Sunday, April 29, 2018

No indications of sabotage on VistaJet's aircraft

The Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM) has ruled out any elements of sabotage  on a private plane that was to fly Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed from Subang to Langkawi on Friday.

In a statement yesterday, CAAM chairman Datuk Seri Azharuddin A Rahman said the Bombardier Challenger  aircraft registered under Malta tail number 9H-VFD and operated by VistaJet Limited was unable to fly due to a minor and routine technical fault, namely air leakage from the left hand nose wheel.

"Today we conducted a thorough investigation, including a verification of the aircraft documentation, physical inspection of the aircraft and interviews with the pilots and maintenance personal of Tun’s private aircraft," he said.

"A check on the aircraft documentation found that there was no recent reported defect except for air leakage from the left hand nose wheel which was logged on Apr. 27th by a maintenance personnel.  The tyre pressure was low and after inflating, the pressure was still dropping at 2psi per minute," the statement said, adding that the tyre could not be replaced due to the non-availability of a spare tyre.

"Allegations of sabotage against an aircraft are extremely serious and could impact the reputation of Malaysian aviation and the country as a whole," the statement added.

CAAM was ordered yesterday to investigate Dr Mahathir’s claims that his flight was cancelled just before takeoff after the pilot detected some damage and immediate repairs could not be made. (Source: theborneopost.com, 29-Apr-2018)

Friday, April 27, 2018

Air Malta's flight bound to Vienna returns to Malta IAP

An Air Malta Airbus A320-200 (9H-AHS), operating scheduled flight KM-512 between Malta IAP and Vienna IAP (Austria), had to return to Malta IAP this evening due to a technical problem with one of the engines.  The aircraft landed safely on RWY-13 50-mins after departing.  Due to Air Malta's tight schedule the flight will be delayed until tomorrow morning. (27-Apr-2018)

Air Malta pilots refuse to fly airline's latest plane... and then change their mind

Air Malta pilots were told not to operate flights on the airline's most recent aircraft on Friday afternoon, with their union unhappy that the plane did not allow pilots to delete recordings of cockpit conversations.

In a statement issued on Friday afternoon, Air Malta said that it had received notification of Airline Pilots Association's industrial action just 22 minutes before a flight meant to be operated by its 9H-AHS aircraft was due to depart. 

The "disproportionate" decision would end up costing Air Malta more than €180,000 in compensation to passengers and related charges, the airline said.

It subsequently headed to court to file a warrant of prohibitory injunction against ALPA for having breached its collective agreement. 

Hours later, the airline issued a press statement announcing that the pilots' union had "temporarily suspended the industrial action".  Air Malta said it now expected flights to operate normally. (Source: timesofmalta.com, 27-Apr-2018)

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Volotea launches flights between Nice and Malta IAP

Volotea has launched flight operations today between Nice (France) and Malta IAP.  The first scheduled flight, operated with Boeing B717-200 (EI-EWI), landed at Malta IAP at 1841lt (V7-2872).  The aircraft departed after turnaround at 1942lt (V7-2873). (26-Apr-2018)

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

LHT to test new maintenance processes in Malta

Lufthansa Technik (LHT) will trial at its Malta facility new-technology aids to shorten aircraft layovers for maintenance checks.

The MRO provider says it has established an "innovation bay" at the Malta site to test "state-of-the-art technologies for aircraft overhauls in the near future".
Similar bays are planned at other facilities in an effort to roll out adopted solutions across the MRO specialist's network.

Equipment to be tested in Malta will include mobile 3D scanners to assess structural damage, inspection drones and exoskeletons – strap-on body support aids that can "relieve employees of physically strenuous work", LHT says.

The MRO provider notes it will test equipment from "both start-ups and established technology companies" and that the selection will be based "primarily on top trends" and day-to-day requirements.

M. Motschenbacher, chief executive of LHT's Malta facility, states: "Our aim is to improve base maintenance processes and then use the improved processes across all our locations."

This will guarantee coherent quality and standards throughout the MRO provider's network, he says. (Source: flightglobal.com, 23-Apr-2018)

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Air Malta schedules seasonal Lourdes service in S18

Air Malta during summer 2018 season is adding new scheduled service to France, as the airline plans to operate Malta – Lourdes route. Operating from 29-Jun-18 to 7-Sep-18, this route will be served by Airbus A320 twice weekly, on Mondays and Fridays.

KM4438 MLA 1700 – 1925 LDE 
KM4439 LDE 2015 – 2230 MLA

(Source: routesonline.com, 21-Apr-2018)

Friday, April 20, 2018

Air Malta and airBaltic begin codeshare service in S18

Air Malta and airBaltic at the launch of summer 2018 season launched reciprocal codeshare partnership, covering service to/from Malta, Catania, Riga and Tallinn. Planned codeshare routes from 26-Mar-18 as follows:

- Flights operated by Air Malta
    Malta – Amsterdam 
    Malta – Catania 
    Malta – Geneva 
    Malta – Paris CDG
    Malta – Zurich 
    Vienna – Catania 

- Flights operated by airBaltic
    Riga – Malta
    Riga – Munich
    Riga – Paris CDG
    Tallinn – Vienna


(Source: routesonline.com, 20-Apr-2018)

Air Malta takes delivery of its ninth dry leased aircraft

Air Malta’s ninth dry leased Airbus A320-200 aircraft has arrived at Malta IAP yesterday late in the evening.  Ferried by previous operated SriLankan Airlines, from Abu Dhabi where it was undergoing maintenance and reconfiguration to Air Malta’s needs, the aircraft, with registration 4R-ABP and in full Air Malta corporate livery, touched down at Malta IAP at 2308lt.  The aircraft will be re-registered on the Maltese Civil Aircraft Registry as 9H-AHS shortly and then put in Air Malta's service in the coming days. [Video clip]  (20-Apr-2018)

Romania back in the Air Malta network

Air Malta has added another destination to its route network and will start operating a weekly (Thursday) flight to Bucharest, the capital city of Romania. 

