five hours, impacting the flight to Rome (new departure time 1.30pm) The other delays were on the Birmingham route (two hours, 20 minutes, new departure time 8.30pm), Milan (two hours, new departure time 3.05pm), Cardiff (one hour, 40 minutes, new departure time 6.45pm), Vienna (one hour, 30 minutes, new departure time 5.50pm), Zurich (one hour, 15 minutes, new departure time 3.40pm) and Catania, (one hour, 10 minutes, new departure time 9.45pm).

Four of the flights had to be operated by the aircraft that was found to have a problem, the other delays were a result of a ripple effect. The problem was detected at around 5am when the aircraft was still in Malta.

A spokesman for the airline apologised to customers for the inconvenience but said safety was a priority for the company. (Source: timesofmalta.com, 27-Sep-2016)

Air X Charter adds maiden VIP-configured A340

Malta's Air X Charter has taken delivery of its first widebody aircraft, A340-300 9H-BIG (cn. 374), formerly 4R-ADF with SriLankan Airlines. The quadjet recently underwent reconfiguration into a VIP layout featuring 100 lie-flat seats and inflight Wi-fi. (Source: ch-aviation.com, 26-Sep-2016)

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Lufthansa Technik Malta, easyJet sign base maintenance contract

Lufthansa Technik Malta and easyJet have signed a five-year base maintenance contract for more than 100 Airbus A320 family aircraft.

easyJet director of engineering I. Davies said, "Based on our experience with Lufthansa Technik in Berlin, Brussels (Belgium), Budapest (Hungary), Milan (Italy) and Sofia (Bulgaria) and the cooperation we recently started at the Gatwick airport, we are convinced of the quality of the base maintenance services we can expect from Lufthansa Technik Malta."

Lufthansa Technik Malta CEO M. Motschenbacher called the contract "of major importance for the facility (in Malta), where more than 100 employees will work directly or indirectly for easyJet aircraft. It will allow us to increase the workforce by at least 50 new colleagues."

The Lufthansa subsidiary said this is an important contract for the entire network with work to be performed in both Lufthansa Technik Sofia and Malta facilities. (Source: atwonline.com, 7-Sep-2016) 

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

M.I.A. plc releases traffic results for August 2016

August’s unparalleled passenger movements – 598,515 – have topped all traffic records previously established by the Malta IAP. This figure translates into a growth of 2.3% over last year, indicating that the airport was bustling with an average of 19,300 passengers a day.

August's numbers can be attributed to an increase in seat capacity, together with a high seat load factor (SLF) of 88.8%, which indicates that airlines were also more efficient in filling up the seats available, as more tourists chose to fly to Malta for their August break.

A glance at the airport's top five markets shows that, last month, the majority of tourists who flocked to the Maltese islands came from the U.K., Italy, Germany, France, and Spain, with the latter featuring as the fifth top driver of traffic to Malta for the second, consecutive month.

Healthy growth rates of 3.6% and 4.1% ensured that the U.K. and Italy respectively, retained their position as Malta IAP's top drivers of passenger traffic. Both these markets presently enjoy an enhanced network to Malta, following added flights on a number of routes such as Edinburgh and Catania and a new popular route to Palermo.

The markets recording the most significant growth, on the other hand, were Poland and Spain. Poland grew by 47% over last year after the introduction of Gdansk and Poznań brought Polish routes up to five. On the other hand, Spain recorded a 14.7% growth over 2015 due to a new connection from Madrid and increased capacity to Gerona.

Cargo and mail registered a decrease of 3.20% over the same month last year. (Source: maltaiport.com, 6-Sep-2016)

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Malta's AirX to begin freight operations with B737(F)s

AirX Charter is entering the cargo market airline chairman J. Matthews has announced. The Malta-based passenger charter specialist has already acquired three B737-300(F)s, the first of which, M-MOVE (msn 23708), is undergoing repainting before beginning operations during the last quarter of the year. 

