Friday, December 28, 2018

Air Malta plans to resume Cairo service in summer 2019

Air Malta in summer 2019 season intends to resume service to Cairo, as the airline filed operational for Malta IAP - Cairo IAP (Egypt) route in the OAG.  Previously served until October 2006, the airline intends to operate this route twice a week on Thursdays and Sundays with Airbus A320, effective 31-Mar-19.

KM710 MLA-CAI 2340 – 0215+1 
KM711 CAI-MLA 0315 – 0620


(Source: routesonline.com, 27-Dec-2018)

Friday, December 21, 2018

Ryanair's flight to Nuremberg returns to Malta IAP for technical reasons

A Ryanair Boeing 737-800 (EI-EXE), operating flight FR-2561 between Malta IAP and Nuremberg (Germany) had to return back to Malta IAP the evening for technical reasons.  

The aircraft was flying at 36,000-ft, north of Sicily, when the crew reported the problem and decided to return back to Malta to have the problem sorted out.  The aircraft landed safely on RWY 31 around 2015lt, 1-hr 45-mins after departing.  

The flight was subsequently operated by a replacement aircraft (B738, EI-DWJ), departing from Malta IAP at 2310lt. (Source: flightradar24.com, 21-Dec-2018)

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Air Malta considering resuming Libya flights in 2019

Air Malta  is considering resuming scheduled passenger flights to Libya in 2019, Chief Commercial Officer P. Sies has confirmed.  "There is a project to resume flights, [it is] still a project however and not confirmed yet," Sies commented in an emailed statement to ch-aviation.

Last week, Minister of Tourism K. Mizzi told TVM in an interview that the proposed service may operate between Malta IAP and Tripoli-Mitiga.  Given the lack of country-wide security, foreign carriers have been hesitant to resume regular flights to Libya. (Source: ch-aviation.com, 17-Dec-2018)

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Seven year concession to continue operating ramp services at Malta IAP

Air Malta and Aviaserve have been awarded a seven year concession by the Malta International Airport plc to continue providing ramp services at the airport until 2025.

M.I.A. plc said in a statement that the contracts were awarded following a public call.  It added that these contracts oblige the two companies to provide the best quality service which will continue to improve the level of service at the airport.

Both Air Malta, as well as Aviaserve, are obliged to carry out a programme of investment in the equipment to ensure that they are catering for the needs of the airline and the clients which use the airport.  The agreement also provides for security measures in their runway operations.  (Source: tvm.com.mt, 11-Dec-2018)

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Qatar Airways to launch flights to Malta in June 2019

Qatar Airways announced that it will launch direct services to Malta, starting 4-Jun-2019, marking the airline's first gateway to Malta and the latest addition to its rapidly-expanding European network.  The Malta route will be served with an A320 aircraft, with daily services in summer and four-times-weekly flights in winter.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive Akbar Al Baker said: "We are tremendously excited to announce the launch of direct services to Malta, one of Europe's architectural gems and a key new addition to our European network.  This new direct route demonstrates our commitment to enhancing connectivity for both business and leisure travelling to and from Europe, which we have enhanced during the past year with the launch of non-stop services to Prague, Kyiv, Skopje."

Passengers travelling to Malta in Business Class can look forward to relaxing in 
one of the most comfortable, fully-lie-flat beds, as well as enjoy the five-star food and beverage service, which is served 'dine-on-demand'.  Passengers can also take advantage of the airline's award-winning in-flight entertainment system, Oryx One, offering up to 4,000 entertainment options.  (Source: gulf-times.com, 10-Dec-2018)

Saturday, December 8, 2018

TM licences Freebird Airlines Europe as an Approved Training Organisation

Transport Malta (TM) has today licensed Freebird Airlines Europe as an Approved Training Organisation, the first international company in Malta licenced exclusively for aviation training, it said in a statement.  "Freebird's decision to set up shop in Malta confirms and consolidates Malta's efforts to maintain and expand a comprehensive aviation cluster for the island,"a Transport Malta statement read.

"Freebird will start to provide EASA Approved Type Rating Training in Malta.  For the first time, budding Maltese commercial pilots can receive most of the training required in Malta.  Freebird also aims to service the increasing demand for pilot and crew training in the region.  The organisation, in synergy with other local service providers, will focus on rating training for the Airbus A320, the Boeing 737, simulator flight instructor training and Type Rating Instructor training."

