Monday, December 21, 2020

Air Malta flights to U.K. will continue with restrictions

Air Malta's flights to and from the United Kingdom will continue their operations so that Maltese nationals and residents can return home.  This is in line with the government announcement earlier today.

The Maltese government announced that as of tomorrow, Tuesday 22-Dec, flights to and from the U.K. will be suspended.  However, Maltese people and individuals residing in Malta will be able to return.

However, a PCR test not older than 72 hours before arrival must be presented.  Moreover, they will also be subject to testing on arrival.  Quarantine for 14 days is mandatory.

The national airline said that passengers travelling to the U.K. will be required to self-isolate for ten days upon arrival.

The company said that non-Maltese nationals and non-residence permit holders requiring to travel for essential reasons need to obtain an authorisation from the Superintendent for Public Health.

(Source: newsbook.com.mt, 21-Dec-2020)

Saturday, December 19, 2020

Maleth-Aero A346 over Atlantic, turbulence triggers oceanic contingency

A Maleth-Aero Airbus A340-600 (9H-PPE), performing flight DB-221 (on 15-Dec-2020) from Bournemouth (UK) to New York JFK (USA) with five people on board, was enroute at FL380 over the Atantic Ocean when the crew reduced their speed in preparation for predicted moderate turbulence. 

About 660NM eastnortheast of Goose Bay (Canada) the turbulence increased to severe making it impossible for the crew to type a descent request into the Controller-Pilot Data Link Communications, the crew was also unable to establish contact with Gander Oceanic on HF radio.  

The crew therefore performed oceanic contingency procedures, broadcast a PAN PAN call and descended to FL340.  Gander Oceanic subsequently acknowledged and cleared the flight for FL340, the crew cancelled PAN PAN and continued to destination without further incident landing at JFK about four hours later.

The Canadian TSB reported there were no injuries.  After landing the quick access recorder was downloaded, analysis of the flight data showed the loads on the aircraft had remained within limitations. An inspection of the aircraft did not find any faults.

(Source: avherald.com, 18-Dec-2020)

Friday, December 18, 2020

Hi Fly bids farewell to its sole A380

Hi Fly said goodbye today to its sole A380 9H-MIP (006).  It flew from Beja (Portugal) to Toulouse-Blagnac (France) and flew a nice heart-shaped pattern above the ocean to highlight the occassion.  Hi Fly took delivery of its A380 in July 2018 and it featured a special livery promoting saving the coral reefs. 

Unfortunately, demand for ad-hoc charters fell away due to the Corona-pandemic, prompting the airline to deploy the A380 as a makeshift freighter.  However, despite this effort it proved to be too expensive for Hi Fly to continue operating the aircraft and therefore it decided not to extend the lease-contract.

(Source:  scramble.nl, 17-Dec-2020)

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Malta IAP to develop new aircraft parking area, Apron X

Malta International Airport today officially set the ball rolling in relation to its multi-million investment in a new apron – Apron X – with the publication of a call for tenders for the development of a new aircraft parking area and supporting facilities.

Strategically positioned between Apron 8 and Apron 9, Apron X and supporting facilities will be developed over an area covering approximately 100,000 square metres.  This ambitious project constitutes the largest investment in aerodrome infrastructure to be undertaken by the company since Malta IAP assumed management of the aerodrome in 1998.

The infrastructural project will see the development of a new aircraft parking area accommodating up to seven additional narrow-body or three wide-body aircraft, with the enhanced parking capacity contributing to a smoother operation in the medium to long term.

Besides equipping Malta IAP with enhanced aircraft parking stand capacity, the Apron X investment provides for the construction of a new taxiway, which would improve accessibility to the new apron, and the development of a staging area housing facilities for essential ground handling equipment.

The project is also designed to support Malta IAP in honouring its environmental commitments through the development of adequate storm-water collection facilities, the installation of LED floodlighting systems, and the replacement of auxiliary power units, which are currently used by parked aircraft, with ground-power supply units.

(Source: maltairport.com, 16-Dec-2020)

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Malta IAP releases traffic results for November 2020

Malta International Airport registered 39,875 passenger movements last November, translating into a drop of 91.9% over the same month in 2019.

As the aviation industry continued to grapple with the challenges brought by the Covid-19 pandemic, including travel restrictions and low consumer confidence, daily average passenger movements at Malta IAP dropped from 16,439 in November 2019 to just 1,327 last November.