Matthews says the plan is to offer two aircraft to the charter market with a third to be used for ad-hoc charters and back-up to support the fleet at 
Bournemouth. 

"I aim to have the aircraft approved on the AOC around about the third/fourth week of October, when the first aircraft will enter service. The second will be online approximately in the second week of November," he said in a statement. 

Overall, AirX expects to acquire a further two B737 freighters next year bringing its overall compliment to five by year-end. Widebody aircraft are also under consideration, Matthews added.

Some of the aircraft will also be placed on the AOC of its newest acquisition, 
Elite Air (USA) (renamed AirX America), for use in the US cargo market. (Source: ch-aviation.com, 4-Sep-2016)

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Ukrainian AF confirms participation at 2016 Malta International Airshow

For the first time ever in the history of the Malta International Airshow the Ukrainian Air Force confirms its participation with a flying display of one of its frontline jets, the Sukhoi Su-27 'Flanker'. 

An Ilyushin Il-76 transport aircraft that will also be part of the static display making the aircraft the first ever Il-76 to participate and also the largest transport aircraft to ever participate in the static display will support the flanker’s display in Malta. (Source: maltairshow.com, 3-Sep-2016)

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Medavia's ownership comes under EC scrutiny

The European Commission (EC) has launched an investigation into Medavia to determine whether the Malta-based carrier's ownership and shareholding conforms to bloc regulations.

The Times of Malta says the EC has information which shows Medavia is now owned by the Libyan Foreign Investment Co. (LAFICO). In addition, Brussels also has concerns over the fact that of the airline's board, six are Libyans while only one is Maltese and therefore a European national.

EC laws cap foreign-ownership in E.U.-registered carriers at 49% while effective control of said airlines must rest in the hands of EU nationals.

Medavia did not respond to ch-aviation's request for comment. (Source: ch-aviation.com, 29-Aug-2016)

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

TNT B734 makes emergency landing at Malta IAP

A TNT cargo plane was forced to make an emergency landing at Malta International Airport this morning, airport officials confirmed.  The Boeing 737 was forced into the emergency manoeuvre due to nose-gear problem.

"At 1025lt, a freighter aircraft, with flight number 3V-857, travelling from Tunis to Malta declared a full emergency," an M.I.A. spokeswoman told Times of Malta. "Malta IAP’s Fire and Rescue team were dispatched immediately and the aircraft, with two crew on board, landed safely at 1044lt." (Source: timesofmalta.com, 24-Aug-2016)

Thursday, August 4, 2016

M.I.A. plc releases traffic results for July 2016

Passenger movements at Malta IAP last month increased by 5.9% over the same month last year, partly due to an increased seat capacity of 3.1% and a better seat load factor, the airport said. In a company announcement, M.I.A. plc said that with an efficiency of 88% in filling up available seats, last month's seat load factor established a new record for July.

The top five markets remained relatively unchanged, with the United Kingdom topping the list followed by Italy, Germany, and France. With a marked growth of 20.8%, Spain secured the fifth spot, successfully re-establishing itself among Malta's top five markets for the first time this year. 

The Spanish market is this year experiencing the highest growth rate when compared to the other markets. Meanwhile, Germany recorded the second highest growth rate, at 10.6%. This growth partly stemmed from the introduction of new routes to Berlin, Cologne, Düsseldorf, and Karlsruhe.

With July's passenger movements taken into account, the total number of passengers who passed through Malta IAP this summer exceeded two million. (Source: timesofmalta.com, 3-Aug-2016)

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Ryanair's Malta-bound flight from Liverpool diverts to London-Stansted

A Ryanair B737-800 (EI-DWH), performing flight FR-8928 from Liverpool (U.K.) to Malta IAP (Malta) was forces to divert to London-Stansted airport (U.K.) yesterday evening after a male passenger suffered a minor medical emergency. The aircraft then continued with its flight to Malta IAP reaching destination with a delay of two hours on its original scheduled time. (30-Jul-2016)

Thursday, July 14, 2016

M.I.A plc releases revised mid-year projections for 2016

Malta IAP is expecting 4.97 million passengers to pass through the airport by the end of the year, according to its revised mid-year projections. This would surpass all traffic records achieved so far. The first six months of this year alone already saw an additional 195,574 passenger movements compared to the same period last year, an increase of 9.8%.