These new scheduled flights, which for years have been operated by Air Malta as a charter service, have now been upgraded to a scheduled one.  Scheduled flights to Bucharest will start as from 17-May-2018.  The flight schedule to Bucharest-Otopeni airport will operate as follows:

KM4526 departure Malta 12:45 - arrival Bucharest 15:55
KM4527 departure Bucharest 16:45 - arrival Malta 17:55

(Source: independent.com.mt, 19-Apr-2018)

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Maleth-Aero to add A346 to its fleet

Maleth Aero, based in Malta which provides a natural gateway connecting North Africa and Europe, is preparing to introduce its first wide body aircraft under management.  

The project is to add Airbus A340-600 (s/n 1030) configured with eight First Class, 32 business and 276 economy seats is underway and the aircraft is now being offered to the charter and ACMI market.  

Michael O'Brien, CEO of Maleth Aero, commented "we are very pleased to be introducing this product to our managed fleet and expect 9H-PGS to be on the ramp by August". (Source: newsroom.aviator.aero, 18-Apr-2018)

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Air Malta to resume Kiev service from June 2018

Air Malta from June 2018 plans to resume scheduled service to Ukraine, as the airline plans one weekly Malta – Kiev Borispil route.  Airbus A320 aircraft will operate this route on Tuesdays, starting 19-JUN-18. The airline last served this route in August 2015. 

KM574 MLA 1600–2015 KBP
KM575 KBP 2105–2315 MLA


(Source: routesonline.com, 18-Apr-2018)

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Light aircraft makes emergency landing at Malta IAP

A light aircraft has had to make an emergency landing at the Malta International Airport.  The aircraft is part of the Malta School of Flying.  It appears that the 9H-MLT aircraft, had a damaged undercarriage.  Sources stated the damaged part collapsed while landing on RWY 23 in front of Lufthansa Tecknik. (Source: tvm.com.mt, 11-Apr-2018)

Monday, April 9, 2018

Air Malta's Palermo-Malta flight delayed for technical reasons

Yesterday's Air Malta flight from Palermo to Malta KM-663 was heavily delayed due to technical reasons.  Air Malta said in a statement that the aircraft, a Boeing B737-400 (LY-GTW) operated by Getjets Airlines, developed a fuel spillage while on ground at Palermo.  As a normal procedure fire tenders were deployed to ensure maximum safety of passengers.  A relief aircraft, Airbus A319-100 (9H-AEJ) was dispatched by Air Malta to bring the passenger of KM-663.  The flight finally reached Malta this morning at 0620lt, with a delay 14 hours.  (9-Apr-2018)

Saturday, April 7, 2018

M.I.A. plc releases winter season traffic results

Malta Int'l Airport hosted over 1.8 million passengers during winter, which extends from Nov-17 to Mar-18 for the aviation industry.  This translates into an upturn of 17.0% over the previous comparable stretch.

Summer remains high season for traffic through the terminal, but the airport has been experiencing increasingly busy winters mainly resulting from collaborative efforts to promote Malta as a year-round destination.

Growth in passenger movements was registered in parallel with an increase of 16.6% in aircraft movements and an increase of 18.1% in seat capacity; both stemming from an enhanced winter flight schedule offering five new routes and increased frequencies on existing ones.  On the other hand, seat load factor for the season dropped marginally and stood at 77.2%.

Malta IAP's top markets were the U.K. (+11.6%), Italy (+12.9%), Germany (+14.7%), France (+20.9%), and Belgium (-3.7%), cumulatively accounting for over 1.3 million passenger movements of the airport’s total traffic for winter.

While all winter months experienced double-digit growth, at 22.5% the strongest increase was registered in March.  The Easter holidays and the launch of a summer schedule offering more than 100 destinations were important contributing factors to the significantly improved performance observed last month.

With summer now having started, Malta IAP has inaugurated 12 new routes operated by different airlines for the season, and will be launching more routes in April.  Busier days are expected, but with eight additional check-in desks and a new Central Security Area in operation as part of the company's Terminal Reconfiguration Project, the airport is in a better position to handle the increase in traffic. (Source: maltairport.com, 6-Apr-2018)

Friday, April 6, 2018

Jet2.com launches three new flights to Malta

Jet2.com and Jet2holidays are celebrating the launching of new flights to Malta from London-Stansted, Birmingham and Belfast International.  Jet2.com is now offering a total of eight destinations, including those from East Midlands, Glasgow, Leeds/Bradford, Manchester and Newcastle.

Jet2.com stated that with the introduction of these three new routes, the company is growing its capacity to Malta with 60% in summer in response to clients' demand.

Bookings have increased as a result of events and festivals, including the Valletta 18 which are attracting more tourists to Malta. The company stressed that Malta is enjoying an increase in bookings by young passengers due to big names of DJs and artists who are visiting Malta in the coming months for big events such as the Isle of MTV and Annie Mac Lost and Found.

Jet2.com and Jet2holidarys said that Malta has always brought great success for the companies since they started operating flights to the island in 2015.

CEO Steve Heapy said that the popularity of Malta as a tourist destination continues to grow among British tourists, adding that the companies are happy to assist Visit Malta in promoting the island as a destination with fantastic offers. (Source: tvm.com.mt, 5-Apr-2018)