Saturday, February 11, 2017

Air X Charter wins U.S. foreign air carrier rights

Malta's Air X Charter has been successful in attaining a Foreign Air Carrier Permit (FACP) by the US Department of Transportation (DOT), as well as an exemption authority. 

The Maltese carrier has been approved to conduct 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.

As previously reported, the luxury charter carrier recently acquired stakes in ViaAir and Elite Business Aircraft, with the latter being rebranded as AirX America. The new entity will use Elite's Part 135 certificate to operate Bombardier Challenger 850s, Cessna Citation 750 Xs and Gulfstream IVSPs. (Source:, 10-Feb-2017)

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Air Malta A320 struck by lightning on approach to Catania

An Air Malta aeroplane (Airbus A320-200, 9H-AEO) was struck by lightning as it approached the Catania airport earlier today.

In a statement, Air Malta said that no one was injured in the incident and that the aircraft landed safely in Catania.

"It is not uncommon in commercial aviation for aircraft to be struck by lightning," Air Malta’s chief operations officer S. Falzon said. "Aircraft are designed for this eventuality and Air Malta crews are specially trained to handle these situations. Passengers, crew and aircraft were never in any danger, and standard procedure entailed that the aircraft is checked once on ground and before further flight."

Air Malta's flight KM624 to Milan was diverted to Catania to take a team of engineers and parts to service the aircraft that had been struck by lightning, service the aircraft and certify it fir for flight. The aircraft is currently being repaired by the airline’s engineers.

As a consequence of this incident, Air Malta suffered some delays today but the airline expects to have the schedule back on track tonight. (Source:, 9-Feb-2017)

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Volotea to operate Bordeaux-Malta service in summer 2017

Volotea announced a new summer route between Bordeaux (France) and Malta IAP with effect from Apr. 13th, 2017. This new route will be offered initially once weekly, then twice weekly from Jun. 26th up to Aug. 31st. Flights will be operated with Airbus A319s. (Source:, 8-Jan-2017)

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

The year is off to a flying start at Malta International Airport, with January having exceeded the 300,000 passenger mark for the first time. Hosting precisely 301,289 passengers in January, the airport's traffic for the month increased by 27.3% over 2016. This means that the airport welcomed 64,699 passengers more than it did in its first month last year.

This growth was registered on the back of an upturn in both aircraft movements and seat capacity, which grew by 22.1% and 27.7%, respectively. Enhanced connectivity to markets such as Germany, Spain and Italy was an important contributing factor to this growth. Moreover, seat load factor also increased by 1% to reach 72.7%, indicating that airlines were more efficient in filling up available seats, as more tourists chose to travel to Malta.

The United Kingdom, Italy and Germany were the top three contributors of traffic at Malta International Airport, with all three registering double-digit growth. Accounting for 15,784 and 13,903 passenger movements, Belgium and Spain, were the fourth and fifth top drivers of traffic to Malta during the month of January. 

Looking at the top five airports delivering traffic to Malta, one notes that newcomer Catania Fontanarossa International Airport established itself at the top of the list, following the introduction of added flight frequencies to this airport.

The maximum take-off weight at the airport also experienced a 26.8% growth to reach 104,108 tonnes and the weight of cargo and mail climbed to 1,305 tonnes from the 1,185 tonnes registered in January 2016. (Source:, 7-Feb-2017)

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Tecnam P2002 light aircraft crash lands at Malta IAP

Nobody was injured when a small single-engine aircraft left the runway on landing (RWY 23) and ended up on the grass at Malta International Airport this afternoon. The Tecnam P2002 light aircraft (9H-SEP) was involved in an accident at around 1625lt.   

Emergency teams were immediately dispatched to the area, an Malta IAP spokeswoman said, and no injuries were reported. The plane was extensively damaged. Airport operations were not affected by the incident. (Source:, 4-Feb-2017)