Capt. C. Arbac, from the organisation, said that, "with the professional and constructive cooperation of Transport Malta we would like to extend our contribution to the aviation and the training industry in Europe and other regions.  We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Maltese Civil Aviation Directorate and look forward to expanding our training services."  (Source: independent.com.mt, 8-Dec-2018)

Friday, December 7, 2018

M.I.A. plc releases traffic results for November 2018

The winter season is off to a strong start at Malta Int'l Airport, with November traffic reaching 453,563 passengers movements and registering an increase of 11.8% over the same month last year.

Passenger movement peaked on the 4th of November, which was the same day year-to-date traffic through Malta IAP hit the 6 million passenger mark, surpassing the record-breaking 6,014,548 passenger movements recorded between January and December last year.

This growth in passenger numbers was driven mainly by the launch of a robust winter schedule, featuring an increased frequency of flights to several popular destinations, together with the extension of 12 summer routes into the winter season.

Aircraft movements rose by 10.4% to 3,357 take-offs and landings in November 2018, while seat capacity grew by 11.5%, when compared to 2017.  On average almost 4 out of every 5 seats on board were occupied, bringing November's seat load factor up to 79.2%.

With the United Kingdom holding on to the top spot, closely followed by Italy, Germany, France, and Spain, Malta IAP's top five markets remained unchanged.

Four out of these five markets registered significant growth during November, ranging from 7.4% in the case of the U.K. to 66.5% in the case of Spain.  

The significant growth registered by the Spanish market is attributed to the extension of the Seville, Valencia and Malaga routes introduced in summer into the winter season, as well as the increased frequency of direct flights to Barcelona.  

Germany was the only market among the airport's top five to register a 0.8% decline in passenger movements.  (Source: maltairport.com, 7-Dec-2018)

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Medavia Technics opens line station in Ghana

Medavia Technics has recently signed up a two-year maintenance agreement to support this inspiring new start-up regional airline, called Passion Air (IATA-Code OP), based in Accra – Ghana international airport.  Passion Air is a Ghanaian airline that started scheduled domestic operations in Ghana back in August 2018. 

The scope of the agreement eyes Medavia Technics being involved in the following areas of expertise: technical support/consultancy upon the delivery of their 78 seater aircraft – Bombardier Q400; base maintenance support including painting under our Part-145 approval; Part-21J Design Organisation for the livery application approval on their aircraft; Continued Airworthiness Management support and finally by setting up a Line Maintenance Station in Accra in order to offer full line support under our Ghanaian approval.  

Medavia Technics shall also support them logistically both under normal and AOG circumstances including workshop support.  (Source: Medavia, 5-Dec-2018)

Air Malta eyes A220s for thinner regional routes

Air Malta is evaluating adding A220s for regional routes too thin to operate with the carrier's existing fleet of Airbus narrowbodies, the Blue Swan Daily has reported.

"We are looking at the A220 for operation on shorter distances to develop a concept of Air Malta as the airline of the Mediterranean.  The A220s offer the opportunity for short-haul flying over one hour and one hour and a half.  You can do it more frequently, connecting an island to the mainline," Chairman Dr C. Mangion said.

The airline has yet to settle on a specific business plan for the A220s and has not yet decided whether it would be interested in A220-100s or A220-300s.

According to the ch-aviation fleets module, Air Malta currently operates one A319-100, seven A320-200s (of which one is wet-leased from the carrier's fully owned technical partner Malta MedAir), and one A320-200neo. (Source: ch-aviation.com, 6-Dec-2018)

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Saudi Arabian Airlines B772 diverts to Malta IAP for technical reasons

A Saudi Arabian Boeing 777-200ER (HZ-AKQ), operating ferry flight SV-9385 between Algiers (Algeria) and Jeddah (Saudi Arabia), had to divert to Malta Int'l Airport this morning after the  crew reported technical problems.  The aircraft landed safely on RWY 31 at 1115lt.  The flight is expected to continue to Saudi Arabia tomorrow.  (Source: flightradar24.com, 2-Dec-2018)

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Ryanair's Sevilla-Malta flight diverts to Catania

A Ryanair Boeing 737-800 (EI-FIZ), performing flight FR-1409 from Seville (Spain) to Malta IAP (Malta), had to divert to Catania-Fontanarossa (Sicily, Italy) this afternoon because of bad weather over Malta.  The aircraft departed again to Malta reaching destination with a delay of 2-hrs 20-mins.  (Source: flightradar24.com, 12-Oct-2018)

Friday, November 30, 2018

Malta Maritime Pilots get new launch

A new pilot boat with the name of Juliet I has been inaugurated.  The 15-metre launch has been built with a 900,000 euro investment.  Juliet I is the eighth launch for the Malta Maritime Pilots, a cooperative set up in 2003.  The cooperative today employs 65 persons, among them 16 pilots.  The Chief Pilot, Captain J. Mifsud, told TVM that pilots nowadays manoeuvre vessels which are as long as four football pitches.  (Source: tvm.com.mt, 30-Nov-2018)

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Air Malta awarded the CAPA Turnaround Airline of the Year

Air Malta has scooped the 2018 'Turnaround Airline of the Year' at the prestigious CAPA World Aviation Outlook summit held in Berlin.  Air Malta was chosen amongst the world's airlines for its 'innovative strategic changes and/or a restructuring exercise'.  

