Thursday, December 28, 2017

Privately-owned Falcon 7X blown off apron at Malta IAP, smashes into building

A privately-owned Dassault Falcon 7X aircraft (VP-BZE) was blown off Malta IAP's apron-4 on Wednesday night, ploughing through a perimeter fence and into the road before crashing into a building.  No injuries were reported at the incident in Ħal-Farruġ. 

Officials believe the strong winds forced the unmanned plane from its wheel chocks, pushing it into the road before crashing into the building owned by the Polidano Group.

"It seems like it was the result of the strong winds.  The building didn't sustain major damage, but we presume the aircraft did," Polidano Group's legal representative J.P. Sammut told Times of Malta, after he was informed about the incident through airport security.  Nobody was present in the building at the time of impact.

Transport Malta and Malta IAP officials are investigating the incident, while the Bureau of Accident Investigation are also investigating.  The police and armed forces were on site and closed the road off to traffic.

In a statement, M.I.A. said its operations and security teams were deployed to the scene immediately to safeguard the integrity of the aerodrome and secure the airport perimeter.  M.I.A.'s Rescue and Fire Fighting Services were also on the scene as a precautionary measure, however there were no injuries reported. (Source: timesofmalta.com, 27-Dec-2017)

Friday, December 22, 2017

Turkish Airlines' Istanbul-Malta flight diverts to Catania

A Turkish Airlines Boeing B737-800 (TC-JVZ), operating scheduled flight TK-1371 between Istanbul-Ataturk (Turkey) and Malta IAP, had to divert to Catania-Fontanarossa yesterday evening due to strong crosswinds on the main runway at Malta IAP. The flight then continued to Malta reaching destination with a delay of 3-hrs 45-mins on its original scheduled time. (22-Dec-2017)

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Air Malta launches new route Malta IAP-Comiso

Air Malta launched this evening its new route between Malta IAP and Comiso (Sicily, Italy).  The first scheduled flight, operated with Airbus A319-100 (9H-AEJ), departed from Malta IAP at 2110lt (KM-658). The return flight from Comiso (KM-659) landed at Malta IAP at 2315lt.  Air Malta will be operating this new route twice-weekly, on Fridays and Sundays. (17-Dec-2017)

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Air Malta to hive off London slots in 1Q18

Air Malta will transfer its slots at London-Heathrow and London-Gatwick to a recently established government-owned company by the end of first quarter of 2018, Chairman C. Mangion has said.

"This will allow us to raise funds through our own assets as we can no longer receive any state aid. It will also ensure that these invaluable assets always remain part of Malta's national assets," he was quoted by MaltaToday.

The Maltese state-owned airline is barred from receiving any more government funding as per EU laws. EU regulations allow companies to access state aid once every ten years. In Air Malta's case, it received EUR130 million in government funding back in 2011.

The holding firm company that will assume control of the slots will be fully independent of the airline and will retain them, Mangion underlined.

A separate government-owned company will also take over the ground handling unit at 
Malta IAP from the airline, Tourism Minister K. Mizzi announced. This takeover should also be concluded in the first quarter of 2018.

The divestment should help the airline return to profitability. It also plans to expand its no-frills Go Light fares and gradually switch to a LCC type business model to increase its competitiveness. (Source: ch-aviation.com, 13-Dec-2017)

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Jet Aviation gets AOC for Malta and launches new flight operationa

Jet Aviation has launched a new flight operation in Malta after securing its air operator's certificate (AOC) for the island.  The company is already operating a B737 BBJ under the Malta AOC, and expects to add a Legacy 600 in the coming weeks. It now has regional AOC operations in Malta, Switzerland (Zurich) and Germany (Cologne).

"Our new flight operation in Malta is a terrific complement to our Swiss and German operations," said J. Reuthinger, senior vice president and general manager of Jet Aviation's aircraft management and charter operations in EMEA and Asia. "The additional AOC in the European Union allows aircraft owners and operators more flexibility in their choice of registrations and operation." (Source: corporatejetinvestor.com, 8-Dec-2017)

Friday, December 8, 2017

M.I.A. plc releases traffic results for November 2017

Malta International Airport continued to register solid traffic results, even as it entered its winter period, with November becoming the fourteenth consecutive month to achieve double-digit growth in passenger movements.

Last November, the airport hosted over 55,000 passengers more than it did in 2016, closing off the month with a total of 405,724 movements. This translates into an increase of 15.8 per cent over last year.

This record number of passengers for November was observed in parallel with an increase of 18.1% in aircraft movements and a 19.2% improvement in seat capacity. Seat load factor for November, which marks airlines' ability to fill available seats on flights, dropped slightly and stood at 79%.

The month's top five markets accounted for more than half of the total passenger movements for November. The U.K. continued to top the leader board with over 100,000 passenger movements, followed by Italy, Germany, France, and Belgium. While the first four markets all registered varying levels of growth, Belgium lost around 570 passenger movements when compared with 2016.