The 24th of November was Malta IAP's quietest day yet since the airport's reopening to commercial operations in July 2020, with only one passenger flight leaving for Amsterdam-Schiphol airport.

Amsterdam-Schiphol together with Rome-Fiumicino, Frankfurt IAP, Istanbul airport, and London-Heathrow were November's most popular airports, accounting for just over 16,500 passenger movements for the month.

While passenger traffic continued to register staggering drops, the blow dealt to cargo and mail was not as devastating, especially given the importance of keeping supply chains running amid the crisis.  Last November, cargo and mail through Malta IAP registered a decrease of 16.2% to stand at 1,459 tonnes.

(Source: maltairport.com, 9-Dec-2020)

Friday, November 20, 2020

Air Malta takes delivery of its fourth leased A320neo

Air Malta has taken delivery today at Airbus' Delivery Centre in Toulouse (France), of its fourth dry-leased Airbus A320-200 powered by the new engine option.  Registered 9H-NED, the aircraft was delivered to Malta IAP this afternoon, landing at 1735lt as KM-1310. (20-Nov-2020)

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Malta IAP clinches two awards at ACI Europe Awards 2020

Malta International Airport yesterday clinched two prestigious accolades at the 16th edition of the Airports Council International (ACI) Europe Awards 2020.

During a virtual ceremony streamed from Brussels airport, ACI Europe announced the winning airports in categories recognising excellence and noteworthy achievements in relation to operations, human resources, environmental innovation, accessibility, and digital transformation.

Malta IAP beat stiff competition from shortlisted peers Porto Airport, Larnaka Airport, Aeroporti di Roma, Aeroporto di Bologna, and Aéroport Toulon Hyères in two different categories to scoop the Best Airport Award by size and the HR Excellence Award.

A panel of judges from several institutions and organisations, including the European Commission, SESAR JU and EUROCONTROL, commended Malta IAP’s work in creating a safe airport environment whilst being mindful of new passenger needs and passenger feedback.

The judging panel identified the setting up of a special Airport Care Team, the segregation of the terminal into zones, and the use of technology in ensuring social distancing is respected as the initiatives which distinguished Malta IAP from its peers, allowing it to secure the Best Airport Award.

A separate panel in the HR Excellence category praised Malta IAP’s communication with its employees, the company’s initiatives to safeguard the team’s physical and mental wellbeing, and the launch of e-training and recognition platforms allowing the team to continue learning and feeling engaged throughout the crisis.

(Source: maltairport.com, 18-Nov-2020)

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Armed Forces of Malta donates retired Bulldog aircraft to MCAST

An aircraft that for almost ten years has been used for the training of Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) pilots is now being made use of by Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) engineering students for their own research and training.  

The aircraft was donated by AFM to enable students to study basic aspects before joining the forces as apprentices or joining other companies in the aviation industry.

The Scottish Aviation Bulldog was originally donated by the U.K.'s Royal Air Force to the AFM in 2001 to be used for the training of pilots to acquire a military licence and coastal flight.  This aircraft was no longer used after 2009.  

Now it is in one of the MCAST facilities in Paola where aviation engineering studies take place.  

The Director for the Institute of Engineering and Transport at MCAST said the aircraft had to be dismantled and then mounted anew by AFM's technical staff.  He said the aircraft will provide various benefits and will help students familiarise themselves with aircraft so that when a student becomes an apprentice they will already have familiarity with their work.

(Source: tvm.com.mt, 18-Nov-2020)

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Malta IAP holds its 28th Annual General Meeting

Malta International Airport today held its 28th Annual General Meeting remotely, during which the company’s performance for the year ended 31-Dec 2019 as well as year-to-date traffic results were presented.

CEO A. Borg gave an in-depth presentation of the company's excellent performance in 2019.  Increases in revenue generated by the company's aviation and non-aviation segments drove net profit up by 11.9% to reach an all-time record of €33.9 million.  The growth registered by the aviation segment was largely driven by a 7.4% increase in passenger traffic.

Mr Borg proceeded to present Malta IAP's year-to-date traffic results after giving an understanding of the devastating impact of Covid-19 on European airports and passenger traffic in Europe.  In October, Malta IAP welcomed 110,346 passengers, bringing year-to-date traffic up to 1,661,700 passenger movements.  This translates into a drop of 73.8% compared to the same period last year.