CAPA's Aviation Awards for Excellence are regarded as the pre-eminent awards for strategic excellence in aviation.  This year's winners in various categories include Qantas Group, WOW air, CityJet, LEVEL and Jozsef Varadi, Wizz Air's Chief Executive.  

Air Malta's Chairman, Dr C. Mangion, was presented with the award during the CAPA Aviation Awards ceremony.  Air Malta was selected for its successful transformation, from a heavy loss-making entity to a break-even result for the fiscal year ended March 2018.

In the statement announcing the winners CAPA said that Air Malta had been unprofitable for nearly 20 years as it struggled to overcome multiple challenges, including increasing competition from LCCs, outdated work practices and tensions in the North Africa market, which impacted its traditionally strongest routes.  It added that the flag carrier had accumulated operating losses of more than USD300 million over the 10 years ended Mar-2017. (Source: Air Malta, 28-Nov-2018)

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Turkish Airlines A333 bound to Lagos diverts to Malta IAP

A Turkish Airlines Airbus A330-300 (TC-JNM), performing flight TK-625 between Istanbul-Ataturk (Turkey) and Lagos-Murtala Mohammed (Nigeria), had to divert to Malta Int'l Airport this afternoon due to medical emergency on board.  The flight continued to Lagos after nearly 90-mins at Malta IAP.  (Source: flightradar24.com, 21-Nov-2018)

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Year-to-date traffic through Malta IAP soars to nearly six million passenger movements

Malta Int’l Airport continued to register exceptional results, with year-to-date traffic through the terminal reaching 5,939,436 passenger movements.  This figure indicates that the airport is on track to reaching its forecast 6.8 million passenger movements by the end of 2018.

Last summer was an important contributor to this year-to-date total.  A 12.2% growth in passenger traffic for the summer months – from April to October – was observed alongside a 13.4% increase in aircraft movements and an increase of 13.7% in seat capacity.  These improvements mainly resulted from a significantly enhanced summer schedule with more than 100 destinations on offer.

"Year-to-date traffic results are quite remarkable considering that last year the six million mark was only reached on the last day of 2017.  While summer has now ended, over 12 routes have been extended into the winter period and more frequencies have been added on a number of routes.  The months ahead promise to keep us busy, auguring well for our pledge to constantly work towards year-round tourism," said Malta IAP CEO, A. Borg.

The top drivers of passenger traffic during the summer months were the U.K. (+14.9%), Italy (+15.1%), Germany (-2.3%), France (+12.5%), and Spain (+44.5%).  Spain's noteworthy spike in passenger movements can be attributed to the launch of three new summer routes; Malaga, Seville, and Bilbao, two of which have been extended into the winter period.

Last summer's most popular destination with Maltese holidaymakers was Italy, with Catania and Rome being the most sought-after cities.  These two cities will be benefitting from four additional weekly flights each throughout the winter period, which will certainly serve to further cement their popularity with the Maltese public even in the off-peak months.

October, which marks the end of summer for the aviation industry, grew by 8.4% in terms of traffic to reach 646,559 passenger movements.  (Source: maltairport.com, 7-Nov-2018)

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Air Malta forced to delay flight after pilots and their replacements call in sick

Air Malta flight KM560/1 from Malta to Moscow was yesterday evening delayed by 10 hours 30 minutes due to the fact that the planned operating crew for this flight reported sick, the airline said in a statement.  

The next standby crew was called and the co-pilot reported sick after he was called in, leaving the airline with no option but to delay the flight and wait for a leased aircraft to be flown to Malta, Air Malta said.

Consequently, and to minimise disruptions to its customers, the airline has today wet-leased an Airbus A321 to operate KM100/1 from Malta to London in order to facilitate the delayed flight to Moscow.

This flight was delayed by 2-hrs 55-mins.  A number of other flights were also delayed today with delays ranging from 20-40 minutes.  KM368/9 from Malta to Hamburg was delayed by one hour.

