Thursday, October 31, 2019

Malta IAP launches its winter schedule

Malta Int'l Airport celebrated the start of winter for the aviation industry with the launch of its new flight schedule for the season, featuring four new routes as well as several route extensions from summer into winter.

Between Sunday and Tuesday, flights from Paphos (Greece), Trieste (Italy), and Santiago de Compostela (Spain) landed at Malta IAP for the first time, with passengers and crew on board these inaugural flights being welcomed with a cake-cutting ceremony.

Operated by Ryanair, flights on each one of these three new routes will be offered on a bi-weekly basis until March.  While Trieste and Santiago de Compostela have further broadened the airport's already-extensive route network in two of its top markets; Italy and Spain, Paphos is the second direct connection between Malta and Cyprus.

Malta IAP will be launching the fourth new route for the season in November. To download the full winter schedule, you may click here.  (Source:, 30-Oct-2019)

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Wreckage of WWII submarine HMS Urge discovered off Malta

A marine archaeology survey team from the University of Malta, working in co-operation with the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage, has located the wreck of the British WWII submarine HMS Urge off the coast of Malta. 

Results from this search have established beyond doubt that on 27-Apr-1942 HMS Urge struck a German mine when leaving the British submarine base at the height of the siege of Malta by German and Italian forces in WWII.  The wreck of the submarine stands upright and proud at a depth of 108m on the seabed, her deck gun facing forward.

Speaking to TVM, research team leader Prof T. Gambin said that "the damage to the bow shows a very violent explosion where the entire bow section is detached from the rest of the submarine, indicating that the ship would have sunk very fast giving no chance to anybody to survive from this tragedy.
"Besides the damage on the bow, the wreck is in absolutely fantastic condition, it is sitting upright on the sea-bed, very proud, in the direction that it was ordered to take on its way to Alexandria.  It is actually quite a poignant vision to see this submarine still upright and proud".

The distinctive features of HMS Urge have been identified by comparing strikingly clear images of the wreck with wartime photographs.  Having reviewed materials relating to the discovery, the U.K. Ministry of Defence has approved the research project's conclusion that the wreck discovered is that of HMS Urge.  The wreck site is a war grave and will be protected under Maltese and international legislation.  (Source:, 30-Oct-2019)

Monday, October 28, 2019

Ryanair's flight from Catania diverts to Catania

A Ryanair Boeing B737-800 (EI-FEI), operating flight FR-2538 from Catania-Fontanarossa (Sicily, Italy) to Malta IAP, had to return to Catania-Fontanarossa (Sicily, Italy) this afternoon due to a severe thunderstorm over the Maltese Island.  The flight then continued to Malta IAP reaching destination with delay of 3-hrs 15-mins.  (Source:, 28-Oct-2019)

Air Malta's flight from Palermo diverts to Catania

An Air Malta Airbus A320-200 (9H-AEQ), operating flight KM-663 from Palremo (Sicily, Italy) to Malta IAP, had to divert to Catania-Fontanarossa (Sicily, Italy) this afternoon due to a severe thunderstorm over the Maltese Island.  The flight then continued to Malta IAP reaching destination with delay of 2-hrs 10-mins.  (Source:, 28-Oct-2019)

Air Malta adds Lyon, Prague and Cairo to its winter schedule

Air Malta is planning to raise the number of passengers it carries in winter by 10% to 70,000, Tourism Minister Dr K. Mizzi and airline chairman Dr C. Mangion said on Sunday.

They said the airline will operate 25 routes during the winter - Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Cairo, Catania, Casablanca, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Lisbon, London-Gatwick, London-Heathrow, Lyon, Kiev, Milan, Moscow, Munich, Palermo, Paris-Charles De Gaulle, Paris-Orly, Prague, Rome, Tel Aviv, Tunis, Vienna and Zurich.

Ten destinations will be served with daily or multiple daily frequencies,
primarily to major European hub airports.  
Lyon, Prague and Cairo, already part of the summer schedule, have been added to the winter network.  There will be three flights a week from Lyon and twice weekly from Prague.  Flight frequency is being increased to other destinations, notably London Heathrow and Gatwick, Brussels and Palermo. 

