Thursday, April 28, 2016

Alitalia studying possible stake in Air Malta

Following months of speculation about a possible tie-up with Etihad Airways, Alitalia has come forward and announced it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the board of directors of Air Malta and the Government of Malta to complete a comprehensive due diligence with the possible intention of becoming a 49% shareholder in the Maltese airline. Alitalia is 49% owned by Etihad.

"There are strong cultural and commercial bonds between Italy and Malta, and this MOU is a first and important step, but we will only make a decision once we have completed an exhaustive examination of a possible deal," Alitalia’s CEO C. Ball said. "We will need to establish unequivocally that a deal with Air Malta will not undermine the progress of our three year turnaround programme, or prejudice our financial position."

Ball added that with Alitalia on track to attain profitability by 2017, there was need to consider future plans hence the interest in Air Malta. As such, given Malta's proximity to Italy, Alitalia will study how Air Malta can compliment Alitalia's strategic growth plans especially in areas such as southern Italy.

"The future of the commercial aviation industry has to be one of consolidation, and for us to prosper we must examine opportunities where we believe we can offer a wider reach for our customers," he said.

Air Malta Chairwoman M. Micallef said the negotiations were at an early stage and the state-owned company would cease talks with other airlines now that an MOU with Alitalia has been signed. The carrier hopes to conclude the due diligence by the end of July, following which the Boards of Alitalia and Air Malta will then make a decision on whether to proceed with an undertaking. (SourceL, 27-Apr-2016)

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Malta IAP sees staggering 13% pax growth during winter

Malta IAP registered a staggering 13% surge in passenger movements this winter, more than double the increase in traffic seen the year before when MIA registered a 5% growth. This increase is in line with the 10% rise in seats available on the market throughout the season.

A look at the first quarter shows that the year was off to a good start, with 800,724 passenger movements between January and March. This translates to over 100,000 more passengers welcomed at Malta International Airport this year so far.

The quarter ended on a particularly high note, with March registering a remarkable increase of 19% over the previous year, giving the airport team a taste of the busy summer months ahead. March’s strong performance, with 327,524 passenger movements, partly stemmed from the Easter holiday effect. In fact, the two weeks around Easter accounted for the movement of an additional 10,000 passengers through Malta IAP.

March brings with it a close to both the first quarter and the winter period for the aviation industry. The top five drivers of traffic to the Maltese Islands during the shoulder months were the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, France, and Turkey. Four of these top five markets registered varying degrees of growth due to the introduction of new routes, increased flight frequency, and a consequent growth of seat capacity. France, on other hand, experienced a drop resulting from a capacity decrease. (Source:, 8-Apr-2016)

Air Malta to start scheduled services to Palermo from July 4th

Air Malta will start scheduled services between Malta and Palermo as from July 4th. These flights will operate in addition to the 13 weekly flights between Malta and Catania and reinforce the airline’s leading position between Italy and Malta. The Maltese National Airline will operate two weekly flights to/from Palermo every Monday and Thursday and will retain the route throughout winter. (Source: Air Malta, 8-Apr-2016)

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Ryanair launches five new winter routes to and from Malta, extends 11 summer routes to winter

Ryanair this morning launched five new winter routes to and from Malta, namely Brussels-Zaventem (daily), Nuremburg, Toulouse and Valencia (twice weekly) and Vilnius (once a week).

Addressing a news conference, spokeswoman C. Ravara described this winter’s schedule as the biggest ever for Malta.

She said the airline will also be extending 11 summer routes to winter. They are Athens and Manchester (three times a week), Baden-Baden, Berlin, Bournemouth, Cologne and Girona (twice weekly) and Gdansk, Glasgow, Poznan and Wroclaw (once a week).

Ryanair will also be increasing flight frequency to Birmingham and East Midlands (three times a week) and London-Stansted and Madrid (four times a week).

It estimates that it would carry two million customers a year by March 2017. If that pans out, it would push Ryanair above Air Malta as largest carrier out of Malta. (Source:, 7-Apr-2016)

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Ryanair launches new route between Malta IAP and Berlin-Schoenefeld

Ryanair launched today its new route between Malta IAP and Berlin-Schoenefeld (Germany). The first scheduled flight, operated with Boeing B737-800 (EI-DPY), departed from Malta IAP (FR-5229) at 0643lt. The return flight from Berlin-Schoenefeld (FR-5228), operated with Boeing B737-800 (EI-DAE), landed at Malta IAP at 1409lt. Ryanair will be operating this route twice-weekly. (3-Apr-2016)

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Ryanair launches new route between Malta IAP and Weeze-Niederrhein

Ryanair launched today its new route between Malta IAP and Weeze-Niederrhein (Germany). The first scheduled flight, operated with Boeing B737-800 (EI-DPY), departed from Malta IAP (FR-5225) at 0644lt. The return flight from Weeze-Niederrhein (FR-5224) landed at Malta IAP at 1301lt. Ryanair will be operating this route twice-weekly. (2-Apr-2016)