The estimated cost of this disruption is over €85,000, Air Malta said, apologizing for any inconvenience caused by circumstances beyond its control.  (Source: independent.com.mt, 7-Nov-2018)

Ukraine Air Alliance AN12 bound to Mitiga diverts to Malta IAP

A Ukraine Air Alliance Antonov AN-12 (UR-CGV), performing cargo flight UKL4019 between Paris-Vatry Chalons (France) and Tripoli-Mitiga (Libya), had to divert to Malta IAP this morning due to the temporarily closure of Mitiga airport because of unrest in its vicinity.  The aircraft continued with the flight to Tripoli-Mitiga after 55-mins on the ground.  (Source: 7-Nov-2018)

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Ryanair launches new Malta to Amman route

Ryanair today announced a new route from Malta to Amman, Jordan, its 62nd route from Malta, with a twice weekly service commencing in April 2019, as it extends its biggest ever Summer 2019 schedule.  Ryanair will now operate 62 routes in total, which will deliver 3.1m customers p.a. through Malta airport next year, as Ryanair grows it's Malta traffic by 15%.  (Source: Ryanair, 6-Nov-2018)

Saturday, November 3, 2018

French BEA publishes the final report of the Metroliner that crashed in Malta on 24-Oct-2016

France's Bureau d'Enquêtes et d'Analyses pour la Sécurité de l'Aviation Civile (BEA) has published the final report about the "French spy plane" that crashed shortly after take-off from Malta IAP on 24-Oct-2016.  The modified twin turboprop Fairchild Metroliner (N577MX), operated by CAE Aviation for the French authorities, took-off from Malta IAP at 0719lt, spending only ten seconds in the air before crashing just outside the airport's perimeter fence in Safi, killing all five people on board. 

According to the final report on an investigation by the French BEA, the accident was caused by "a technical malfunction during rotation or on lift-off, leading to a loss of control".  The investigators say that the technical malfunction that is likely to have downed the plane probably "originated in the specific modifications of the aircraft and in the application of an inappropriate maintenance to these modifications".

Investigators looked into five possible scenarios:  possible high-risk behaviour on the part of the pilot; physical incapacitation of one of the pilots; rupture to its High-Frequency (HF) antenna causing it to become "wrapped around the elevator control surface"; a technical malfunction of the SAS stall avoidance system; technical malfunction of a component of the flight controls.

A number of recommendations were made to both the French authorities and the aircraft's operators, regarding the way in which maintenance is carried out on the modified aircraft.

As regards local authorities, the report notes that "during the investigation, due to limited access in situ, it was not possible to determine why the controller in the tower was not the first to trigger the alarm".

Consequently, the BEA recommended that the "Maltese authorities responsible for the airport to investigate the reasons why the controller in the control tower at the time of the accident was not the first person to detect the accident" and introduce measures to improve the response time.  (Source: maltatoday.com, 2-Nov-2018)

Friday, November 2, 2018

Air Malta launches 2018/19 winter schedule

Air Malta is setting its sights on extending its record passenger growth numbers into the Winter season with the start of its winter flight schedule this week.

On the back of unprecedented passenger traffic during the summer months, the airline’s strategy sees a new focus for the winter, with 27 scheduled destinations, an increase of nine destinations over last year.  The result is a 40% capacity increase covering a selection of 300 weekly departures.

Air Malta is committed to growing inbound and outbound tourism especially during the shoulder and winter periods.  The airline aims to offer a diverse selection of main city and hub airports and a high level of frequencies to and from Malta, giving passengers optimum choice and optimum value for money as well as several options to connect beyond to/from airports nor served with direct flights.

Several of the new routes launched in the last 12 months have proven to be highly successful and will subsequently be retained, including Lisbon, Cagliari, Malaga, Casablanca, and Kiev.

The 5th Freedom flights between Catania and Vienna and between Catania and London Southend will also be retained.

Meanwhile, the German market, which has for many years been a mainstay to both the airline and the country’s tourism success, will be given renewed focus.

The airline will be placing a lot of new capacity and investing in the German market by adding three new destinations; the capital Berlin, Hamburg and Leipzig.  With double daily flights to Munich, five weekly to Frankfurt and a twice weekly flights to Dusseldorf, Air Malta is making sure to cover the German market with 50 weekly departures to and from six airports.

