Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Tunisair flight bound to Istanbul diverts to Malta

A Tunisair Airbus A320-000 (TS-IMM), performing flight TU-216 between Tunis-Carthage (Tunisia) and  Istanbul-Ataturk (Turkey), had to divert to Malta Int'l Airport this morning due to medical emergency on board.  The flight then continued to Istanbul after nearly 2-hrs at Malta IAP.  (Source: flightradar24.com, 26-Feb-2018)

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Helicopter Services Malta EC35 damaged at Malta IAP

A Helicopter Services Malta Ltd. Eurocopter EC-135 P2 (9H-VIP) was damaged at Malta Int'l Airport after the partial tent the helicopter was under, next to Malta IAP's control tower, collapsed on the helicopter due to very strong winds that was hitting the island.  The extent of the damage to the helicopter is unknown but the main rotors where surely effected.  (24-Feb-2019)

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Malta IAP runway temporarily closed after drone is sighted

One of the runways at Malta International Airport (RWY 31) was temporarily closed down on Saturday afternoon after a pilot noticed a drone being flown in its vicinity.  According to the police, air traffic controllers decided to close the runway when the drone was spotted around 12.25pm.  

Police and Armed Forces of Malta officials were seen in the area trying to identify the person operating the drone.  An AFM helicopter was also deployed to the scene but there was no sight of the drone.  Services were resumed shortly afterwards and no flights were delayed or cancelled because of the incident.  (Source: timesofmalta.com, 23-Feb-2019)

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Malta International Airport makes €30.3 million profit in 2018

Malta Int'l Airport saw its profit rise to €30.3 million last year from €24.2 million the year before.  In a statement, the company said performance improved in both its aviation and non-aviation activities.  Group revenue for the year which ended on Dec. 31st was €92,191,719 up from €82,369,154 in 2017.

Aviation revenue grew by 11.1% to €65.5 million, largely attributable to an increase of 13.2% in traffic, which reached a new all-time high of 6,808,177 passenger movements in 2018.  Revenue from non-aviation activities increased by 14.1% to reach €26.7 million.  The company's VIP products registered an increase of 36.3% over 2017.

The board of directors recommended the payment of a final net dividend of €0.090 per share (gross €0.138) on all shares settled as at close of business on Monday, April 15th, 2019.  (Source: timesofmalta.com, 21-Feb-2019)

Monday, February 18, 2019

Maleth-Aero to take up more ERJ-145s

Maleth-Aero, based in Malta, is to introduce another four Embraer 145 aircraft under management in response to market demand.  The aircraft are to be offered out for both Charter and ACMI work based in Europe.

"We are very pleased to be expanding this product further and will take one aircraft per month starting in April 2019.  Our initial unit has proven to be very popular with the market operating out of Spain.  The additional aircraft will be used to expand our existing capability and open up new opportunities", said M. O’Brien, Chief Executive Officer of Maleth-Aero.  (Source: aviation24.be, 18-Feb-2019)

Friday, February 15, 2019

Jet Aviation adds second BBJ1 to its Maltese AOC

Jet Aviation announced today that it has added a second Boeing B737 (BBJ1) to its fleet of managed aircraft in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.  The BBJ1 is based in Western Europe and is available for charter service.  Managed by Jet Aviation's aircraft management and charter business in Malta, the Boeing BBJ1 has been added to the company's Maltese air operator's certificate.   

The long-range BBJ1 has a range of up to 9,260-km and offers space for up to 11 passengers to fly in comfort.  Furnished with a luxurious VIP interior, the aircraft features a master bedroom and ensuite bathroom with shower, separate guest and crew lavatories, and two side-facing divans that convert to single berths.  The aircraft's elegant cabin interior is characterized by clean lines, neutral tones and leather seating, and boasts all the essential passenger amenities, including a high-end entertainment system.  (Source: jetaviation.com, 14-Feb-2019)

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Air Malta outlines five-year fleet plan, including A321XLR

