Sunday, May 27, 2018

Technical problems and strike in France disrupts Air Malta's schedule

Twelve Air Malta flights suffered delays on Sunday after a plane (an Airbus A320-200, 9H-AHR) was grounded by technical issues in St Petersburg and another suffered a birdstrike in Catania.  The airline was also affected by an air traffic controllers' strike in France.

The flight from St Petersburg was meant to arrive in Malta at 6.15am but will now leave the Russian city at 7.30pm.  Also delayed were flights from and to Dusseldorf.  Departures to Orly, Zurich, Munich and Frankfurt were delayed in the afternoon.  Flights to Heathrow, Brussels, Rome, Catania and Marseille were also rescheduled.  A service to Comiso was cancelled. (Source: timesofmalta.com & flightradar24.com, 27-May-2018)

Friday, May 18, 2018

Ryanair's flight to Luton rejected take-off due to door indication

A Ryanair Boeing 737-800 (EI-FRI), performing flight FR-3883 from Malta (Malta) to London-Luton (U.K.) with 172 people on board, was accelerating for take-off from Malta's RWY 13 when the crew rejected take-off due to a aft door indication. The aircraft slowed safely and returned to the apron.  A replacement Boeing 737-800 (EI-ENL) reached Luton with a delay of 2.5 hours. (Source: avherald.com, 18-May-2018)

Friday, May 11, 2018

Libyan defence ministry told to pay for VIP jets grounded in Malta

A Maltese court has ordered a company owned by Libya's defence ministry to cough up €650,000 for two jets currently grounded in Malta.


The legal action was filed against Libya's EACS (Executive Authority for Air Cargo and Special Flights), which falls under the authority of the Libyan defence ministry, by Asemar Aviation and Cargo Services Limited, which are based in Malta but headed by Libyan national A. Abuzikri.

EACS is run by Shaker Own, who was appointed as its head by the Tobruk administration.  Asemar said €650,000 in services to EACS between 2013 and 2015 were never paid.  Among the bills was a €140,000 VIP flight between Mitiga and Paris in May 2014.

Asemar applied for the seizure, as security, of one of EACS's two Bombardier jets laid up in Malta.  Since July 2017, the two aircraft have also been at the heart of a legal battle between EACS and United Aviation Company (UAC), which is headed by Ali Elshanti.  UAC claims it is the legitimate owner of the two aircraft. (Source: maltatoday.com, 10-May-2018)

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Air Malta launches three new direct services to London-Southend

Air Malta has launched three new direct services to London-Southend airport in the past week.  

The airline began by introducing a three times weekly connection on the 2,100-kilometre sector from Malta on May 4th, with this route operating on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. 

It then launched a link on the 1,513-kilometre Cagliari sector on May 6th, followed by the introduction of the 1,928-kilometre Catania route on May 7th.  The Cagliari and Catania routes will both be served twice-weekly with the former operated on Wednesdays and Sundays, and the latter on Mondays and Thursdays. 

This means that Air Malta will offer one flight per day from Southend, year-round. There is no competition on the Cagliari and Catania airport pairs, which are the only services Air Malta operates from a U.K. airport that do not feature a direct connection to Malta. On both the Sardinia and Sicily links, there is an option to travel onward to Malta after a short stop. 

The direct Malta flights are the only new link with incumbent competition, with easyJet already providing two flights per week. All three routes will be flown on Air Malta A320s. (Source: anna.aero, 9-May-2018)

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Malta IAP releases 2017 financial results

Malta Int'l Airport plc experienced another year of solid growth, with the company registering a net profit of €24.2 million, up from €21.0 million in 2016.  Details of the company's performance in 2017 were presented today during Malta IAP's 26th Annual General Meeting.

The company's outstanding financial performance can be attributed to an increase in revenues in both the airport's aviation (+14.6%) and non-aviation (+8.3%) segments.  The significant growth registered by the aviation segment was largely the result of an upswing of 17.5% in passenger movements.

Addressing shareholders present for the meeting, M.I.A. plc Chairman N. Gretzmacher noted that 2017 was the airport's fastest-growing year, gaining almost one million passenger movements over 2016.  He added that despite the fact that the terminal was both busier and in a state of development through the company's Terminal Reconfiguration Project, the team had succeeded in delivering an excellent service to its guests, attaining the second best airport in Europe award in the Airport Service Quality survey.

"Now that the Terminal Reconfiguration Project is fast nearing completion, we are operating with significantly improved terminal facilities, including additional check-in desks, a bigger security screening area, and a new lounge, which put us in a better position to provide an even smoother passenger journey," Mr Gretzmacher went on to add.

On his part, CEO A Borg reviewed the year 2017 in more depth, presenting details of the company's growth across its key financial indicators, an extensive traffic report, and investment highlights for the year.

Mr Borg noted that the company's traffic projections for 2018 indicate that the year will be closed off with around 6.5 million passenger movements, marking the ninth consecutive record year for Malta IAP.

He then went on to focus on the company's recently approved master plan, which will see Malta IAP invest at least €100 million into the development of the terminal and the surrounding airport campus over the medium term.

"Our commitment to invest in both our aviation and non-aviation segments in a way that enables us to keep growing sustainably is etched in our corporate strategy, and our master plan is a means by which we will honour this pledge," said Mr Borg.