During the Annual General Meeting, it was also revealed that the company's cost-cutting measures, including reductions in management and employee wages, together with contributions from the government Covid-19 wage scheme, had enabled the company to cut staff costs by 24.1% in the first three quarters of 2020.  Moreover, during the same period, the company lowered its operating costs by 38.4% through several initiatives, including a revised maintenance programme focusing solely on essential works.

Revenue for the period from January to September 2020 registered a drop of 67.7% over the same comparable period in 2019 to stand at €24.9 million.

In his concluding remarks, Mr Borg expressed his confidence that the company's financial resilience, built over the years, and the right team of employees equipped Malta IAP with enough strength to continue facing Covid-related challenges and eventually emerge from this crisis.

(Source: maltairport.com, 11-Nov-20)

Monday, November 9, 2020

Air Malta operates its first flight to Berlin Brandenburg airport

Air Malta on Sunday operated its first flight to Berlin Brandenburg 'Willy Brandt' airport, the newest airport of the city.  Named after former Chancellor Willy Brandt, the airport opened its facilities and started welcoming airlines and passengers last week.

The airport, situation in the south of the German capital in the state of Brandenburg, replaced Tegel and the airports of Tempelhof and Schönefeld.  

Berlin-Brandenburg provides connectivity with the city centre through regional trains which operate 30-minute voyages every quarter of an hour.

This winter, Air Malta is operating a two-weekly flights schedule every Wednesday and Sunday.

(Source: tvm.com.mt, 9-Nov-2020)

Sunday, November 8, 2020

BizAv Services Ltd. and Cockpit4U Aviation Service GmbH launch new approved aviation training programmes and courses

BizAv Services Ltd and Cockpit4U Aviation Service GmbH have launched new approved aviation training programmes and courses for pilots, cabin crew and aircraft operators in Malta.

Bizav Services managing director Cpt. P. Apap Bologna announced a training partnership with German approved training organisation Cockpit4U last month and is now introducing Level D full flight simulator training in Malta.

The EASA (aircraft meeting the safety requirements of the E.U.) training in Malta will initially be offered on Airbus 320 family aircraft, ranging from MCC and jet transition courses to type ratings and advanced type rating instructor courses.

Crew flight training on Bombardier Challenger, Boeing and other Airbus aircraft types are also offered through the BizAv Cockpit4U partnership at specialised crew training facilities in Berlin. 

Cockpit4U managing director Cpt. C. Diamantopoulos said he was impressed at the steady and solid pace of growth in the Maltese aviation sector, which is evidently the result of sound national aviation policy together with the right climate for private sector investment in Malta.

Cpt. Apap Bologna said that BizAv Services Ltd will continue to lead in the development of aviation training in Malta by offering a wide range of cost-effective quality training programme options for aircraft operators and crews. 

"We are working with the best professionals in the industry to deliver the highest standards in aviation training for our customers," he said.

(Source: timesofmalta.com, 8-Nov-2020)

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Hi Fly will phase out its A380 by end of this year

Hi Fly is planning the phase out of its Airbus A380 at the end of the lease term later this year, following almost three years of successful operations worldwide.

The decision to not extend the initial agreed lease period came as a consequence of the covid-19 pandemic, that drastically reduced the demand for very large aircraft.

Hi Fly belongs to the very exclusive club of only 15 airlines to ever operate the A380, the largest and most advanced aircraft of all times. This aircraft was a testimony to how far human being can go in developing something so extraordinary.

Above all, the iconic 9H-MIP “Save the Coral Reefs” was inspiring, and carried this responsible message to hundreds of millions of people in the four corners of the world.

The Airbus A380 will be replaced in the Hi Fly fleet by additional Airbus A330’s, a smaller and more adequate aircraft for current market conditions.

(Source: airlve.net, 3-Nov-2020)

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Air Malta winter schedule guarantees connectivity

Whatever the circumstances, Air Malta is committed to operating 82 flights a week to 15 destinations in Europe in the coming months.  This despite the fact that the winter schedule announced by the national airline includes almost twice as many flights.

The national airline has launched the winter flight schedule, Business Guaranteed, with 156 flights per week.  Air Malta is guaranteeing to fly to 15 out of 21 destinations, regardless of how the situation regarding Covid-19 develops.

The Minister for the Economy S. Schembri said that this guarantee offered reassurance and peace of mind to those who choose to travel with Air Malta – i.e that flights continue to operate even with a few passengers on board.

The Chairman of Air Malta C. Mangion said that the company had carried out crucial work in recent months by carrying medical goods and supplies and has carried out more than 500 repatriation flights carrying 13,000 passengers.  He said the winter schedule is 45% less than last year's winter schedule.

