Thursday, May 30, 2019

Transport Malta certifies Air X for aircraft maintenance

Air X continues to grow with the addition of EASA Part 145 Approval Certificate for maintaining their expanding fleet.  This certificate, issued from the Civil Aviation Directorate within Transport Malta, allows the company to maintain three different aircraft classes: Airbus A340, Boeing 737, and Embraer ERJ-190/Lineage 1000.

Transport Malta said in a statement it has been instrumental in Air X deciding to further invest and grow its operations on our islands.  The Authority is committed to continue strengthen the aviation industry in Malta, which offers better work opportunities and injects more money in our economy. 

The diverse Air X fleet now stands at 21 aircraft across six different types, with two aircraft under management in the United States. The newest member of the family is a Lineage 1000 which can carry up to 19 people. The company has exciting plans, with more fleet additions expected along with further investment in Malta.

Houssam Hazzoury, Air X Group CEO stated, "Malta is an enviable strategic location to maintain aircraft, and as our fleet continues to expand, we hope to grow our base maintenance facilities on the Island".  (Source: independent.com.mt, 30-May-2019)

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Ryanair to fly Malta-Trieste from October

Ryanair is to operate a twice-weekly new Malta-Trieste (Italy) service as from October. It raises to 60 the number of routes which the low-cost airline will operate from Malta in the winter.  That includes new, already announced services to Amman, Billund, Cardiff, Cork , Exeter, Lamezia, Luxembourg, Maastricht, Nantes, Oslo, Paphos, Perugia, Rome Fiumicino, Santiago and Thessaloniki.  (Source: timesofmalta.com, 20-May-2019)

Call for expression of interest for air service between Gozo and Malta

Government-owned company, Malta Air Travel Ltd. (Malta MedAir), has published a call for proposals to identify an operator for the air service between Gozo and Malta.  A joint statement issued by the Tourism Ministry and the Gozo Ministry pointed out that the helicopter should carry a capacity of at least 15 passengers.  The statement said that this is part of the Government's vision to upgrade connectivity between Malta and Gozo.  Proposals will be received on the 18th June.  (Source: tvm.com.mt, 20-May-2019)

Britten Norman to expand operations in Malta

British company, Britten Norman, which manufactures Islander aircraft, will expand its operations in Malta.  Economy Minister Dr C. Cardona announced that the company has been allocated a 1,000 square metre hangar at the Safi aviation park.  

Dr Cardona stated that through this space, the company will invest €1 million on a period of three years.  Britten Norman’s chief executive W. Hynett, said that the company plans to offer training to pilots and engineers from Malta.  He added that the company applied for a licence to fly aircraft from Malta to nearby destinations.  (Source: tvm.com.mt, 20-May-2019)

Friday, May 17, 2019

Avion Express establishes subsidiary airline in Malta

To strengthen its position in the market, Avion Express, the largest narrow-body ACMI operator in the world, established a subsidiary airline in Malta.

The latter company, which was named Avion Express Malta, was granted Maltese Air Operator's Certificate and Air Operating Licence earlier this week.  Alongside with its parent company, the Maltese airline will provide ACMI services to regular and charter airlines.

Avion Express Malta will start its operations with one Airbus A320 aircraft registered as 9H-AMA.  It will commence flying for Europe's third largest airline Norwegian on 20-May-2019.  The respective ACMI contract was signed for European high season of 2019.

"Establishing a subsidiary company in Malta is a very important step for our company," says Avion Express CEO D. Kajokas.  "The decision to expand our business to this region was influenced by the favourable and strategically beneficial conditions provided by Malta.  Malta is an FAA-approved country which gives us access to the U.S. market and opens a lot of opportunities to strengthen our leading position as a global ACMI provider on narrow-bodies."

Avion Express is the largest narrow-body ACMI operator in the world successfully working with clients in Europe, Africa, South America, Asia-Pacific.  In 2019 the airline will operate 22 A320 family aircraft.  