The biggest spike in passenger numbers in November was observed on the Polish market, which grew by 76.3% over last year. This strong increase can be attributed to added flights on the Gdansk, Krakow and Wroclaw routes. Other markets which registered noteworthy growth stemming from improved flight schedules and additional capacity, include Turkey, Austria and the Netherlands. (Source: maltairport.com, 7-Dec-2017)

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Air Malta presents its Annual Report and Consolidated Financial Statements for year ended on March 31st

Air Malta presented its Annual Report and Consolidated Financial Statements for year ended on Mar. 31st, 2017, during which the operations of the airline company reported a loss of €13.1m.

During the year under review the airline experienced a decrease of €28.3m in revenue when total revenue amounted to €192.2m compared to €220.5m a year before, mainly driven by a capacity reduction of 20%.


The airline's operational costs decreased by €20.6m. The decrease in operating costs was driven by lower aircraft leases, fuel costs and related maintenance expenses, efficiency gains and savings on a number of contracts and administration expenses.

However, the former fuel hedging contracts were in place for much longer than those of competitors. The airline was not in a position to benefit from lower fuel prices in the reported financial year commented Air Malta's CFO, K. Gossler during a press briefing announcing the results.


Over the last few months, the airline has been focusing on a revenue growth strategy including a review of its route network; a strategy which the airline embarked upon soon after the appointment of the new Board chaired by Dr C. Mangion in July this year.

The Board approved a new three-year Business Plan starting as of April which is projected to see break-even by March 2018. (Source: independent.com.mt, 7-Dec-2017)

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Air Malta to launch scheduled service between Malta and Lisbon next March

As from Mar. 25th, 2018, Air Malta shall be operating a twice-weekly scheduled service between Malta and Lisbon (Portugal) every Thursday and Sunday, as follows:

Thursday 
KM594 18:40 MLA-LIS 20:55
KM595 21:45 LIS-MLA 01:45

Sunday
KM594 12:15 MLA-LIS 14:20
KM595 15:10 LIS-MLA 19:10

Go Light and fly with us from just 39€ one-way (out of Malta) and 49€ one-way (departing Lisbon). (Source: AirMalta, 28-Nov-2017) 

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Air Nostrum acquires majority shareholding in Medavia Operations Co. Ltd.

An agreement has been reached between Mediterranean Aviation Co. Ltd (Medavia) and Air Nostrum for Air Nostrum to acquire 51% shareholding in Mediterranean Aviation Operations Co. Ltd, a subsidiary of Medavia which holds the air operator’s certificate. 

This agreement does not affect in any way Medavia assets, including employees and aircraft but provides an opportunity for the creation of new business for both shareholding companies.

Air Nostrum is a Spanish regional carrier operating flights within EU and through this acquisition will cover new geographical areas. The same opportunity for Medavia to increase its flights within the EU through its regional charters is further strengthened. (Source: Medavia, 24-Nov-2017)

Friday, November 24, 2017

Small Fly Co. Ltd to start cargo flts between Lamezia and Malta IAP from Nov. 28th

As from Nov. 28th, Maltese company Small Fly Co. Ltd will start operating a cargo flight between Lamezia-Terme (Italy) and Malta International Airport twice a week. 

Flights (operated with ATR-72F) will be arriving at Malta IAP at 5:55 a.m. and departing to Lamezia Terme Airport at 6:55 a.m., with interconnections to and from Milan-Linate and Rome-Fiumicino airports. 

This new flight is only the early stage of a broader project contemplating to expand the Small Fly cargo activities all over Europe, aiming at five cargo flights a week between Italy and Malta, since the beginning of 2018. (Source: Small Fly, 23-Nov-2017)

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Emirates B77W diverts to Malta IAP due to a medical emergency

An Emirates Boeing B777-300ER (A6-EGE), performing flight EK-220 between Orlando IAP (U.S.A.) and Dubia IAP (U.A.E.), had to divert to Malta Int'l Airport this morning due to a medical emergency on board. The B77W continued with its flight to Dubai after 3-hrs and 40-mins on the ground. (23-Nov-2017)

Monday, November 20, 2017

Air Malta Frankfurt flight delayed overnight due to technical trouble

An Air Malta flight from Frankfurt scheduled for yesterday evening never took off after the aircraft was grounded due to technical problems.  KM-329 was due to leave Frankfurt airport at 2010lt, but ran into technical trouble and required repairs.  Engineers were unable to fix the problem by the time the airport closed at 2300lt, forcing passengers to spend an extra night in Germany. 

Passengers and cabin crew spent the night in nearby hotels courtesy of the airline and were offered dinner, an Air Malta spokesman said.  Repair work resumed early this morning and the flight is expected to leave after the aircraft successfully completes a series of engine runs. 