Air Malta’s Chief Commercial Officer P. Sies said that he was hopeful that Air Malta would cope even during these challenging times. "If the situation improves, then we believe that we’ll have people coming to Malta for a weekend break, a very good example, till last week, until yesterday, the Swiss Market was red coded but overnight it has become orange," said Mr Sies.

(Source: tvm.com.mt, 29-Oct-2020)

Libya and Malta sign transport MoU allowing for Medavia flight resumption and Maltese registration of Libyan carrier

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between Libya and Malta on cooperation in the field of aviation and maritime transport, the Libyan Airports Authority (LAA) reported yesterday.

The MoU included an agreement to resume flights between the two countries through the Mediterranean Aviation Company (Medavia), provided that the necessary anti-Coronavirus pandemic measures are observed. 

The registration of one of Libyan Airlines' aircraft in Malta, to circumvent the current E.U. Libya flight ban, as well as and the contribution of the Maltese institutions in raising the efficiency of Libyan cadres in the field of aviation and airports, was also agreed in the MoU.

It will be recalled that the LAA had reported on Aug. 3rd that a specialist delegation from the Maltese Civil Aviation Authority had visited Mitiga airport to "inspect and evaluate the airport and its facilities and determine the possibility of operating scheduled commercial flights between Libya and Malta".

During the visit, the Maltese delegation conducted an inspection tour of some airport facilities, including the passenger terminal, baggage screening area, air control tower, aircraft parking lot and the perimeter fence, in addition to checking the automatic baggage checks and identifying the procedures to be followed by passengers from arrival at the airport until leaving, in order to ensure that they conform to the recommendations of the International Civil Aviation Organization.

(Source: libyaherald.com, 29-Oct-2020)

Friday, October 23, 2020

Wizz Air UK launches new service between London-Gatwick and Malta IAP

Wizz Air UK has launched today direct flights between London-Gatwick (U.K.) and Malta IAP.  The first scheduled flight, operated with Airbus A320-200 (G-WUKD), landed at Malta IAP at 0959lt (W6-5705).  The aircraft departed after turnaround to London-Gatwick at 1053lt (W6-5706).  Wizz Air UK will be operating this service three times weekly: on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.  

(Source: flightradar24.com & maltairport.com, 23-Oct-2020)

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Government requests state aid for national airline

The Maltese Government has filed a formal state aid application with the European Commission in order to provide Air Malta with financial assistance.  

Finance Minister Prof. E. Scicluna said that the government will look at helping the airline to recover losses garnered during the pandemic.  He said throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, Air Malta operated with a 'life line schedule' in order to ensure the country's connectivity with the rest of Europe.  It was also crucial in repatriating Maltese caught outside the country when lockdowns were being deployed across the world.

In April, Air Malta forecasted €130 million in Covid-19 losses.  The scale of losses represents the greatest challenge the national airline will face, with government sources privy to the financial situation inside Air Malta saying they forecast a gradual return to business in 2021.  Some €30 million will be lost just in ticket refunds, while another €100 million will be direct losses from Covid-19 costs.

(Source: maltatoday.com, 19-Oct-2020) 

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Air Atlanta Icelandic to launch Maltese subsidiary next year

Wet-lease specialist Air Atlanta Icelandic is creating a new airline, Air Atlanta Europe, to begin operations next year.

The lessor is applying for an AOC in Malta, popular with airlines for its tax and financial benefits, as well as E.U. membership.

It added that the move would "increase its competitiveness in the ACMI market, post Covid-19", while giving it increased market reach and access for ACMI and charter operations.

The airline currently operates a fleet of nine 747-400 freighters, has six 747-400 passenger variants and an A340.  Freighter customers include Astral Aviation, which has two, Magma Aviation, which has four, and Saudia Cargo, which has two.

Pre-Covid, Air Atlanta intended to launch passenger operations with 777s and A330s, but it has changed strategy, and instead shored-up its freighter fleet with two additional 747Fs this summer.

Chief executive Baldvin Mar Hermannsson told The Loadstar in May "freight is our lifeline now", noting that its passenger business dried up fast, which saw it lose 70% of its revenues initially.

"ACMI is always the first capacity to be shed in a downturn.  It’s a fact of the business model we operate.  For us it was a massive hit."

In a statement today, Mr Hermannsson said:  "The foundation of Air Atlanta Europe in Malta is an important step for us to strengthen both current and future operations in an ever-increasingly competitive ACMI market."