This winter Air Malta will operate direct flights to Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Cagliari, Catania, Casablanca, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Leipzig, Lisbon, London-Gatwick, London-Heathrow, London-Southend, Kiev, Malaga, Milan, Moscow, Munich, Palermo, Paris-Charles De Gaulle, Paris-Orly, Rome, Tel Aviv, Tunis, Vienna and Zurich. 

The airline will also operate flights between Catania – Vienna, Catania – London-Southend and Cagliari – London*Southend.

The winter schedule started on 28th October and runs up to the end March 2019.  (Source: Air Malta, 1-Nov-2018)

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Air Malta re-launches Malta-Leipzig service after seven years

Air Malta has re-launched this evening direct flights between Malta IAP and Leipzig (Germany).  This same route was last served by the national airline in October 2011.  

This first flight, operated with Airbus A319-100 (9H-AEJ), departed from Malta IAP at 1806lt (KM-310).  After turnaround, the aircraft is scheduled to return Malta IAP at 0015lt (KM-311).  Air Malta will be operating the route once a week, on Wednesdays.  (31-Oct-2018)

Monday, October 29, 2018

Vueling's Barcelona-Palermo flight diverts to Malta IAP

A Vueling Airlines Airbus A320-200 (EC-LAA), performing flight VY-6600 from Barcelona (Spain) to Palermo (Sicily, Italy), had to divert to Malta IAP this afternoon because of bad weather over Palermo.  The aircraft departed again to Palermo reaching destination with a delay of nearly 4-hrs.  (Source: flightradar24, 29-Oct-2018)

Friday, October 26, 2018

Lufthansa Technik Malta receives A350 base maintenance approval

Lufthansa Technik Malta is officially ready to perform all work required for the Base Maintenance of the Airbus A350-900, as the company has been licensed by the German Federal Aviation Office (LBA).

The granting of the "Base Maintenance Approval" certificate by the LBA marks the successful end of an intense period of preparation, in which employees were trained, processes were established and infrastructure was adapted.

Lufthansa Technik Malta kicked off this extensive program in November 2016 and has now been rewarded accordingly for its efforts. The first A350 is expected to arrive for base maintenance services at Lufthansa Technik Malta in spring 2019.

Lufthansa Technik's CEO M. Motschenbacher said: "More than 50 employees of Lufthansa Technik Malta spent just over three months in personal preparation acquiring the necessary qualifications and practical training to enable them to work on the A350.  Two out of six base maintenance lines at the facility have been outfitted to accommodate the A350-900 with an investment of over €3.2m to cover the first C-Checks.  A substantial investment in new tooling has included the purchase of more than 280 different tools including engine removal tooling."

Extensive docking modifications have also been undertaken in Hangar 1, extending the current capabilities of the mezzanine, wing and tail docks.  Investment in a new electrical installation was also made due to the A350's dedicated hydraulic rigs.  (Source: lufthansa-technik.com, 26-Oct-2018)

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Dassault Falcon 2000LXS joins TAG Malta’s growing AOC

TAG Malta has added a new Falcon 2000LXS to its growing fleet of managed aircraft, offering clients greater flexibility and cost-effective executive travel to a wide range of destinations.  The luxuriously appointed, wide-body, business jet will be based between Geneva and Cairo and is fully available for charter from the end of October.

"We are delighted to welcome the outstandingly versatile Dassault Falcon 2000LXS to the charter fleet which will open up exciting new opportunities for TAG Malta", said F. Sériès, Vice President Sales and Marketing, TAG Aviation Europe.  "This super-midsize twinjet is the third factory-new aircraft to join our Maltese AOC this year and is a great example of our continuing fleet expansion and ongoing commitment to meet the private aviation needs of our customers."  (Source: corporatejetinvestor.com, 24-Oct-2018)

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Air Malta is set to break even in the financial year that ended in Mar-18

Air Malta is expected to announce that it reached break in the financial year that ended in March 2018, MaltaToday has learnt.  This will be the first time in 18 years that the national airline has registered a positive financial performance, airline sources said.  The results are expected to be announced at the annual general meeting that will be held in December.  Air Malta's fiscal year is from April to March.

The airline underwent an intensive restructuring process since being on the brink of bankruptcy in 2010 when government stepped in with State aid that had to be cleared by Brussels.  The restructuring process, which involved downsizing the airline and cutting some of its routes, was supposed to turn the airline back to black within five years.  The airline failed to do so and in June last year, under incoming Tourism Minister K. Mizzi, Air Malta shifted to a growth strategy.