Looking at the more immediate future, Mr Borg went on to highlight that in the last quarter of 2018, works will be kicked off on the construction of a multi-storey car park with an investment totalling around €20 million.  Other investments for this year include the extension of the airport’s cargo village, further terminal upgrades, and security and operational improvements.

During the meeting, shareholders approved a total net dividend of €0.10c per share for 2017.  (Source: maltairport.com, 8-May-2018)

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

M.I.A. plc releases traffic results for Apr18

Passenger traffic through Malta Int’l Airport for the month of April has increased by 50 per cent since 2015. In fact, last April kept the airport team very busy with a total of 591,283 passenger movements.

Aircraft movements and seat capacity saw an increase of 18.8% and 18.5% respectively during the month of April. Furthermore, seat load factor, which measures seat occupancy on flights, stood at 80.1%
.
Cumulatively, the U.K., Italy, Germany, France, and Spain accounted for over 400,000 passenger movements.  All of these markets registered growth, with Spain’s 39.7% increase being the strongest by far from these top five markets.

The performance of the Spanish market was largely driven by Malta IAP's launch of three new Spanish routes; Bilbao, Malaga, and Seville, and the introduction of a better flight frequency on the Barcelona route. (Source: maltairport.com, 7-May-2018)

Saturday, May 5, 2018

BATS launches a new facility at Malta IAP

Bravo Aircraft Technical Services Limited (BATS) has launched a new facility at Malta Int'l Airport, the company told The Malta Independent yesterday

At the moment, Bravo Aircraft Technical Services is the only independent EASA Part 145 Line Maintenance facility for commercial aircraft to hold Maltese regulatory approval.

The new company recently secured EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) Part 145 approval, the European standard for the approval of aircraft and its components registered in European Union member states by Transport Malta Civil Aviation Directorate.

The company's maintenance facility currently provides services for the Airbus A318/A319, A320/A321 family for both commercial and private business aircraft.  It is already in the process of increasing its approval to the Boeing 737 NG.

BATS director L. Giordimaina said yesterday, "We are delighted with our development. BATS already employs a group of highly experienced aircraft engineers and technicians onsite in Malta and we welcome new recruits.  We are keen to have a strong local workforce working with us and we are also co-operating together with MCAST to train and develop the next generation of Maltese aviation technical personnel.  Our staff will also have the opportunity to increase their experience by spending time with our sister company Part M Aviation Ireland in Shannon."

N. Mladenov, the company's Maintenance Manager adds, "BATS range of services include line maintenance transit, daily and weekly checks, defect troubleshooting and rectification, comprehensive cabin maintenance to optimise passenger comfort including in-flight entertainment system, mandatory safety and phase checks."

He added that the company will shortly be adding weighing of aircraft and paint inspections to its capabilities.  The organisation plans to establish outstations capabilities at other airport locations to support maintenance requirements for its customers throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Part M Aviation, is one of the first independent airworthiness management companies in Ireland designated with a CAMO (Continuing Airworthiness Management Organisation) approval from the Irish Aviation Authority servicing both the international leasing community and airlines throughout the globe.

BATS' administrative headquarters is in Gzira. (Source: independent.com.mt, 4-May-2018)

Friday, May 4, 2018

Air Malta launches London-Southend service

Air Malta has today launched direct flights between Malta IAP and London-Southend (U.K.).  The first scheduled flight, operated with Airbus A320-200 (9H-AEP), departed from Malta IAP at 0649lt (KM-182).  After turnaround, the aircraft returned to Malta IAP at 1403lt (KM-183).  Air Malta will be operating these flights three times weekly, on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.  (4-May-2018)

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Air Malta flight bound to Comiso diverts to Catania

An Air Malta Airbus A320-200 (9H-AEQ), operating scheduled flight KM-658 from Malta IAP to Comiso (Sicily, Italy) had to divert to Catania-Fontanarossa (Sicily, Italy) this afternoon due to bad weather (strong winds) over Comiso. (2-May-2016)

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Lufthansa Technik to investment in a new €16 million hangar in Malta

Lufthansa Technik Malta announced, while commemorating its 15th anniversary of operation in Malta, that it is preparing to announce an investment for another €16 million hangar.  This was confirmed by the company's chief executive during a day of activities for workers and their families at the Lufthansa Technik hangar on the occasion of Worker's Day.

Chief Executive M. Motschenbacher said that the company is in the last stages of a plan for an investment of €16 million by the company in Malta. "We’re talking about a €16 million investment and that would materialise in a new hangar.  A new hangar, the size of this one, where we would be also servicing the A350 the most modern airline currently on the market." (Source: tvm.com.mt, 1-May-2018)

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Passenger attempts to open emergency exit during Air Malta's flight to Amsterdam

During today's Air Malta flight KM-394 Malta - Amsterdam a passenger on board the aircraft attempted to open an emergency exit.  Inflight crew restrained the passenger and the flight captain requested police assistance upon arrival to Schipol airport.  The aircraft landed safely and the passenger is being held by the Dutch authorities.  Air Malta regrets any inconvenience to passengers due to circumstances beyond its control. (Source: independent.com.mt, 1-May-2018)