(Source:  theloadstar.com, 16-Oct-2020)

Thursday, October 15, 2020

SmartLynx Malta to introduce A321 freighters

Wet-lease and charter specialist SmartLynx's Maltese division is to lease a pair of Airbus A321s which have been converted to freighters.  

SmartLynx Malta says it will lease the twinjets – MSN891 and MSN1017 – from Vallair in order to enter the freighter market.

It adds that it holding discussions for further aircraft, with a view to venturing deeper into the sector by acquiring up to ten A321s by 2023.

The aircraft have undergone conversion by separate companies, U.S.-based 321 Precision Conversions and the German-based EFW.

"Both are high-quality products and – despite minor differences in direct operational costs – [we] decided to go with both [conversions] to be able to offer its customer flexibility to compare and choose according to their requirements," says SmartLynx Malta.

(Source: flightglobal.com, 15-Oct-2020)

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Malta IAP releases traffic results for Sep & 3Q 2020

September traffic through Malta International Airport registered a drop of 83.1% when compared to the same month in 2019, with passenger movements totalling 128,664.

Aircraft movements and seat capacity for the month of September decreased by 57.9% cent and 59.9% respectively.  Seat load factor for the month registered a drop of 49.9% to stand at 36.3%.

The top markets for the month of September were Germany (-71.4%), Italy (-83.1%), the United Kingdom (-89.2%), France (-73.1%) and Austria (-55.4%).

September brought quarter three to a close with a 77.6% contraction in passenger traffic when compared to the same period in 2019.

Within this three-month period, peak recovery levels were observed in August – particularly in the first two weeks of the month – with passenger numbers increasing by 64.9% over July 2020.

The introduction of Malta's amber list together with other travel restrictions led to a downward trend in the second half of August, which persisted in September. September traffic, in fact, was approximately half of the traffic registered in August.

(Source: maltairport.com, 8-Oct-2020)

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Air Malta's flight KM-309 from Munich diverts to Rome

An Air Mata Airbus A320-200 (9H-AHS), operating flight KM-309 between Munich (Germany) and Malta Int'l Airport, had to divert to Rome-Fiumicino (Italy) yestersay evening for technical reasons.  The aircraft then continued with its flight to Malta IAP reaching destination at 0119lt, with a delay of just over 4-hrs on its original scheduled time.

(Source: flightradar24.com, 27-Sep-2020)

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Ryanair's flight FR-7242 from Dublin diverts to Catania

A Ryanair Boeing 737-800 (EI-EFG), operating flight FR-7242 between Dublin (Ireland) and Malta Int'l Airport, had to divert to Catania-Fontanarossa (Sicily, Italy) this morning after two missed approaches at Malta IAP due to wind shear.  The aircraft then continued with its flight to Malta IAP reaching destination at 1528lt, with a delay of just over 4-hrs on its original scheduled time.

(Source: flightradar24.com, 26-Sep-2020)

Police called in after two plane passengers refuse to put on face masks on Ryanair's flight to Malta

Two aircraft passengers who refused to wear a mask on board were escorted off their plane by police at Malta IAP late on Friday.  

The passengers, a man and woman holding British passports, were on a Ryanair flight FR-8853 from London-Stansted to Malta.  They refused to put on face masks despite repeated requests by cabin crew, prompting the plane’s captain to request police assistance upon landing.

Police officers, accompanied by Malta IAP security officers, immediately boarded the plane after it landed at 2110lt and marched the two passengers off it.  The captain declined to press charges, a police spokesperson said. The couple may still be fined for breaching Maltese Covid-19 laws.

(Source: timesofmalta.com, 26-Sep-2020)

Monday, September 21, 2020

Malta-based Lauda Europe launches operations

Laudamotion, as planned, has evolved into Lauda Europe based in Malta.  

In July 2020, Ryanair announced Laudamotion GmbH would cease operations at the end of 2020, with the fleet being transferred to Lauda Europe.  The new Malta-based Lauda Europe is the second Ryanair group airline based in Malta, alongside Malta Air.

Lauda Europe (Malta) launched operations on 13-Sep-20 with flights from several Austrian and German airports to Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

Ryanair Holdings' new Maltese subsidiary replaces Lauda (Vienna), which is slated for closure.  Lauda Europe will take over the operation of Airbus A320s from Lauda and will exclusively operate the aircraft as a technical wet-lease operator under Ryanair's 'FR' code.