Air Malta apologised for the inconvenience due to circumstances beyond its control, saying that it gave the utmost importance to the safety of its passengers and staff. (Source: timesofmalta.com, 20-Nov-2017)

Friday, November 10, 2017

Five flights bound to Malta IAP divert to airports in Sicily & Tunisia due to bad weather over Malta

A severe thunderstorm over the Maltese Island this afternoon has forced five aircraft en route to Malta IAP to divert to Palermo and Catania-Fontanarossa in Sicily, Italy and Tunis-Carthage in Tunisia.
  • SAS Scandinavia Airlines Airbus A320-200N (SE-DOZ), operating flight SK-1845 between Stockholm-Arlanda (Sweden) and Malta IAP, diverted to Palermo. The flight then continued to Malta reaching destination with a delay of nearly five-hours on its original scheduled time. 
  • British Airways Airbus A320-200 (G-GATL), operating flight BA-2644 between London-Gatwick (U.K.) and Malta IAP, diverted to Catania. The flight will then continue to Malta reaching destination with a delay of nearly three hours.
  • Ryanair Boeing B737-800 (EI-FRW), operating flight FR-2411 between East Midlands (U.K.) and Malta IAP, diverted to Catania. The flight then continued to Malta reaching destination with a delay of nearly three hours. 
  • Ryanair Boeing B737-800 (EI-DYF), operating flight FR-7796 between Marseille (France) and Malta IAP, diverted to Catania. The flight then continued to Malta reaching destination with a delay of 2-hrs 20-mins. 
  • Air Malta A320-200 (9H-AHR), operating flight KM-515 between Vienna (Austria) and Malta IAP, diverted to Tunis. The flight then continued to Malta reaching destination with a delay of nearly 2-hrs 45-mins. 
(10-Nov-2017)

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Air Malta to start services to Casablanca, Venice and St Petersburg next summer

In line with its growth stategy Air Malta announced direct services to three destinations; Casablanca (Morocco), Venice (Italy) and St Petersburg (Russia) for summer 2018.

The destinations were announced today during the World Travel Market (WTM), the annual leading global travel trade show being held in London between the 6th and the 8th November.

Casablanca
Air Malta will inaugurate a new twice weekly scheduled service every Monday and Thursday marking a return to one of the most important cities of Africa and the largest city in Morocco, Casablanca. The Air Malta is resuming its services to Casablanca after an absence of around ten years.

KM-724 Malta 1630 – 1755 Casablanca
KM-725 Casablanca 1855 – 2355 Malta

Venice
Air Malta will re-start flying to Venice, one of the world’s most romantic and enchanting cities, as from the 26-Mar-18. The Maltese airline will fly to Venice-Marco Polo airport with a twice a week every Monday and Saturday.

KM-638 Malta 2045 – 2230 Venice
KM-639 Venice 2320 – 0110 Malta

St Petersburg
Air Malta will start operating a twice weekly scheduled service to St Petersburg, Russia, every Wednesday and Saturday as from the 29-Mar-2018. The flight schedule to the city will complement the three times weekly service to Russia’s capital, Moscow, which will increase to a four weekly flight schedule in peak summer.

Wednesdays
KM-568 Malta 2200 – 0305 St Petersburg
KM-569 St. Petersburg 0355 – 0715 Malta

Saturdays
KM-568 Malta 2100 – 0205 St Petersburg
KM-569 St. Petersburg 0255 – 0615 Malta

(Source: Air Malta, 8-Nov-2017)

M.I.A. plc release traffic results for 2017 summer season

Malta International Airport closed off summer, which stretches from April until the end of October for the aviation industry, with 4,249,321 passenger movements. This translates into an impressive increase of more than 600,000 passenger movements over the same comparable period in 2016.

Growth in passenger numbers in the summer months was observed in parallel with an upturn of 13.3% in aircraft movements and an increase of 16.1% in seat capacity, mainly stemming from an enhanced flight schedule for the season. Moreover, at 85.0%, seat load factor for the seven-month period remained unchanged from last year.

The top drivers of passenger traffic to Malta IAP were the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, France, and Spain. Growing by 9.6% over last year, the U.K. accounted for 1,025,055 passengers, which is almost a quarter of the airport's total traffic for summer. The other four markets all registered double-digit growth ranging between 14.0% and 32.5%, with Spain's increase being the most noteworthy.

Having welcomed over 5.2 million passengers for the year to date, the airport's focus has now shifted to achieving the best results for winter.  On the last weekend of October, the airport unveiled its new winter schedule featuring 66 destinations, five of which are new.

Traffic through Malta International Airport in October grew by 15.4% to reach 596,648 passenger movements, on the back of a 14.7% increase in aircraft movements and a 16.4% increase in seat capacity. (Source: maltairport.com, 8-Nov-2017)

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Volotea to operate two new routes to Malta next year from Nice and Bilbao

Spanish low-cost airline Volotea announced it will operate two new routes from and to Malta from Nice (France) and Bilbao (Spain). The new routes will increase the number of passengers the airline will carry to 32,300 from and to Malta next year with 230 flights.