The purpose, he said, is to improve connectivity to airports where potential tourists can link-up from medium and long-haul destinations such as Japan, China, South Korea, Australia, the U.S. and Canada.  (Source:, 27-Oct-2019)

Friday, October 25, 2019

LTM to invest €25m to built new MRO hangar in Malta

Lufthansa Technik Malta (LTM) will be investing €25 million to expand its facility in Malta after signing an agreement with Malta Industrial Parks Ltd (MIP) for the allocation of 21,000 square metres of land adjacent to its existing hangars, a company statement said.

Through this investment, the company – which is one of the global leaders within the aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) industry – will be building another hangar in which it will be able to service a wide-bodied aircraft and a narrow-bodied aircraft together at any one time.

The expansion testifies Lufthansa Technik's confidence in the local workforce as well as in the economy and particularly in the local aviation industry, as it will be further consolidating its presence in Malta and in so doing generate more high quality jobs, the statement said.  (Source:, 24-Oct-2019)

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Air Malta to launch Malta-Stuttgart service in Apr-2020

Air Malta, via its online booking system, is listing a new service between Malta IAP and Stuttgart (Germany).  Scheduled flights will be operated twice weekly, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, with effect from 01-Apr-2020.  There is currently no scheduled operator offering this route.  (Source: & Air Malta, 22-Oct-2019)

Friday, October 18, 2019

Air Malta waves farewell to its last A319 in its fleet

Air Malta's last Airbus A319-100 (9H-AEJ, c/n. 2186) in its fleet has departed for the last time from Malta IAP this morning (KM-996) on its ferry flight to Cotswold (U.K.) after the end of its lease.  

9H-AEJ was delivered new to Air Malta on 7-Apr-2004, on dry lease from ILFC.  Between May-2013 and Sep-2016, the aircraft was dry leased to Atlantic Airways and operated as OY-RCH.  During this period the aircraft ownership changed to Macquarie AirFinance.

9H-AEJ operated its last commercial flight for Air Malta on 13-Oct-2019 as KM436/7 to/form Leipzig (Germany).  (18-Oct-2019)

Thursday, October 17, 2019

26th edition of Malta Int'l Airshow to take place on 26-27 Sep. 2020

The Malta Aviation Society (MAS) and the Ministry for Tourism would like to announce that the Malta Int'l Airshow 2020 will be taking place on September 26-27, 2020.

MAS President, Mr J. Ciliberti, explained how the present works around Malta's airport offered a golden opportunity for the event to be back on Malta's calendar of events after an absence of two years.  MAS never stopped in its efforts to ensure that Malta has its own airshow like every other European country.

Minister for Tourism Dr K. Mizzi said that after several discussions and negotiations with the Malta Aviation Society and relevant stakeholders, an agreement was reached in order to re-introduce the Malta Int'l Airshow in 2020.  "The Malta Int'l Airshow will be another key addition to the Visit Malta calendar of events and will attract a number of visitors and enhance niche tourism.  We will keep working closely with all stakeholders involved to make sure that this event is successful."

Having started in 1993, the Malta International Airshow 2020 will be the 26th edition of this very popular event attended by thousands of Maltese families as well as local and foreign aviation enthusiasts.

Mr Ciliberti thanked the Minister and his staff for making the Airshow 2020 possible, as well as the Malta Tourism Authority, Malta Air Traffic Services, Malta Industrial Parks and SR Technics.  (Source:, 17-Oct-2019)

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Ryanair axes Aberdeen flight to Malta

The Aberdeen to Malta route was launched by Ryanair flying out of Aberdeen International Aiport for the first time last year.  But the airline has carried out a review of its services and has now confirmed the service will no longer be available from the end of this month.  Ryanair said it had taken account of route performance and market demand.  (Source:, 16-Oct-2019)

Monday, October 14, 2019

Freebird Europe to station an A320 in Leipzig/Halle next summer

Maltese airline Freebird Airlines Europe will be stationing an Airbus A320 in Leipzig/Halle (Germany) in next summer season to operate charter flights for TUI travel group.  From May 2020, fights to Heraklion, Kos, Corfu and Rhodes (Greece); Burgas and Varna (Bulgaria); Fuerteventura and Gran Canaria (Spain); Antalya (Turkey); Hurghada (Egypt) and Djerba (Tunisia) will be offered.  In total, between May and October 2020, around 60,000 seats will be available.  (Source:, 7-Oct-2019)

Friday, October 11, 2019

Ryanair subsidiary Malta Air to start operating by next month

The airline Malta Air is to start operating next month on the routes which used to be operated by Ryanair.  Malta Air's CEO, D. O’Conghalie, announced that in summer, the company will start operating six new routes which will increase the number of passengers by 6%.  He said that the company will have 14 planes registered in Malta, six of which will be based here.