The airline added new routes, increased the number of aircraft in operation and negotiated collective agreements with its workers.  It also cut certain costs, such as free on-board meals.  The strategy appears to have paid off with the airline managing to carry more passengers.  The sources said that between January and August of this year, the airline registered a 35% increase in passenger numbers.  (Source: maltatoday.com, 22-Oct-2018)

Friday, October 12, 2018

Ryanair's Liverpool-Malta flight diverts to Trapani

A Ryanair Boeing 737-800 (EI-FZN), performing flight FR-8928 from Liverpool (U.K.) to Malta IAP (Malta), had to divert to Trapani (Sicily, Italy) this evening because of bad weather over Malta IAP.  The aircraft departed again to Malta reaching destination with a delay of about 3-hrs 15-mins.  (Source: flightradar24, 12-Oct-2018)

Proposed startup LeOne to be based in Malta

LeOne, a proposed startup airline, presented yesterday its business plan: New brand of Group Aerospace Engineering, which includes subsidiaries Aerospace Engineering Ldt and Aero-Engineering srl; Will be based in Malta and intends to provide ACMI/charter services on behalf of airlines and tour operators in Italy; Will operate one Boeing 737-500 aircraft with 126-seats and one 737-400 with 168-seats. The 737-400 is expected for delivery before the end of 2018 and the 737-400 in Feb-2019.  (Source: centreforaviation.com, 12-Oct-2018)

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Air Malta carries 35% more passengers in August

During the month of August, Air Malta registered a 35% increase in passengers on its Malta-based routes compared to last year and carried a total of 244,799 passengers to and from Malta.  August was the airline’s busiest month this year.

"For another month Air Malta was one of the main contributors to the 9.5% growth registered by Malta IAP during August.  In addition to that, during this month, the Maltese airline carried almost 11,000 passengers on 5th Freedom routes, namely Catania - Vienna, Catania – London-Southend and Cagliari – London-Southend routes," the airline said in a statement.

P. Sies, Air Malta’s Chief Commercial Officer said, "Every month, over the past year, we have increased our passenger loads substantially when compared to the previous year.  This month, once again, we achieved an average seat factor of 83%.  During August we operated 1,746 flights, an increase of 26% more flights than last year."  (Source: independent.com.mt, 8-Aug-2018)

Monday, October 8, 2018

Air Horizont B734 diverts to Ancona due to control problems

An Air Horizont Boeing 737-400 (9H-AMW) on behalf of Albawings, performing flight 2B-224 from Venice (Italy) to Tirana (Albania) with 135 people on board, was en route at FL290 about 80-nm eastnortheast of Ancona (Italy), almost overhead Zadar (Croatia), when the crew decided to divert to Ancona reporting control problems.  A massive emergency response was initiated at Ancona, rescue helicopters were dispatched to the airport.  The aircraft landed safely on Ancona's RWY 22 about 22-mins after leaving FL290.  (Source: avherald.com, 5-Oct-2018)

Sunday, October 7, 2018

M.I.A. plc releases traffic results for September 2018

With 706,814 passenger movements recorded, September was yet another busy month in what is proving to be a record-setting summer for Malta Int'l Airport.  September was, in fact, the third consecutive month during which more than 700,000 passengers were welcomed by the airport team.

September's traffic brought peak holiday season to a close with more than 2.2 million passenger movements, making this three-month stretch the best quarter in the airport’s history.

Translating into an upturn of 12.8% over 2017, much of September's traffic growth can be attributed to an increase in aircraft movements (+12.5%) and seat capacity (+14.1%) which stemmed from an enhanced summer flight schedule. September's seat load factor, which measures the success rate of airlines in filling up available seats, stood at 85.7%.

The U.K. continued to top the list of Malta IAP's top markets, followed by Italy, Germany, France and Spain.  While four of these markets experienced double-digit growth, traffic from Germany dropped 7.2%, following the introduction of a reduced schedule by TUI cruises.

While Rome-Fiumicino topped the list of most popular airports in July and August, last month it was knocked off the top spot by London-Gatwick's 40,763 passenger movements.

Total Traffic
706,814 passenger movements
Top Market
United Kingdom (174,410 passenger movements)
Most Popular Airport
London Gatwick (40,763 passenger movements)
Aircraft Movements
4,766 take-offs and landings
Busiest Day
23.09.2018 (27,330 passenger movements)
Seat Capacity
825,170 seats
Fastest-growing Market
(from top 5)
Spain (+35.3%)
Cargo and Mail
1,323 tonnes

(Source: maltairport.com, 6-Oct-2018)

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Two Malta bound flights divert to Catania because of bad weather over Malta

Two Malta bound flights had to divert to Catania-Fontanarossa this morning because of a thunderstorm over the Maltese Islands.