The Bilbao routes will start operating once a week from March next year with more than 7,300 passengers. The Nice flight enters into the airline’s schedule from April 2018 with once-a-week flights which are expected to carry some 7,000 passengers. The two routes will be added to the Bordeaux route in France which Volotea is already operating from and to Malta.

Mr E. Friart, a director of Volotea, stated that the Nice destination will provide an opportunity to the Maltese to visit the maritime city in the south of France which boasts of picturesque scenery, while Bilbao is a destination in the north of Spain, renowned for food and unique scenery in the region. (Source: tvm.com.mt, 7-Nov-2017)

Monday, November 6, 2017

Threats hold up Air Malta flight from Rome

An Air Malta flight from Rome was delayed for several hours today after Italian police received a threat about the flight, the airline said this morning. 

Flight KM-613 to Malta was grounded as Italian authorities searched the plane and checked passengers' luggage. No information was given about the type of threat received. 

The flight was due to depart at 10.10am and arrive in Malta at 11.35am. It finally departed mid-afternoon and is expected to land at Malta International Airport at 4.45pm. 

"The safety and wellbeing of our passengers and staff is of paramount importance," an airline spokesman said after the plane had been given the all-clear.  "We apologise for any inconvenience caused to our guests due to circumstances beyond our control." (Source: timesofmalta.com, 6-Nov-2017)

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Ryanair launches new route Malta IAP-Belfast

Ryanair launched today its new route between Malta IAP and Belfast (U.K.). The first scheduled flight, operated with Boeing B737-800 (EI-DYF), departed from Malta IAP at 1412lt (FR-1717). The return flight from Riga (FR-1718) landed at Malta IAP at 2207lt. Ryanair will be operating this new route twice-weekly, on Mondays and Fridays. (30-Oct-2017)

Monday, October 30, 2017

Ryanair launches new route Naples-Malta IAP

Ryanair launched today its new route between Naples (Italy) and Malta IAP.  The first scheduled flight, operated with Boeing B737-800 (EI-DCL), landed at Malta IAP at 1656lt (FR-1722).  The return flight to Naples (FR-1723) departed from Malta IAP after turnaround.  Ryanair will be operating this new route twice weekly, on Mondays and Fridays. (30-Oct-2017)

Air Malta launches its winter schedule

Air Malta's winter schedule which came into operation today is one of the busiest for this period of the year in recent years.

The country's national airline said that between now and the end of March the airline company will be operating more than 110 flights a week to 19 destinations, which is four times as much as last year’s operations.  This increase will mean an additional 146,000 passengers added to the winter schedule.

This winter Air Malta will be operating direct flights to/from: Amsterdam, Brussels, Catania, Comiso (from Dec. 17th), Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, London (Gatwick and Heathrow), Milan, Moscow, Munich, Palermo, Paris (Charles de Gaulle and Orly), Rome, Tel Aviv, Tunis, Vienna and Zurich.

Flights to Frankfurt in Germany have been resumed as from today, a destination that had been dropped last year, and flights to Comiso have also been added.  Two daily flights will be operated to Catania and London-Heathrow and there will be daily flights to Brussels, Rome, London-Gatwick, Munich and Vienna.

Tourism Minister Dr K. Mizzi said that to meet this ambitious schedule the airline will be increasing its operational hours by almost 30%.  Mizzi said the increase in routes as well as frequency throughout the winter will support the Government's efforts to decrease the seasonal trend in tourist arrivals. (Source: Air Malta & tvm.com, 29-Oct-2017)

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Ryanair launches new route Malta IAP-Riga

Ryanair launched today its new route between Malta IAP and Riga (Latvia). The first scheduled flight, operated with Boeing B737-800 (EI-DYF), departed from Malta IAP at 0707lt (FR-1726). The return flight from Riga (FR-1727) landed at Malta IAP at 1444lt. Ryanair will be operating this new route twice-weekly, on Thursdays and Sundays. (29-Oct-2017)

easyJet launches new route Southend-Malta

easyJet launched today its new route between London-Southend (U.K.) and Malta IAP. The first scheduled flight (U2-7431), operated with an Airbus A320-200 (G-EZPB), landed at Malta IAP around 1730Lt. The return flight (U2-7432) to Southend departed from Malta IAP after turnaround. easyJet will be operating this new route twice-weekly, on Thursdays and Sundays. (29-Oct-2017)

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Turkish Airlines' Istanbul-Malta flight diverts to Istanbul

A Turkish Airlines Boeing B737-800 (TC-JVA), performing flight TK-1369 between Istanbul-Ataturk (Turkey) and Malta IAP, had to turn back to Istanbul this morning for technical reasons. 