Addressing a press conference, M.I.A. CEO A. Borg said this increase was even more significant as the growth was being registered in both peak and shoulder months, in line with the nation-wide strategy to promote Malta as a year-round destination.

He added that June alone registered an increase of 6.8% in passenger movements, continuing with the positive trends observed during the first five months of the year. This growth was stimulated by an increase in seat capacity and airlines' increased efficiency in filling up these available seats. In fact, seat load factor for the period between January and June reached 80%, while seat capacity grew by 7.4%.

Malta’s top market remains the U.K., with 612,413 passenger movements in the first six months of 2016, followed by Italy (459,657) and Germany (284,889). On the other hand, the markets that registered the largest growth were Turkey (37%) and Switzerland (36.4%), following the introduction of more frequent flights leaving Malta IAP to Istanbul and Zurich and Geneva, respectively.

In the meantime, other noteworthy developments for 2016 include enhanced winter operations and schedules by Ryanair, SAS and WizzAir and the introduction of new and added flights by Air Malta, Lufthansa, and easyJet. (Source: maltaiport.com, 13-Jul-2016)

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Polish AF aerobtic team Iskry confirms participation at the 2016 Malta International Airshow

The Polish Air Force aerobtic Team Iskry will be gracing Malta’s skies for the first time ever at the 2016 Malta International Airshow. 

The aircraft used by the Team is the TS-11 Iskra aircraft. The team is based at 1 Air Training Centre in Deblin, Poland. The team was originally formed in 1969 at the 60 Training Wing in Radom under the name Rombik, the team flew four TS-11 Iskras. The official name 'Iskry' was adopted in 1991. After last year’s successful particzptaion by the ‘Orlik’ Team also from the Polish Air Force visitor’s will be able to witness this Polish aerobatic team in 2016.

The PZL TS-11 Iskra is a Polish jet trainer aircraft, used by the Polish Air Force. It is the main training aircraft of the Polish Air Force, and as the oldest jet aircraft still in service in Poland.

The organizing Team of the Malta International Airshow is looking forward to host for the first time the Team Iskry. (Source: maltairshow.com, 7-Jul-2016)

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Air Malta re-launches schedule service to Palermo

Air Malta has re-launched scheduled service to Palermo (Sicily, Italy) this afternoon. The outbound flight to Parlemo (KM-662), operated with Airbus A320-200 (9H-AEN), departed Malta IAP at 1324lt. The return flight (KM-663) re-landed at Malta IAP at 1554lt. Air Malta will be operating this route twice weekly, on Mondays and Thursdays. (4-Jul-2016)

Friday, June 24, 2016

Lufthansa flight bound to Malta IAP diverts to Tunis

A Lufthansa Airbus A321-200 (D-AISJ), operating scheduled flight LH-1310 from Frankfurt (Germany) to Malta IAP, had to divert to Tunis-Carthage (Tunisia) this afternoon due to bad weather over Malta IAP. The flight then continued to Malta IAP, reaching destination with a delay of 2-hrs 50-mins. (24-Jun-2016)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Armed Forces of Malta to receive a new offshore patrol vessel

The Parliamentary Secretary for E.U. Presidency 2017 and E.U. Funds, I. Borg, announced today that the Armed Forces of Malta and the Malta Police Force will be benefiting from almost €45 million of which €33 million are financed from EU funding.

The responsible authority has approved three projects for the Armed Forces of Malta valued over €43 million – under the Internal Security Funds (ISF) program 2014-2020 – aimed at strengthening police in fighting criminality and managing risk.

Two of these projects include the procurement of a new offshore patrol vessel (worth almost €34 million) and the improvement of the reaction capability of the current OPV P61 (worth almost €7.5 million).

