Friday, July 27, 2018

M.I.A. registers 16.8% traffic increase; expects 6.77 million pax by end 2018

The Malta Int’l Airport estimates that 6.77 million passengers will pass through the airport in 2018, a growth of 13% over the figures of the previous years.

Speaking in a press conference, CEO A. Borg said that traffic into the airport had grown by 16.8%, a growth which had prompted M.I.A. to revise its initial forecast.  The growth is the highest when compared to the airport’s similar competitors, with only Greece registering a 13.9% increase in traffic coming relatively close. 

Malta also headed Greece in terms of increase of connectivity – with Malta registering a 219% increase over the past decade and Greece being the next highest with 173%.  M.I.A. ranked fourth in fact behind Sochi, Seville and Larnaca airports respectively in connectivity increases between this year and last year.

With the increase in traffic comes an increase in passengers, and there were just under 430,000 more passengers in the first half of this year than there were in the same period of last year.  The increase was split fairly equally over each months, with all of them registering double-figure percentage increases.

The top markets for passengers from the U.K., who make up 25% of all passengers, Italy 21%, Germany 13%, followed by passengers from France, Spain, Belgium, Poland, Turkey, Netherlands and Switzerland.  The highest percentage increase of passengers was found in Spain (27%) and Poland (23%) whilst Belgium registered a 5% decrease in passengers.

London-Gatwick remained the most popular destination from Malta IAP, followed by Rome and Frankfurt.   Low cost airline Ryanair topped the airline charts, carrying 1.1 million passengers to Malta from its various destinations, whilst Air Malta followed with 894,000 passengers.   Low cost airlines Jet2 and Wizz Air registered the biggest increases in passengers coming to Malta, doubling their tally for the same period in the previous year.

M.I.A. is also hopeful of continuing this growth into the upcoming winter with a number of airlines either extending the new routes they have introduced for the current summer, and other airlines increasing the frequency of some of their more popular routes.

The airport shall also be making some new investments, with a new apron being one of them.  This multi-million euro project will kick off immediately and once completed will provide space to accommodate either seven Code C aircraft – the type used by major airlines such a Ryanair and Air Malta and which makes up 98% of the traffic Malta receives – or four Code E aircraft – such as the Boeing 777 which is utilised by Emirates.  (Source: independent.com.mt, 26-Jul-2018)

Monday, July 23, 2018

Hi Fly signs first wet lease contract for A380

Less than 24-hrs after the presentation of the A380 to the industry and the start of related marketing activities, Hi Fly agreed the first wet-lease contract for the A380 with an undisclosed well established European Carrier.  The aircraft will be flying long haul sectors during summer period with possible extension.  The market reaction to the introduction of the first A380 to the wet-lease market has been strong with several airlines lining up to be amongst the first to sign up for the aircraft. (Source: avitrader.com, 23-Jul-2018)

Thursday, July 19, 2018

First Malta-registered A380 unveiled in Safi

The first Malta-registered Airbus A380, the largest passenger airliner in the world, has been unveiled before its start of operations.  The aircraft has been in Malta since the start of the month receiving a new livery painted by Aviation Cosmetics at the Safi Aviation Park, where it was formally revealed today by Hi Fly, the Malta-registered wet lease airline operating it.

The A380 has a wingspan of 80m and a maximum take-off weight of close to 570 tonnes, as well as carrying as much as 270 tonnes - the weight of a smaller airliner - in fuel.  The Hi Fly model is certified to carry more than 850 passengers, but will be operating worldwide with a more spaced-out 471 seats spread over economy, business and 12 first class 'suites'.

Hi Fly vice-president C. Mirpuri said the acquisition made the carrier just the fourth European airline to operate the model, as well as one of 14 globally and the first leasing airline.  "The performance of the A380 goes in line with Hi Fly's environmental commitments," Mr Mirpuri said.  "By producing only about 75g of CO2 per passenger kilometre, the A380 minimizes greenhouse gas emissions being capable of carrying more people with less impact on the environment."

The aircraft's new livery reflects this environmental commitment with an ocean theme referencing the company’s "Save the Coral Reefs" campaign, which motto is emblazoned on the tail. (Source: timesofmalta.com, 18-Jul-2018)

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Air Malta improves placing among world’s top 100 airlines

The National airline Air Malta has moved up nine placings in the list of the world's top 100 airlines, as per the classification of Skytrax World Airline Awards.  The airline has moved up to 84th placing, from 93rd placing last year.  

Number one post is occupied by Singapore Airlines, which had been placed second last year, a placing now occupied by Qatar Airways, who had been in top position last year.  These honours are the Oscars of the aviation industry.  

The honour for top airline in the European region went to Lufthansa, which still retained seventh place as last year in the overall classification.  (Source: tvm.com.mt, 17-Jul-2018)

Air Malta registers passenger increase during May and June

Air Malta registered an double-digit increase in passengers carried in May (38%) and June 2018 (42%) when compared to the same months last year.  This means that in total during May and June Air Malta carried 386,504 passengers. 

An airline statement said the national airline contributed 50% of the growth registered by Malta International Airport movements during May and June where 89,918 out of a total of 178,976 additional passengers came through Air Malta.