Air Malta hopes to induct more than a dozen Airbus A320-family neos over the next five years, chief executive C. Chetcuti has revealed, with the yet-to-be-developed A321XLR among the airline's targets.
The flag-carrier took delivery of its first A320neo last year and is expecting another two leased units this summer.
Speaking at the company's headquarters in Malta, Chetcuti said up to 11 additional neos will be sought as Air Malta expands its fleet and transitions from A320ceos to the latest, re-engined models.  Operating leases and direct purchases will both be considered for the renewal, and the airline's existing A319 – the smallest plane in its fleet – will be the first to be retired in October.
"We are studying if we can go up to 14 aircraft over the next five years," the chief executive said.  "All the existing ones will be replaced with brand new neos.  So, over five years, we will have a brand new fleet."
Echoing earlier remarks by Tourism Minister K. Mizzi, Chetcuti confirmed that Air Malta is evaluating route launches to the Indian subcontinent and the U.S. east coast – markets that would require modified variants of the stretched A321neo.
"We are studying the potential to go to the Indian subcontinent," he said.  "To get there, though, we need the LR because the current neo does not reach the Indian subcontinent.  To go to the East Coast of America we need the XLR.
"It’s going to be an amazing aircraft, and we are studying the option to actually acquire an XLR as part of our fleet."
Airbus has not yet committed to developing the A321XLR, but it is believed to have pitched the idea to prospective customers in a bid to gauge interest.  (Source: forbes.com, 13-Feb-2019)

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Ryanair's Leeds-Malta flight diverts to Palermo

A Ryanair Boeing 737-800 (EI-DWK), performing flight FR-2448 from Leeds-Bradford (U.K.) to Malta IAP, had to divert to Palermo (Sicily, Italy) this morning due to a medical emergency on board.  The flight then continued to Malta reaching destination with a delay of 90-mins.  (Source: flightradar24.com, 13-Feb-2019)

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Medavia unveils plans for domestic Libyan airline

Libyan travellers should be able to fly with a new domestic airline next year thanks to Mediterranean Aviation Co. Ltd. (Medavia), a charter operator and aircraft maintenance firm based in the southern European island of Malta.
Provisionally named Medlib, or Medavia Libya, the new airline is in the process of applying for an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) from the Libyan Civil Aviation Authority.
"The overall idea is to offer more frequent, reliable services between the Libyan cities," chief executive R. Ettir said during an interview at the company's headquarters in Malta.  "The services that are being offered at the moment are not really good and the Libyan travellers deserve much better."
Ettir expects the AOC to be granted in the second half of this year, paving the way for scheduled flights to begin in 2020 with three leased turboprops.  He is evaluating the Bombardier Dash-8 Q400 and the ATR 72 for Medlib's fleet – both models that Medavia Technics, the company's technical arm, is certified to conduct maintenance work on.
Medlib plans to initially focus on domestic connectivity, with flights operating from Tripoli to all the main cities in Libya including Benghazi, Sebha, Misrata, Zintan, Labraq, Kufra, Ghat and Tobruk.  Its fleet will be based in Mitiga IAP – the capital's main gateway since Tripoli IAP was destroyed by fighting in 2014 – though Ettir does not rule out stationing some aircraft in Benghazi.
"If we manage to succeed in the domestic market, I'm sure there will be a request to go for regional routes," Ettir said, identifying Malta, Djerba (Tunisia), and Alexandria and Luxor (Egypt) as possible targets.  (Source: forbes.com, 8-Feb-2019)

Friday, February 8, 2019

M.I.A. plc releases traffic results for Jan-19

Having served 366,015 passengers in January, Malta Int'l Airport continued to register growth, albeit at a not unexpected slower pace, in the winter months.

Following several months of robust growth, January's modest 4.1% increase in passenger numbers was observed alongside a 9.9% increase in aircraft movements and a rise of 7.9% in seat capacity. Seat load factor for the month stood at 69%.

Within the top five markets, Spain registered a phenomenal increase of 87.2% and France grew by a healthy 12%.  The performance of the Spanish and French markets indicates that the joint traffic diversification strategy of Malta IAP, the Ministry for Tourism and the Malta Tourism Authority is bearing the desired results, in that it has stimulated newer markets to gain momentum just as legacy markets are reaching maturity.

The Iberian Peninsula constitutes one such new market and, in fact, the Seville, Malaga and Barcelona routes, which were introduced by two different airlines in summer 2018, are all being operated during the winter months.

In January, Malta IAP’s traditional top driver of passenger traffic, the U.K. (-3.2%) was outperformed by the Italian market (-0.8%), by 604 passenger movements, and followed by the German market (-8.3%).    

Outside the top five markets, traffic from Hungary was up a noteworthy 42.4%.  This surge can be attributed to the extension of the Budapest route from summer 2018 into winter.  (Source: maltairport.com, 7-Feb-2019)

Monday, February 4, 2019

Air Malta's Heathrow-Malta flight diverts to Geneva

An Air Malta Airbus A320-200 (9H-AEO), performing flight KM-101 from London-Heathrow (U.K.) to Malta IAP, had to divert to Geneva (Switzerland) this afternoon because of a medical emergency onboard.  The flight then continued to Malta reaching the destination with a delay of nearly 1.5-hrs.  (Source: flightradar24.com, 4-Feb-2019)