At least five Airbus A320s previously registered in Austria have been changed to Maltese registrations.

(Source: worldairlinenews.com, 20-Sep-2020)

Monday, September 14, 2020

Ryanair's flight FR-2448 to Malta diverts to Catania

A Malta Air Boeing 737-800 (9H-QAM), operating Ryanair flight FR-2448 between Leeds-Bradford (U.K.) and Malta International Airport, had to divert to Catania-Fontanarossa (Sicily, Italy) this afternoon due to bad weather over Malta IAP.  The flight then continued to Malta reaching destination at 1649lt, with a delay of nearly three hours.

(Source: flightradar24.com, 14-Sep-2020)

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Transport Malta awards Air Operator Certificate to Lauda Europe

Transport Malta's Civil Aviation Directorate has just issued an Air Operator Certificate to Lauda Europe.  The airline currently has three Airbus A320 airplanes registered under 9H and is expecting to complete transfer of another 27 in the coming weeks.

Capt. C. Pace, DGCA Malta, thanked the Management of Lauda Europe for selecting Malta as their jurisdiction of choice and praised the team of experts from both sides who worked on the project over the last months.  He stated that although these are difficult times for the industry, he pledged support for Lauda Europe and all the other companies currently operating under the Malta Registry hoping they will get back to normal operations as quickly as possible.


"Speaking in Malta today, Lauda Europe's D. O’Brien said: "The Lauda Europe team would like to thank the Civil Aviation Directorate of Transport Malta for a rigorous approval process which accepted only the highest professional standards.  The Lauda Europe Operations team led by Chief Pilot C. Grübe rose admirably to the challenge and today we are proud to receive Lauda Europe's AOC, which will enable Lauda Europe to develop it’s fleet and base network across Europe."


(Source: Transport Malta, 10-Sep-2020)

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Gestair Private Jet acquires Maltese AOC

Spain's Gestair Private Jets has established a new subsidiary in Malta, Gestair Aviation Malta, following the acquisition of the Air Operator Certificate of PontAir.

The Spanish business charter specialist said that it would add up to eight business jets to its Maltese AOC over the next three years. The operator currently has 37 business jets on its Spanish AOC, including those manufactured by Beech Aircraft Corporation, Cessna Aircraft Company, Gulfstream Aerospace, Bombardier Business Aircraft, Dassault Aviation, as well as a single Piaggio Avanti turboprop.

"By acquiring this European AOC, with which the company was already collaborating, given its characteristics, it allows not only corporate aircraft but also the regular commercial transport aircraft of passengers and air cargo to be incorporated into its management," Gestair said.

(Source: ch-aviation.com, 11-Sep-2020)

Friday, September 11, 2020

Air Malta W20 network changes

Air Malta in recent schedule update filed preliminary schedule for winter 2020/21 season, effective from 25-Oct-20.  As of 6-Sept-20, the routes to routes from Malta IAP to Cairo (Egypt), Casablanca (Morocco) and London-Gatwick (U.K.) have been removed in winter 2020/21 season.  Services to London-Gatwick will resume again in summer 2021 season.

Planned operation for winter 2020/21 season are as follows.  Frequency comparison is based on OAG schedules as of 6-Sep-20 against 12-Jul-20.

Malta – Amsterdam, 4 weekly
Malta – Berlin, 2 weekly
Malta – Brussels, reduced from 8 to 5 weekly
Malta – Catania, reduced 12 to 8 weekly
Malta – Dusseldorf, 2 weekly
Malta – Frankfurt, reduced from 11 to 5 weekly
Malta – Kyiv Borispil, 1 weekly
Malta – Lisbon, 2 weekly
Malta – London Heathrow, reduced from 14 to 10 weekly
Malta – Lyon, reduced from 3 to 2 weekly
Malta – Madrid, 2 weekly
Malta – Milan-Linate, reduce from 7 to 4 weekly
Malta – Moscow-Sheremetyevo, 2 weekly
Malta – Munich, reduced from 14 to 7 weekly
Malta – Palermo, reduced from 4 to 2 weekly
Malta – Paris-CDG, reduced from 7 to 4 weekly
Malta – Paris-Orly, 4 weekly
Malta – Prague, 2 weekly
Malta – Rome, reduced from 14 to 8 weekly
Malta – Tel Aviv, reduced from 3 to 2 weekly
Malta – Tunis, 2 weekly
Malta – Vienna, reduced from 8 to 6 weekly
Malta – Zurich, reduced from 7 to 5 weekly

During the period of 25-Oct-20 to 27-Mar-21, the airline schedules 1937 flight departures from Malta, instead of 3018 flights departures on regular basis (excluding charters).  Additional changes remain highly possible.

