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:, 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:, 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:, 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:, 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:, 7-Dec-2017)