"Our growth strategy enabled us to tap into 21 new markets and increase traffic on our network. The absolute majority of our new routes are performing well," Air Malta CCO P. Sies said, adding that he is confident that such growth can make the airline profitable again.

Similarly, the airline's Chairman, Dr C. Mangion, said that the double digit growth has been positively received by tourism stakeholders who now consider Air Malta to be a growing airline. "These results give us confidence that we are on the right track," he said.  (Source: maltatoday.com, 17-Jul-2018)

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Air Malta to add two new aircraft to its fleet in summer 2019 and potentially expand routes to Africa

Air Malta will be adding two more new aircraft to their fleet by the summer of 2019, Air Malta chairman Dr C. Mangion said on Tuesday.  These additions are part of Air Malta's long term strategy and will offer new opportunities to its clients, Mangion said.  The new aircraft will both be, like the most recent addition to Air Malta’s fleet, Airbus A320neo models coming straight out of the factory.  

The arrival of these aircraft raises the number of aircraft in Air Malta's fleet to 12 and signifies further addition to the history of Air Malta's fleet, with the national airline having flown Airbus type aircraft since a fleet revamp at the beginning of the 21st century.

Dr Mangion also said that in the long term, Air Malta was evaluating setting up external bases in other Mediterranean islands, as this was an empty niche which they could focus on.  Dr Mangion also spoke about the potential expansion of Air Malta's services in North Africa, with flights to Tunis and Casablanca already in existence, and to other parts of the African continent as well.

Air Malta hope that the arrival of the two aircraft will allow for more destinations and flights to be added to the airline's repertoire. (Source: independent.com.mt, 12-Jul-2018)

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

M.I.A plc releases traffic results for Jun18

Summer continues to prove busy for Malta Int’l Airport, with traffic for June increasing by 14.6% to reach 663,088 passenger movements, and an average of 156 daily take-offs and landings.  The busiest day was Sunday 24th, with 27,170 passenger movements.

Growth in passenger numbers was observed in parallel with a 15.1% increase in aircraft movements and a 14.4% increase in seat capacity (totaling 802,004 seats).  Despite this significant growth in the number of seats available, seat load factor remained at 82.7%.

Double-digit growth was recorded for four out of the top five markets: U.K. (+14.6%), Italy (+18.9%), France (+17.8%) and Spain (+49.1%).  Germany was the only country amongst Malta IAP's top five markets to register a decrease (-3.0%) during the month of June.  This was due to a reduced schedule by TUI cruises, affecting the cruise and fly passenger traffic throughput.

Passenger movements to and from the Spanish market increased substantially following the introduction of three completely new routes to Malaga, Seville and Bilbao, and an enhanced flight frequency on the Barcelona route as part of the airport's summer schedule. (Source: maltairport.com, 9-Jul-2018)

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Malta's Hi Fly Ltd. takes delivery of its first A388

Maltese-based Hi Fly Ltd. (MT-24) has taken delivery today of its first Airbus A380-800 with registration 9H-MIP (msn. 6) and in an all white livery.  Formally with Singapore Airlines as 9V- SKC, the aircraft was ferried Singapore-Abu Dhabi-Malta, landing at Malta IAP around 1940lt.  After landing, the aircraft entered Aviation Cosmetics Malta paint facilities for paint into a special livery for a very good cause: Save The Coral Reefs.  (Source: Scramble Magazine & flightradar24.com, 4-Jul-2018)

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Qatar Airways to train 20 cadets with Air Malta, to open direct route to Malta in 1Q 2019

After an official trip to Qatar by Tourism Minister Dr K. Mizzi, in which he had official talks with Qatar Airways CEO Akbar Al Baker, an agreement was reached between the parties.

As per agreement, Air Malta will be training 20 cadet pilots for Qatar Airways.  The cadet pilots will build up their hours on the Air Malta route network flying Airbus A320s with experienced Maltese training captains.  Upon return to Qatar, the cadets will continue their training with the intention of being promoted to First Officers with Qatar Airways.

The agreement will also see Qatar Airways opening a direct route to Malta in the first quarter of 2019. The direct route would link Malta with more than 150 destinations.

Minister Konrad Mizzi was accompanied in his trip by Air Malta chairman Dr C. Mangion and Malta International Airport CEO A Borg. (Source: timesofmalta.com & maltatoday.com, 4-Jul-2018)

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Microlight 9H-UMP makes a precautionary landing in a field after an engine problem

A microlight plane has crash landed in a field at Luqa. There were two persons on board the small plane.  The crash occurred at around 9.15 this morning.

TVM spoke with the persons on board the micro light, R. Bezzina and D. Gauci from the Island Microlight Club, who said that unfortunately the small aircraft developed a fault in the engine a few metres away from the runway.

R. Bezzina said that they had to make an emergency landing in a field as a safety precaution.  It was their first flight of the day when they started the flight at around 8.00 this morning.

D. Gauci said that they are trained for any eventually in this sport and decided to land in the field to avoid injuring people.  (Source: tvm.com.mt, 1-Jul-2018)