The flight was later operated by a replacement aircraft (Boeing B737-800, TC-JVE) and reached Malta with a delay of nearly five-hours on its original scheduled time. (18-Oct-2017)

Air Malta to start flying to Ukraine following Kiev agreement

With effect from March next year Air Malta will start operating scheduled flights to Ukraine. The agreement was concluded during a State visit by President M.L. Coleiro Preca to Ukraine, a country with a population of 45 million. (Source: tvm.com.mt, 17-Oct-2017)

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Air Malta flights delayed due to cabin crew industrial action

A number of Air Malta flights have been delayed by roughly half an hour after the Union of Cabin Crew informed Air Malta last night that it had ordered its members to start industrial action, an Air Malta spokesman has confirmed. 

The airline confirmed that some flights had been affected but stressed that none had been delayed by more than 30 minutes, adding that it was currently holding discussions with members of the union. (Source: maltatoday.com, 15-Oct-2017)

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Air Malta to fly to Comiso as from Dec. 17th

Air Malta will start operating a twice weekly evening scheduled service to Sicily’s Comiso airport, on Fridays and Sundays, from Dec. 17th. The airline said its Go-Light fares will apply on the route making it possible to fly for €39 per way including taxes and charges.

KM-658 Malta 2030 - 2110 Comiso
KM-659 Comiso 2200 - 2240 Malta

(Source: timesofmalta.com, 12-Oct-2017)

Atlantic Airways adds Malta seasonal flights in summer 2018

Atlantic Airways in summer 2018 season is offering new non-stop service to Malta, becoming the sole operator on Vagar (Faroe Islands) - Malta route. 

The airline scheduled five round-trip flights between June and August 2018, on board Airbus A319. Operational dates are: 19-Jun, 3-Jul, 17-Jul, 31-Jul and 14-Aug.

RC-494 Vagar 0710– 1230 Malta 
RC-495 Malta 1330 – 1710 Vagar


(Source: routesonline.com, 12-Oct-2017)

Ryanair's flight to Bristol returns to Malta IAP due to an undercarriage problem

A Ryanair B737-800 (EI-DWZ), operating scheduled flight FR-3375 between Malta IAP and Bristol (U.K.) had return to Malta IAP this morning due to a technical issue with its undercarriage. 

The aircraft landed safely RWY 13 at 0906lt (departed 0736lt). No one was injured although it was reported that some of the passengers were suffering from shock.

Flight FR-3375 to Bristol will be operated by a replacement Ryanair aircraft this afternoon. (12-Oct-2017)

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

M.I.A. plc releases trafffic results for September 2017

Traffic at Malta IAP in September registered an increase of more than 89,000 passenger movements over the same month last year, with a total of 626,488 guests welcomed at MIA.

This translated into an increase of 16.7% over 2016. Moreover, September was the third consecutive month at the airport to surpass the 600,000 mark in terms of passenger numbers.

Standing at 86.7%, September’s seat load factor (SLF) remained constant, in spite of the increase in both aircraft movements (14.6%) and seat capacity (17.0%).

The United Kingdom continued to lead Malta IAP's list of top markets, contributing 146,160 passenger movements to September's total traffic, and growing by 4.7% over last year mainly due to an increase in capacity as a result of the Cruise & Fly operation.

On the other hand, the rest of the top markets, these being Italy (10.5%), Germany (25.8%) and France (17.6%) all registered double-digit growth. Spain, which is the fifth largest market, is maintaining its year-to-date progress, with a hefty 43.8% increase in passenger movements in September, partly stemming from increased flight frequencies to Madrid. (Source: maltairport.com, 9-Oct-2017)

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Five flights bound to Malta IAP divert to airports in Sicily due to severe thunderstorm over the island

A severe thunderstorm over the Maltese Island this morning has forced five aircraft en route to Malta IAP to divert to Palermo and Catania-Fontanarossa in Sicily, Italy.
  • Transavia Boeing B737-800 (PH-HZI), operating flight HV-5773 between Amsterdam-Schiphol (Netherlands) and Malta IAP, diverted to Palermo. The flight then continued to Malta reaching destination with a delay of nearly three-hours on its original scheduled time. 
  • EAT Leipzig Boeing B757-200 (D-ALEH), operating cargo flight QY-7922 between Marseille (France) and Malta IAP, diverted to Palermo. The flight will then continue to Malta later on day. 
  • Ryanair Boeing B737-800 (EI-FZA), operating flight FR-5224 between Weeze (Germany) and Malta IAP, diverted to Catania-Fontanarossa . The flight then continued to Malta reaching destination with a delay of nearly two-hours on its original scheduled time. 
  • LOT Polish Airline Embraer E195 (SP-LNA), operating charter flight LO-7455 between Warsaw (Poland) and Malta IAP, diverted to Palermo. The flight then continued to Malta reaching destination with a delay of three-hours on its original scheduled time. 
  • easyJet Airbus A319-100 (G-EZGA), operating flight U2-1997 Manchester (U.K.) and Malta IAP, diverted to Palermo. The flight then continued to Malta reaching destination with a delay of nearly two-hours on its original scheduled time. 
(4-Oct-2017)