The two flights affected were Air Malta's KM-613 from Rome-Fiumicino (
Airbus A320-200, 9H-AHR) and British Airways' BA-2644 from London-Gatwick (Airbus A320-200, G-EUYM).

Both flights then continued to Malta reaching destination with a delay of nearly 3-hrs 15-mins (Air Malta) and 3-hrs 35-mins respectively on their scheduled time. (2-Oct-2018)

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Malta's Comlux Aviation adds first Challenger 605

Comlux Aviation Malta has announced it had added a nine-seat Bombardier Challenger 605 to its Madrid Barajas-based fleet of business jets. The aircraft is being marketed for charter services through Comlux's OneAbove charter sales division.

Based on ch-aviation research, the aircraft in question is 9H-OWL (msn 593), previously operated by TAG Aviation (Malta) until Aug. 8th, according to Radarbox24 ADS-B data. It first flew from Munich to Strasbourg for Comlux on Sep. 3rd. (Source: ch-aviation.com, 26-Sep-2018)

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Air Malta A319 rejects take-off from Malta IAP after a birds' strike

An Air Malta Airbus A319-100 (9H-AEJ), performing flight KM-100 from Malta IAP (Malta) to London-Heathrow (U.K.), was accelerating for take-off from Malta's RWY 31 when the aircraft encountered a flock of birds causing multiple impacts prompting the crew to reject take-off at high speed. 

The aircraft slowed safely, stopped about 2100m down the runway for an inspection by emergency services, then taxied to the apron about eight minutes after the rejected takeoff.  The aircraft was examined and cleaned, then departed again after about four hours on the ground and reached London with a delay of about 3.5 hours.  (Source: avherald.com, 20-Sep-2018)

Jet2's Newcastle-Malta flight diverts to Frankfurt

A Jet2 Boeing B737-800 (G-JZHD), performing flight LS-573 from Newcastle (U.K.) to Malta IAP (Malta), had to divert to Frankfurt (Germany) this morning due to a medical emergency on board.  The aircraft departed again to Malta reaching destination with a delay of about 2-hrs 40-mins.  (Source: flightradar24, 20-Sep-2018)

Ryanair's Aberdeen-Malta flight diverts to Bergamo

A Ryanair Boeing B737-800 (EI-EKM), performing flight FR-1522 from Aberdeen (U.K.) to Malta IAP (Malta), had to divert to Bergamo (Italy) yesterday evening, reason unknown.  The aircraft departed again to Malta reaching destination with a delay of about 2-hrs 25-mins.  (Source: flightradar24, 20-Sep-2018)

Danish Air Transport AT72 diverts to Malta IAP

A Danish Air Transport ATR 72-200 (OY-RUG), operating flight DX-1844 from Lampedusa (Italy) to Catania-Fontanarossa (Italy), had to divert to Malta IAP last night because of bad weather over Catania airport.  The aircraft continued to Catania after nearly 1-hr 30-mins on the ground at Malta IAP.  (Source: 20-Sep-2018) 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Air Malta flights to/from Paris-Orly cancelled after pilots called in sick

Air Malta flights to and from Paris Orly were cancelled at short notice and without prior warning today after a number of pilots called in sick simultaneously.

Passengers had already been checked in on Air Malta flight KM-466, scheduled to leave from Luqa airport for Paris-Orly at 1510lt.  As the departure time came and went, flight boards started indicating that the flight - code-shared with Air France - had been delayed.  Just before 1700lt, passengers were informed that the flight had been cancelled.

The return flight KM-467 was scheduled to leave the Paris-Orly for Malta at 1850 lt but that flight too was cancelled.  Passengers were not informed until they reached the airport and were left scrambling to try and book alternative flights and overnight accommodation.

When contacted, Air Malta said the flights were cancelled due to an "unprecedented number of pilots reporting sick concurrently".  The airline said it was doing its utmost to provide transportation on alternative flights or on other airlines.  It apologised to passengers and said it regretted the inconvenience caused.  (Source: maltatoday, 19-Sep-2018)

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Ryanair announces ten new destinations from Malta

Malta will be connected to ten new airports in Europe as of next summer, Ryanair announced on Tuesday.  

Starting as of summer 2019, travellers will have the opportunity to fly into Cardiff and Exeter airports in the U.K., Lamezia-Terme and Perugia in Italy, Nantes in France, Thessaloniki in Greece, Cork in Ireland, Maastricht in the Netherlands, Oslo-Torp in Norway and also Luxembourg.