(Source: routesonline.com, 9-Sep-2020)

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Malta IAP releases traffic results for Aug-20

Last August, Malta International Airport welcomed 252,022 passengers, translating into a drop in traffic of 69.4% over the same month in 2019.

Since the airport's reopening to commercial flights on 1-Jul-20, the first two weeks of August have been the busiest for Malta IAP in terms of the number of passengers handled.

A total of 459,440 seats were available on flights operated to and from Malta IAP throughout August, with seat load factor for the month standing at 54.9%.

Malta IAP's top markets for the month under review were Italy, the U.K., Germany, France and Poland, cumulatively accounting for 169,804 movements of August's total passenger traffic.

While August was closed off with 99,204 passenger movements more than July, the introduction of Malta's amber list together with various travel restrictions announced by other countries led to a weaker passenger traffic performance in the second half of the month.

(Source: maltairport.com, 9-Sep-2020)

Sunday, September 6, 2020

Turkish Airlines B739 diverts to Malta IAP for medical reason

A Turkisk Airlines Boeing 737-900 (TC-JHY), operating flight TK-4931 between Istanbul (Turkey) and Bamako-Senou IAP (Mali), had to divert to Malta IAP this later afternoon due to a medical emergency on board.  The B739 landed safely on RWY-13 at 1757lt.  The aircraft continued with its flight to Modino-Keita IAP after nearly 65-mins on the ground.  

(Source: radarbox24.com, 6-Sep-2020)

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Air Charter Scotland awarded Maltese AOC

Air Charter Scotland has expanded its operations into Europe after being granted an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) by the Transport Malta's Civil Aviation Directorate.  The AOC issued to new sister company, Air Charter Scotland Europe Ltd (AOC number MT-63), is the culmination of several months of planning, and means the company can continue its expansion into E.U. territories.

D. Thomson, Accountable Manager, Air Charter Scotland Europe Ltd., said: "The presentation of our Maltese AOC marks a significant step in our ability to grow our managed fleet of corporate private jets.  It further enhances our ability to provide the highest level of responsiveness and customer service standards.

We appreciate it is an uncertain time in aviation but we see this new venture as a very positive step in our future and look forward to continuing to exceed our customers' expectations and to contribute toward the development of business aviation."

Air Charter Scotland Europe Ltd has already sourced its first aircraft, a Challenger 350, with more to be added before the end of this year.

(Source:  corporatejetinvestor.com, 1-Sep-2020)

Friday, August 28, 2020

Lauda Europe adds its first A320 on the Maltese register

The Airbus A320 with the previous registration OE-LMG, operated by Lauda, ​​is no longer an “Austrian”, but has become a “Maltese” as the 9H-LMG.  It is the first machine to be part of the newly founded Lauda Europe Ltd. changes.


The Maltese registration was made in the technical facility at Vienna-Schwechat airport.  More machines will follow in the next days and weeks, because on Sep. 15, 2020, Lauda Europe Ltd. take over the operation of the bases in Vienna and Düsseldorf.

Flights between Palma de Mallorca and Memmingen are planned for Sep. 13, 2020.  Ryanair has already informed passengers by email and made this visible in the reservation system.

(Source:  newsabc.net, 27-Aug-2020)

Friday, August 21, 2020

Hi Fly A339 diverts to Malta IAP for technical reason

A Hi Fly Airbus A330-900neo (CS-TKY), operating flight 5K-531 between New Delhi (India) and Lisbon (Portugal), had to divert to Malta IAP this morning for technical reason (low on fuel).  

The A339 landed safely on RWY-31 at 0750.  This landing was also the first ever landing of an A330neo variant at Malta IAP.  The aircraft departed (to Lisbon) after nearly 85-mins on the ground.   (Source: flightradar24.com, 21-Aug-2020)

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Wizz Air to launch flights between London-Gatwick and Malta

With effect from 23-Oct-20, low-cost carrier Wizz Air will be operating three weekly flights between London-Gatwick (U.K.) and Malta International Airport.  Flight will be operated on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and will be operated with Gatwick-based Airbus A320.