Monday, October 2, 2017

Lightning strikes equipment at Malta's Air Traffic Control

As the weather forecast predicted, the month of October began with heavy rainfall. As a result, a number of flights to and from Malta International Airport have also been affected this morning.
In a statement, the Malta Air Traffic Services (MATS) said that it was hit by a lightning bolt, causing damage to its technical equipment. It said that as a precaution it had to temporarily stop flights from flying over Maltese air space until the problem was solved. It added that the systems operated by MATS have now been fully restored and is operating normally.
An airport spokesperson said that, in all, six flights had been affected: Ryanair flight FR-7591 from Roma-Fiumicino (diverted to Palemo), Ryanair flight FR-7592 to Rome-Fiumicino,  Wizzair flight W6-7766 to Skopje, Air Malta flight KM-116 to London-Gatwick and Air Malta flight KM-306 to Munich. (Source: tvm.com.mt)

Thursday, September 28, 2017

AirMalta's flight to Amsterdam returns to Malta IAP for technical reason

An Air Malta Airbus A319-100 (9H-AEJ), operating scheduled flight KM-394 between Malta IAP and Amsterdam-Schipol (Netherlands) had return to Malta IAP this morning due to a technical issue. The aircraft landed safely RWY 31 at 0927lt (departed 0750lt). Flight KM-394 was subsequently operated by 9H-AHR (Airbus A320-200) reaching Amsterdam-Schipol with a delay of nearly 5-hrs and 40-mins on its original scheduled time. (28-Sep-2017)

Monday, September 25, 2017

Lufthansa's Frankfurt-Malta flight diverts to Catania

A Lufthansa Airbus A321-200 (D-AISN), performing flight LH-1312 from Frankfurt (Germany) to Malta IAP, had to divert to Catania-Fontanarossa (Sicily, Italy) yesterday evening due bad weather over Malta. The flight then continued to Malta reaching destination with a delay of 2.5-hours on its original scheduled time. (25-Sep-2017)

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Air Malta introduces cheap fares, hives off ground handling to separate company

Air Malta has introduced a new system of cheap fares and hived off its ground handling operations into a separate aviation services company, Tourism Minister Dr K. Mizzi said today.

Dr Mizzi confirmed this morning that agreement was reached with the General Workers Union to move around 450 Air Malta ground and passenger handlers to a new company. "The new company will offer services to other airlines and it will also manage cargo operations," he said, adding this was part of the reform process at the airline.

Dr Mizzi called on Air Malta unions to accept changes in work practices as the airline tried to survive in a cutthroat environment. He said collective agreements with unions had to be in place by a Jan. 1st. He acknowledged the stumbling block was the financial remuneration package but insisted workers will lose nothing from their take-home pay.

He said pilots and cabin crew were being asked to accept changes in work practices in line with international standards and called for understanding. “I am sure common sense will prevail and everyone will be reasonable otherwise the airline runs the risk of returning to insolvency and this time around taxpayers will not be able to foot the bill,” he said.

Dr Mizzi was speaking at the launch of a new cheap air fare intended to attract more customers, who prefer traveling with just a hand luggage. Labelled Go Light, passengers can buy a one-way ticket from €39 for almost all Air Malta destinations with no bag allowance (apart from the hand luggage). Baggage allowance can be bought at an extra charge.

Company officials said the system was introduced in the airline's booking platform last week to test the package and Air Malta sold 25,000 Go Light tickets. Booking activity increased between 20% and 35% as a result of the new package, the airline said.

P. Sies, Air Malta chief commercial officer, said the airline had to attract more passengers to fill its seats. He said the new package, part of a three-way choice for customers, would make the airline more competitive in a cutthroat business.

Air Malta chairman C. Mangion said the airline had to take quick decisions to survive, expressing hope in the airline's future. "The new turnaround strategy is based on the trust we have in our employees… we want Air Malta to be a Mediterranean hub linking Europe with North Africa and the Middle East," he said. (Source: timesofmalta.com, 19-Sep-2017)

Malaga route for Air Malta next summer

Next summer Air Malta will inaugurate a twice weekly scheduled service to Malaga, the second-most populous city of Andalusia and the sixth-largest in Spain. 

Paul Sies, chief commercial officer, said the airline would be announcing more routes for summer 2018. 

Besides connecting the popular Malaga area, the new route is also the ideal gateway for travelling to and from Gibraltar. Nowadays thousands of expats mostly working in the iGaming industry travel frequently between Gibraltar and Malta, he added. 