Avion Express was awarded ACMI Operator of the Year 2019 at Air Transport Awards by International Business News.  (Source: avionexpress.aero, 16-May-2019)

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Eurowings' flight from Hanover to Catania diverts to Malta IAP

A Eurowings Boeing 737-800 (D-ABMQ), operating flight EW-3812 from Hannover (Germany) to Catania-Fontanarossa (Sicily, Itlay), had to divert to Malta Int'l Airport this afternoon due to bad weather over Catania airport.  The flight then continued to Catania landing at destination with a delay of 3-hrs 15-mins.  (Source: flightradar24.com, 16-May-2019)

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

M.I.A. plc releases 2019 financial results

2018 was an excellent year for Malta Int'l Airport, with the company posting a net profit increase of 25.6% to reach €30.3 million, on the back of a record number of passengers.  Malta IAP plc announced its results for the year ended 31-Dec-2018 at its 27th Annual General Meeting held earlier today.

The company's aviation (+11.1%) and non-aviation (+14.1%) segments both registered growth, with the improvement of the former being largely driven by a 13.2% increase in passenger traffic.  In line with its diversification strategy, the company's non-aviation activities also delivered positive results, contributing 28.9% to total revenues for the year.

In the opening address, Malta IAP Chairman Mr N. Gretzmacher noted that while these figures speak for themselves, it must be acknowledged that they are the result of ongoing work and tireless commitment, as well as close collaborations with key stakeholders, especially government, when it comes to traffic development.

"Malta IAP's double-digit traffic increase for 2018 outpaced the average growth of its European peer group.  However, this result did not come at the expense of service quality.  In fact, in 2018 we were awarded the Best Airport in Europe title, in recognition of the great airport experience we provided our guests with," said Mr Gretzmacher. 

Taking the floor after the Chairman, CEO A. Borg gave a more in-depth understanding of the company’s performance for 2018, presenting details of Malta IAP's growth across its key financial indicators, a comprehensive traffic report, and an investment break-down.

Mr Borg highlighted that Malta IAP is set to close off 2019 with another traffic milestone of 7.2 million passenger movements and with plans in hand for a number of infrastructural projects.  "The approval of our master plan was a very important development in 2018 and, together with our solid financial position, it will enable us to continue investing in the airport campus in its entirety over the long term, helping us honour our commitment of keeping the momentum of improvement going," said Mr Borg, whilst noting that in 2019 alone the company's investments will total over €20 million.

Mr Borg proceeded to give details on the company's land side and air side investments, which include the ongoing multi-storey car park project, the SkyParks 2 development, which will also encompass the construction of a business hotel, the development of a new apron, which will furnish the airport with long-term aircraft capacity stability, and a terminal expansion which will address critical areas of operation.  (Source: maltairport.com, 15-May-2019)

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Turkish Airlines' flight from Istanbul to Accra diverts to Malta IAP

A Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-900 (TC-JYE) operating flight TK-625, between Istanbul (Turkey) and Accra-Kotaka IAP (Ghana), had to divert to Malta Int'l Airport this afternoon for operational reasons.  The aircraft landed safely on RWY 31 at 1649lt and vacated the runway via TWY F and stopped to have the undercarriage inspected.  

Flight TK-625 then continued to Accra operated by a replacement aircraft - Boeing 737-800 (TC-JHC) that had arrived in Malta on scheduled flight TK-1371 from Istanbul - departing from Malta IAP at 2021lt.  The diverted Boeing B737-900 (TC-JYE) departed to scheduled flight TK-1372 to Istanbul at 2039lt.  (Source: flightradar24.com, 14-May-2019)

Malta IAP ranks among the worst airports in a survey carried out by AirHelp

Malta IAP has ranked fifth from bottom in the best/worst airport's survey carried out by AirHelp.  Airports were rated based on three factors: on-time performance, service quality, and food and shopping options.  The first accounts for 60% of the score and the other criteria each make up 20%.  AirHelp's data comes from multiple commercial vendors, along with its own database, plus 40,000 passenger surveys collected in 40 countries in 2018.  (Source: hamodia.com & euractive.com, 12-May-2019)

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Malta IAP releases traffic results for Apr-19

With its summer schedule now launched, Malta Int’l Airport experienced a very busy April and posted growth of 10.5% the same month in 2018.