During a press conference Mr O’Conghalie said that up to May, Malta Air will continue with Ryanair's schedule but in June it will introduce six new routes while it will increase the frequency of other routes.  As from next summer, the company will operate two flights per week on the new routes to Brindisi, Trieste and Trapani in Italy, Nis in Serbia, Paphos in Cyprus and Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

Tourism Minister K. Mizzi said that this expansion shows the confidence in Malta of the second largest airline in Europe because Malta Air is an extension of Ryanair.

"The 6% increase in passengers is an enormous increase even when compared with the Ryanair Group, as it means we have the highest growth in the group. There is a commitment towards Malta while Ryanair is closing other bases outside of Malta and Malta is being consolidated.  By next year, Malta Air will have 50 planes on its books."

The CEO of Malta Air said that to operate more flights, it will be using new Boeing 737 MAX planes, six of which will carry the Malta Air design.  Mr O’Conghalie said that Ryanair is waiting for the 737 MAX model to be certified good for flying before summer.

Speaking about the pilots and crew who will be working with Malta Air and who will be based in Malta, Mr O’Conghalie said that they will have different contracts to Ryanair.  "It’s a new deal, that Malta-based staff will have here and we have a three year deal which our pilots have recently unanimously accepted, so it’s a new airline and it's a new set of arrangements."  (Source:, 11-Oct-2019)

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Swiftair cargo flight Cologne-Malta diverts to Catania

A Swiftair B737-300F (EC-KLR), operating cargo flight WT-7272 from Cologne/Bonn (Germany) to Malta IAP, had to divert to Catania (Sicily, Italy) this morning because of bad weather over the Maltese Islands.  The freighter then continued to Malta IAP reaching destination with a delay of nearly 4-hrs 40-mins.  (Source:, 9-Oct-2019)

Monday, October 7, 2019

Malta IAP releases traffic results for Sep-19

September was off to a busy start at Malta Int'l Airport, registering just over 28,800 passenger movements on the first day.  By the end of September, the airport team had welcomed 762,361 passengers, translating into an increase of 7.8% over the same month last year.

Aircraft movements for the month of September were up by 6.5%, while seat capacity registered an increase of 7.3%.  Registering a marginal improvement of 0.3 pp over the same month last year, seat load factor stood at 86.2%.

Malta IAP's most popular markets for the month were the United Kingdom (+1.8 %), Italy (+4.5%), Germany (+25.5%), France (-1.0%) and Spain (+2.5%).  Cumulatively, these five markets contributed more than 500,000 passenger movements to September’s total traffic.

September also saw Malta IAP launch its last new route for the summer season, when it welcomed the first flight from Cairo (Egypt).  (Source:, 7-Oct-2019)

Hyperion Aviation adds Global 7500 to its Maltese registered fleet

Registration: 9H-MAF
ICAO Mode-S: 4D2203
Construction No.: 70014
Aircraft Type: Bombardier Global 7500
Operator: Hyperion Aviation Ltd.
Notes: ex C-FXAZ

Sunday, October 6, 2019

Malta Air B738 returns to Cologne due to dual FMS failure

A Malta Air Boeing 737-800 (9H-QAK), operating flight FR-409 for Ryanair from Cologne (Germany) to Copenhagen (Denmark), was climbing out of Cologne when the crew stopped the climb at FL100 reporting both Flight Management Systems (FMS) had failed.  The aircraft returned to Cologne for a safe landing on RWY 14L about 35-mins after departure.  A replacement Ryanair B738 (EI-DAE) departed Cologne with a delay of nine hours. (Source: avherald com, 5-Oct-2019)