Another project will see the supply of an EOD/IEDD low emission response vehicle complete with robot and ancillary equipment – under the Internal Security Funds (Police Cooperation) 2014-2020 and worth almost €1.8 million. (Source: Government of Malta/DOI, 22-Jun-2016)

SR Technics, easyJet sign contract to extend agreement for five years

A contract has been signed between SR Technics and easyJet airline to extend a maintenance agreement for another five years, creating 35 new jobs in the process. 

The two entities originally entered into an agreement in 2010, where SR Technics was tasked with carrying out maintenance works on easyJet’s aircraft fleet. Currently, SR Technics employs roughly 180 people. Head of Engineering and Maintenance for easyJet I. Davis said that there would be four aircraft in Malta undergoing maintenance work at any given time.

Currently, easyJet’s fleet consists of 253 aircraft, has 23 different bases and carries some 70 million passengers each year. The representative said that with growth comes the need for increased maintenance requirements, and that one maintenance entity was not enough to carry out all the required works. It was therefore announced that another contract will be signed between easyJet and Lufthansa Technics, based in Malta. (Source: independent.com.mt, 22-Jun-2016)

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Italian-registered light aircraft ditches off Xlendi, Gozo

Two men were rescued this evening when a light aircraft ditched in the sea off Xlendi, Gozo, after apparently suffering engine failure.The incident happened at about 1830lt The two, a 55-year-old pilot and a 61-year-old passenger, both Italian, were picked up by a private boat which happened to be close by. 

An AFM helicopter was quickly on the scene. A patrol boat was also deployed.
The plane, equipped with floats, is understood to have taken off from Sicily. It overturned on ditching. The police are investigating whether local air traffic control was informed of the plane's presence. (Source: timesofmalta.com, 21-Jun-2016)

Ethiopian Airlines to start using Malta IAP for refueling on its Addis Ababa to Madrid route

Ethiopian Airlines starting Jun 30th, 2016, is adjusting intermediate re-fuel stop for its 4 weekly Addis Ababa (Ethiopia) - Madrid-Barajad (Spain) route, served by Boeing B737-800 aircraft. From this date, the airline will be operating via Malta, replacing Cairo on westbound flight. Ethiopian Airlines does not have local traffic rights for Malta, despite the change. Ethiopian Airlines will continue to operate nonstop sector from Madrid. (Source: routesonline.com, 21-Jun-2016)

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Italian Coast Guard Giulio Inganni calls at Marsamxett Harbour

The Italian Coast Guard patrol vessel Giulio Ingianni (CP 409) has sailed in Marsamxett Harbour this morning. The Italian coast guard patrol vessel will be forward deployed at the Armed Forces of Malta's Maritime base at Hay wharf, Floriana, for 13-days on fishery patrol duties in the Mediterranean. (19-Jun-2016)

Saturday, June 18, 2016

CSA Czech Airlines launches new route between Prague and Malta IAP

CSA Czech Airlines launched today its new route between Prague (Czech Republic) and Malta IAP. The first scheduled flight, operated with Airbus A319-100 (OK-REQ), landed at Malta IAP (OK-434) at 1518lt. The return flight to Prague (OK-435) departed from Malta IAP at 1608lt. CSA Czech Airlines will be operating this route twice weekly, on Tuesdays and Saturdays. (18-Jun-2016)

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Iberia Express launches new route between Madrid and Malta IAP

Iberia Express launched today its new route between Madrid-Barajas (Spain) and Malta IAP. The first scheduled flight, operated with Airbus A320-200 (EC-LUS), landed at Malta IAP (I2 3646) at 2020lt. The return flight to Madrid (I2-3647) departed from Malta IAP at 2120lt. Iberia Express will be operating this route three times weekly. (16-Jun-2016)

Friday, June 3, 2016

M.I.A. plc releases traffic results for May 2016

Malta International Airport welcomed 476,575 passengers in May, translating into a growth of 7.8% over the same month last year. May’s record brings the airport to its 50th consecutive month-on-month growth. 