Last month, a total of 653,100 passenger movements were recorded in parallel with 4,554 aircraft movements.  As more passengers travelled through the terminal closer to Easter weekend, traffic peaked on the 18th of April with over 26,500 movements.

Malta IAP’s new summer schedule contributed to an increase of 6.3% in seat capacity.  Moreover, seat load factor for the month of April gained 3.2% to stand at 83.3%.

The airport’s top drivers of passenger traffic remained unchanged from the previous month, with the U.K. (+7.4%) leading the way, followed by Italy (+6.8%), Germany (+14.4%), France (+14.5%) and Spain (+13.5%).  (Source: maltairport.com, 7-May-2019)

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Air Malta to increases Paris-CDG service from Aug-19

Air Malta in the second-half of summer 2019 season plans to expand Malta–Paris Charles de Gualle service, which sees overall flights increasing from 7 to 9 weekly.  New service will be operated during weekends, from 3-Aug-19 to 26-Oct-19

Daily:
  KM478 MLA 0625–0920 CDG (daily)
  KM479 CDG 1020–1305 MLA (daily)

Saturdays & Sundays:
  KM480 MLA 1350–1635 CDG
  KM481 CDG 1730–2010 MLA

(Source: routesonline.com, 7-May-2019)

Ryanair's flight FR6695 from Edinburgh diverts to Eindhoven

A Ryanair Boeing 737-800 (EI-EBS) operating flight FR-6695, from Edinburgh (Scotland, U.K.) to Malta Int'l Airport, had to divert to Eindhoven (Netherlands) this morning after the crew report a medical emergency on board.  The flight then continued to Malta, reaching destination with a delay of 1-hr 24-mins.  (Source: scotsman.com & flightradar24.com, 7-May-2019)

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Hi Fly to add two A319s to its Malta's AOC

ACMI specialist Hi Fly Group was chosen by Airbus to handle personnel and guests between its final assembly lines in Toulouse (France) and Hamburg (Germany).  To this end, Hi Fly has acquired two ex Germania Airbus A319s which will be operated under Hi Fly's AOC in Malta.

The first aircraft, to be registered 9H-XFW, is already painted in the livery of Hi Fly and is expected to be delivered shortly, after being painted by Aviation Cosmetics Malta.  (Source: centreforaviation.com & newsavia.com, 3-May-2019)

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

State of the art Airport Management System Commissioned at Malta IAP

Frequent travellers may have noticed that more modern flight information display screens have been installed at Malta Int'l Airport.  This is but one of the airport's many recent investments, geared at further improving the passenger experience through the terminal.

Now plugged into a state-of-the-art Airport Management System (AMS), provided by SITA, the global IT provider to the air transport industry, the flight information display system is more flexible to customise.  This system allows Malta IAP to better communicate important information to passengers, such as flight status and departure gate allocation, from the moment they step into the check-in hall through to the gates.

"With a seven million traffic milestone on the horizon, it is perhaps more important than ever to harness innovation so as to have access to real-time data to plan ahead, make timely decisions, and improve our agility in allocating the resources available in a way that enhances the airport experience for our passengers and the ease with which our team can perform certain day-to-day tasks," said MIA Head of Innovation and Technology I. Maggi, whilst thanking all those involved in the process of testing and gradual implementation of the intricate system.

S. Colella, SITA President Europe, said: "We have worked closely with Malta IAP to provide a solution that helps the airport manage every aspect of its operation while providing a great experience for its passengers.  It is rewarding to see this project come to fruition and the positive impact it has on the airport experience."

The AMS Provides a centralised dashboard which integrates several important modules.  Through these modules, critical landside and airside operations, including resource management, scheduling, flight information, parking and billing, are managed in an automated and intelligent manner, contributing to higher levels of efficiency and minimising human error.

The AMS is being rolled out in phases and will be fully implemented in April, just in time for the airport's busy summer period.  Malta IAP has already launched its summer schedule featuring several new routes, as well as its Cruise and Fly programme offering thrice-weekly services.

In the coming months, Malta IAP will also be launching a new Baggage Reconciliation System, which will provide a better management system to all airport partners in the handling of checked-in luggage, thereby boosting security and preventing loss of passengers’ belongings.  (Source: maltairport.com, 30-Apr-2019)