The routes to Norway and Luxembourg will be the first that Ryanair will be operating to these countries from Malta.

The addition of these routes means that Ryanair now operates 61 routes out of Malta, and it also means that another aircraft from their fleet will be based on the island.  This brings the tally of Ryanair aircraft based in Malta up to six.

Ryanair's David O'Brien said that the addition of these routes means that Malta now has more European connections than London-Heathrow airport.

The executive chairman of the Malta Tourism Authority Mr G. Gulia said the new routes complement the MTA's strategy of connecting Malta to as many destinations as possible.  Mr Gulia said that the routes connect Malta to previously unconnected cities and that this opens up new opportunities for Malta and the Maltese. (Source: maltatoday.com, 11-Sep-2018)

Friday, September 7, 2018

M.I.A. plc releases traffic results for August 2018

Traffic through Malta Int'l Airport continued on its upward trend, with passenger movements reaching 759,547 in August.  Translating into an increase of 9.5% over the same month last year, this total was yet another traffic record for the airport.  The August holiday rush kept the Malta IAP team busy with an average of 24,502 daily passenger movements.

This rise in passenger traffic was observed in parallel with a 9.7% increase in aircraft movements, with the airfield seeing over 5,000 take-offs and landings during the month.  While seat capacity grew by 10.5%, seat load factor dropped by 0.7%, when compared with the same month last year, to stand at 87.4%.

The top drivers of traffic for August were the United Kingdom (+12.1%), Italy (+16.2%), Germany (-11.0%), France (+2.5%) and Spain (+30.0%).

According to the 2018 Summer Season Travel Report, Malta has been gaining ground with British leisure travellers, featuring among the top 10 fastest-growing destinations for the summer season with a 13.7% growth rate.

Spain’s noteworthy performance can be partly attributed to the fact that Spanish routes increased with the introduction of flights to Bilbao, Malaga, and Seville.

The French route network was also widened with the launch of three scheduled services to Paris-Beauvais, Nice, and Lourdes, contributing to the market’s 2.5%.
Total Traffic
759,547 passenger movements
Top Market
United Kingdom (181,102 passenger movements)
Most Popular Airport
Rome, Fiumicino (42,967 passenger movements)
Aircraft Movements
5,072 take-offs and landings
Seat Capacity
869,762 seats
Fastest-growing Market 
(from top 5)
Spain (30.0%)
Cargo and Mail
1,536 tonnes

(Source: maltairport.com, 7-Sep-2018)

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Air Malta's flight bound to Malta from Paris-Orly returns back because of autopilot problems

An Air Malta Airbus A320-200 (9H-AEP), performing flight KM-467 from Paris Orly (France) to Malta (Malta), was climbing out of Orly's RWY-08 when the crew stopped the climb at FL130 reporting autopilot problems and decided to return to Orly for a safe landing on RWY-08 about 40 mins after departure.  The aircraft remained on the ground for about two hours, then departed again and reached Malta as flight KM-467A with a delay of 2:45 hours.  (Source: avherald.com, 5-Sep-2018)

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Maleth-Aero B733 returns back to Malta IAP for technical reasons

A Maleth-Aero Boeing B737-300 (9H-ZAK), operating chartered flight DB-338 between Malta IAP and Vagar (Faroe Islands), had to return back to Malta IAP this afternoon, 15-mins after departing, for technical reasons.  The aircraft was carrying the Maltese National Football Team for the first match of UEFA's new Nations League against the Faroe Island.  The flight was subsequently cancelled and re-scheduled for tomorrow.  (4-Sep-2018)

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Air Malta increased its passenger-load to and from Malta by 27% in July

During July the national airline Air Malta had a 27% increased passenger load on its routes in comparison to the same month last year.  An airline statement said 228,982 passengers had been carried to and from Malta and this had had a major effect on turnover figures registered by Malta IAP.  Air Malta said last month it had carried 8,000 passengers on its routes Catania-Vienna, Catania-London Southend and Cagliari-London Southend.

The airline’s commercial head Paul Sies was quoted as saying in a statement that Air Malta’s strategy of continuing to expand its routes by a further 21 new ones is bearing fruit.  On his part the airline’s Chairman, Charles Mangion, maintained the Company is satisfied with these results that show that for the third successive month passenger loads had increased substantially.

Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi said that over the last seven months Air Malta had carried an additional 200,000 passengers on its Malta-based routes and 25,000 other passengers on its intra-European routes between Sicily, Sardinia and London Southend.  (Source: tvm.com.mt, 29-Aug-2018)