Malaga lies on the Costa del Sol on the Spanish southern coast, some 100 kilometres east of the Strait of Gibraltar. (Source: timesofmalta.com, 18-Sep-2017)

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Ryanair's Edinburgh-Malta flight diverts to Bergamo

A Ryanair Boeing B737-800 (EI-EBH), performing flight FR-6695 from Edinburgh (U.K.) to Malta IAP (Malta), had to divert to Milan-Bergamo (Italy) this morning due to a medical emergency on board. The flight then continued to Malta reaching destination with a delay of two hours on its original scheduled time. (17-Sep-2017)

French Navy Falcon 50 for 2017 Malta Int'l Airshow

The last few confirmations from much welcomed participants, keep trickling in, even in the last few days before the Airshow. This shows the dedication, commitment and enjoyment of aircrews, to participate in our Airshow, notwithstanding the fact that they are very much operationally constrained, which is the main reason why often, they cannot confirm earlier.

This late addition consists of the French Navy Falcon 50. This aircraft has participated in previous editions of our Airshow, including last year, but this time it will also take part in the flying display program, with some smooth flypasts, showing the gracefulness of this streamlined aircraft.

The basic air frame and design of this aircraft is that of a mid-sized long range business jet, but in time, Dassault developed a Maritime Surveillance and Environmental protection version of the aircraft, mainly for the French Navy.
More advancements may still be in sight for this aircraft as Dassault and Aviation Partners Inc. have announced that High Mach blended winglets, are being developed for the Falcon 50 as a retrofit kit.

The Malta Aviation Society would like to thank the French Navy for their continued support for our and we are grateful of having them back in both flying and static display. (Source: maltairshow.com, 17-Sep-2017)

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Light aircraft crash lands at Malta IAP

A Piper PA-34A-200T Seneca II, operated by the European Flight Academy in Malta, crashed whilst landing at the Malta Int'l Airport.

Emergency teams were sent but no one was hurt, a spokesperson for the airport confirmed.

The incident took place at 1722lt.

Movement on runway 23/05 have been temporarily suspended following the incident.

The aircraft with registration number 9H-AEB, is a twin-engined turboprop light aircraft, used by the academy for instrument rating training. (Source: 
maltatoday.com.mt, 14-Sep-2017)

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Ukrainian AF AN-30 for 2017 Malta Int'l Airshow

The Ukrainian Air Force has officially confirmed the participation of an AN-30 ''Open Skies'' for the static display at the 2017 Malta International Airshow.

The AN-30 aerial photographer was developed on a basis of the AN-24 passenger airplane. It is the first in the history of domestic aviation building machine designed with the only purpose – to perform aerial photography. From basis version it differs with the navigator's nose glass cock-pit and photo-doors in the floor of the cabin. It has nine modifications. It can be used in a cargo version.

The Treaty on Open Skies entered into force on Jan. 1st, 2002, and currently has 34 party states. It establishes a program of unarmed aerial surveillance flights over the entire territory of its participants. The treaty is designed to enhance mutual understanding and confidence by giving all participants, regardless of size, a direct role in gathering information about military forces and activities of concern to them. Open Skies is one of the most wide-ranging international efforts to date promoting openness and transparency of military forces and activities.

The Malta Aviation Society organisers of the Malta International Airshow is overwhelmed with the confirmation by the Ukrainian Air Force participation in the static display of the AN-30. We are very grateful for such an addition in this ever listing growing list of participants. (Source: maltairshow.com, 13-Sep-2017)

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

AFM's 2017 Open Day to be held at the Air Wing facility

The Armed Forces of  Malta (AFM) will hold their popular Open Day on Sep. 30th between 11am and 7pm. This year's edition will be held at the Air Wing facility in Kirkop, where the AFM will be able to showcase its new fixed-wing aircraft, helicopters, and hangars.

Equipment by the other sections of the AFM, including the Maritime Squadron, the infantry, the explosive ordnance unit and the band will also be on display. The entrance will be free. (Source: timesofmalta.com & AFM, 11-Sep-2017)

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Ryanair to introduce 12 new Malta routes next summer

Ryanair has announced plans for 12 new routes from Malta next summer and says it intends to base a fifth aircraft on the island. D. O’Brien, chief commercial officer, told a press conference that the low-cost airline will operate 54 routes to 18 countries from Malta next summer.

The new routes are Aberdeen, Belfast, Seville, Pescara, Bratislava, Gothenburg, Paris-Beauvais, Porto, Tallin and extended services to Barcelona, Naples and Riga. Services to Naples and Riga are being introduced from this winter. The service to Barcelona will fly to the city's main airport. 

"This is good news for Malta as new routes will enhance diversification of inflows and outflows," Tourism Minister K. Mizzi observed. He said most of the services were new for Malta and there was hardly any overlap with Air Malta. 

Mr Mizzi said plans were also in train for cooperation between Ryanair and Air Malta in sales and commercial aspects, including sales on the Ryanair commercial portal. Talks are in hand on cooperation on connecting flights.

It was also announced that Ryanair will make a bid for ailing Italian flag carrier Alitalia in the coming weeks. (Source: timesofmalta.com, 10-Sep-2017)

Friday, September 8, 2017

Three flights en rotue to Malta IAP diverts to other airports due to bad weather over the airfield

Three flights en route to Malta IAP this afternoon where forced to divert to other airports due to a thunderstorm over the airfield. 