May's positive numbers were partly spurred by an increase in seat capacity of 4.9% resulting from the launch of new routes and an increase in frequencies to some popular destinations. Most notably, average seat load factors, which measure the number of filled seats on every flight, continued to climb to 81.4%, meaning airlines are operating more efficiently on their trips to Malta.

The top five traffic drivers for May remained largely unchanged, with the United Kingdom holding on to its top spot, followed by Italy, Germany, France, and Poland. 

The key drivers of May’s growth were increased connectivity to several destinations in the U.K. including Birmingham, Edinburgh, Stansted, and Manchester resulting in +5.3% year on year, while traffic to Italy grew significantly by 14.3%, mostly attributed to increased capacity on the Rome and Catania routes. In 3rd and 4th position, Germany and France grew by 0.6% and 1.8% respectively, while Poland also registered a 50.2% growth over May 2015, in part due to the launch of the Poznan route and an increased flight frequency to Gdansk.

An additional 164,491 passengers travelled through Malta International Airport when compared to January to May 2015, with 2016 figures almost at the 1.7 million mark so far. (Source: maltairport.com, Jun-2016)

Monday, May 23, 2016

easyJet A320 returns to Malta IAP due to medical emengency

An easyJet Airbus A320-200 (G-EZUC), performing flight U2-1998 from Malta IAP (Malta) to Manchester (U.K.), had to return to Malta International Airport this afternoon due to a medical emergency on board. The aircraft departed again to Manchester after one-hour technical stop. (23-May-2016)

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Turkish Airlines B739 diverts to Malta IAP due to a medical emergency

Turkish Airlines Boeing B737-900 (TC-JYD), performing flight TK-561 from Abidjan (Ivory Coast) to Istantbul-Ataturk IAP (Turkey), had to divert to Malta International Airport this morning due to a medical emergency on board. The aircraft continued with its flight to Istanbul after a 1.5-hour technical stop. (21-May-2016)

Friday, May 6, 2016

Easyjet A320 flight Malta IAP to Manchester diverts to Milan-Malpensa

An Easyjet Airbus A320-200 (G-EZUG), performing flight U2-1998 (on May 5th) from Malta IAP (Malta) to Manchester (U.K.), was enroute at FL320 about 120-nm south of Milan (Italy) when the captain decided to divert the aircraft to Milan-Malpensa Airport after the first officer had become ill and was unable to continue duties. The aircraft landed safely on Malpensa's RWY 35L about 20-mins later. 

The first officer and a passenger, who had fallen ill earlier, were taken to a hospital. The airline reported the illnesses of the passenger and first officer appear to be unrelated. A replacement crew continued the flight. The aircraft departed Milan after about 2.5 hours on the ground and reached Manchester with a delay of 2.5 hours. (Source: avherald.com, 5-May-2016)

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

M.I.A. plc releases traffic results for April 2016

Malta IAP welcomed 415,409 passengers last April, marking a 5.7% growth over the previous year and kick starting the busy, summer months ahead. This figure is comparable to the passenger numbers registered in the August peak of 2011 (427,575 passengers), just five years ago.

Apri'’s growth partially resulted from the launch of the airport's summer schedule, which features new routes, new airlines, and an increased flight frequency to a number of destinations. In fact this contributed to a seat capacity growth of 3.8%.

The top five traffic drivers for April remained largely unchanged from the previous months, with the United Kingdom holding on to its top spot, followed by Italy, Germany, and France.

The only exception was Poland, which placed fifth in the airport's top markets list. Poland’s 27.3% growth over the previous year stemmed from the introduction of the new Poznan route towards the end of March and an increased flight frequency to Gdansk.

A look back at the first four months of 2016 shows a record number of passenger movements at Malta IAP with over 1.2 million guests having passed through, up by 12% compared to 2015. (Source: maltairport.com, 3-May-2016)