The first aircraft to divert was a Gryphon Airlines McDonnell Douglas MD-87 (ZS-TRJ), operating scheduled flight UG-1300 for Tunisair Express between Tunis-Carthage (Tunisia) and Malta IAP. After a missed approach the crew decided to return to Tunis airport. The flight was subsequently cancelled.

Next to divert was a Volga-Dnepr Airlines Ilyushin IL-76 (RA-76951), operating cargo flight VDA-4044 between Châlons-Vatry (France) and Malta IAP. The IL-76 diverted to Palermo airport (Sicily/Italy). The flight was subsequently re-scheduled to tomorrow.

The last flight to divert was an Alitalia Airbus A320-200 (I-BIKA), operating scheduled flight AZ-886 between Rome-Fiumicino (Italy) and Malta IAP. The A320 diverted also to Palermo airport (Sicily/Italy). The flight then continued to Malta IAP reaching destination with a delay of 1-hr 35-mins on its original time.

Besides these diversions, numerous fights that had depart from Malta IAP had to be delayed too. (8-Sep-2017)

Friday, September 1, 2017

USN P8 and MH-60 for 2017 Malta Int'l Airshow

Visitors to the Malta Airshow can hardly realize how fortunate we are, to once again, have the United States Navy’s (USN) latest asset, in the form of a Boeing P-8 Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft, gracing our static park for the whole weekend and even with a possibility of having the aircraft performing a flying display over Smart City (flying to be confirmed).

The Boeing P-8 Poseidon has been developed by Boeing, based on the Boeing 737-800ER (extended range) airliner air frame. The P-8 conducts anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, and shipping interdiction, along with an early warning self-protection ability, otherwise known as electronic support measures. This involves carrying torpedoes, depth charges, Harpoon anti-ship missiles, and other weapons. It is able to drop and monitor sonobuoys.

Accompanying the P-8, the U.S. Navy MH-60 Seahawk will also be returning to the Malta International Airshow static park, after previous participation.

The Sikorsky MH-60 Seahawk is a twin engine, multi-mission U.S. Navy helicopter based on the U.S. Army UH-60 Black Hawk and a member of the Sikorsky S-70 family. The most significant air frame modification for seaborne naval use, is a hinged tail to reduce its footprint aboard ships, when parked.

Both U.S. Navy assets will be flying-in from nearby U.S. Navy Air Bases in Sigonella (Sicilly) and Naples (Italy).

The Malta Aviation Society is proud that once again the U.S. Naval Air Forces is participating with their assets at our show. (Source: maltairshow.com, 1-Sep-2017)

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Air Malta carried more than 12,200 pax last weekend

Air Malta carried more than 12,200 passengers last Saturday and Sunday, considered to be the busiest weekend of the year so far. In a statement, the national airline said it had carried 1,200 passengers (+11%) more than in the corresponding period last year for a total of 12,210 pax and registering a seat load factor of about 90%.

"For many of our guests, last weekend was the start of holidays and we are happy that they chose to travel on Air Malta. With over 80 flights running on-schedule, we had a very busy operation," said P. Sies, the airline" chief commercial officer. He said Air Malta was the airline that offered "the most interesting schedule with excellent timings” to travel to the best airports in Europe." (Source: timesofmalta.com, 26-Aug-2017)

Friday, August 25, 2017

USAF KC-135 for 2017 Malta Int'l Airshow

Another welcomed addition to our ever growing static display park is the United States Air Force (USAF) KC-135 Stratotanker, a favorite with many aviation enthusiasts.

Based on the Boeing 707 commercial airliner, the KC-135 is USAF main aerial refueling tanker. It has been refueled other military aircraft in the air since its entry into service 60 years ago, in 1957. This makes the presence of the legendary KC-135 at our airshow even more significant. 

The participating aircraft is one which is based in Europe, namely at RAF Mildenhall, in the U.K. The Malta Aviation Society is extremely grateful to welcoming back the USAF at the Malta International Airshow 2017. (Source: maltairshow.com, 25-Aug-2017)

Two French AF Alpha Jets for 2017 Malta Int' Airshow

We are pleased to announce a further addition to the flying and static display program, with the confirmation of two French Air Force Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet. 

The Alpha Jet was originally designed and co-produced by Dassault in France and Dornier in Germany, as a light attack aircraft, although it was primarily and extensively used, as an advanced/lead in, jet trainer aircraft, produced in large numbers by both the French and the German AF.

The aircraft has already participated in our airshow in past editions, both in the static display and also in our flying programs. Moreover, the aircraft is also used for the French AF's National Display Team – the Patrouille de France, who have also participated in our past editions, namely in the very first Malta airshow, back in 1993.

The Malta Aviation Society organizers of the Malta International Airshow would like to publicly thank the French AF for confirming their participation once again in Malta. (Source: maltairshow.com, 25-Aug-2017)