(Source: Wizz Air, 18-Aug-2020)

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Malta IAP releases traffic results for July 2020

Malta International Airport registered 152,818 passenger movements last month, translating in a drop of 80.9% in traffic when compared to July 2019.

While July traditionally signals the start of the peak summer season for the airport, last month saw Malta IAP restart commercial operations with a limited flight schedule and a renewed focus on health and safety, following a three-month closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last July’s full-month traffic was roughly equal to the number of passengers registered in the first week of July 2019.  This contraction in passenger traffic was observed together with drops of 70.3% and 72.1% in aircraft movements and seat capacity, respectively.  The seat load factor for the month, measuring the percentage of occupied seats on flights operated to and from Malta IAP, stood at 59.7%.

A passenger performance analysis conducted by Airports Council International (ACI), showed that, on average, European airports registered a 78% decrease in passenger numbers last July.  According to the same analysis, Italy, Germany, the U.K. and France, all of which were among Malta IAP’s top five markets for July 2020, reported drops in passenger numbers that ranged between 74% and 87%.

Malta IAP would like to appeal to people who will be travelling soon to be cooperative and respect fellow guests and airport employees by wearing their face mask, practising social distancing and maintaining good hand hygiene.  Travellers are also reminded to complete and submit any forms required for entry in a country before getting to the airport.

(Source: maltairport.com, 13-Aug-2020)

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Malta International Airshow will be back in 2021

The Malta Tourism Authority has informed the Malta Aviation Society that the agreement for 2020 now shifts to 2021.  This paves the way for the organizers to start planning for the Malta International Airshow 2021.

(Source: Malta International Airshow, 11-Aug-2021)

Ryanair's flight FR-6695 to Malta diverts to Brussels-Charleroi

A Ryanair Boeing 737-800 (EI-EGA), operating flight FR-6695, between Edinburgh (U.K.) and Malta International Airport, had to divert to Brussels-Charleroi (Belgium) this morning for technical reasons.  The flight then continued to Malta, with a replacement aircraft (B738, EI-EPA), reaching destination at 1248lt, with a delay of nearly one hour.  

(Source: flightradar24.com, 11-Aug-2020)

Malta International Airshow 2020 cancelled

In view of the rise in covid-19 cases both in Malta and in Europe, the Malta International Airshow is cancelled.  Additionally, the decision to ban mass public gatherings by the Government of Malta has had a direct effect on the event.  The Malta Aviation Society committee deems that the airshow falls squarely in this category and has thus stopped all preparations for this year's much-awaited event.

The Malta Aviation Society is presently waiting for a reply from the Malta Tourism Authority - the main sponsor of the event - to ascertain that the agreement for the 2020 airshow rolls on to 2021, so that preparations get underway for an airshow in 2021.  The Malta Aviation Society thanks all stakeholders for the support shown during the preparatory phase of this year's event.

(Source: Malta International Airshow, 11-Aug-2020)

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Malta MedAir makes its first flight

Founded in early 2018, Malta MedAir has been operating on an ACMI basis for Air Malta, however today, the airline, which is owned by the Maltese Government made its first flight to Warsaw.

Malta MedAir will be flying to various destinations in Europe with its own cabin crew and pilots, with recruitment to continue over the next few weeks.

The flight departed from the Malta International Airport at 1420hrs and is expected to return at 2215hrs.

(Source: bay.com.mt, 1-Aug-2020)

Friday, July 31, 2020

Air Malta commits to the Aviation Industry Charter for Covid-19

Air Malta announced it has joined major European aviation operators in a commitment to the ‘Aviation Industry Charter for Covid-19’ put forward by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). 

In a statement issued on Friday Air Malta’s Chief Executive and Accountable Manager, Capt. C. Chetcuti said that this charter is aimed at implementing consistent passenger safety procedures across the continent to facilitate the recovery of air transport services whilst maintaining safe and secure operations.

He said that Air Malta believes that a harmonized approach amongst the stakeholders across Europe is key to a safe return to normal operations and rebuilding customer confidence in air travel.

Air Malta’s CEO also said that  the implementation of the Covid-19 Aviation Health Safety Protocol addresses the entire journey from the passenger’s perspective, at the departure airport, on board of the aircraft and at arrival to ensure the protection of our customers and crews against transmission of the Covid-19 virus.

(Source: newsbook.com.mt, 31-Jul-2020)

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Ryanair extends its route from Malta to Vienna to Winter 2020

Ryanair has announced a new winter route from Malta to Vienna, with a three-weekly service, as part of Ryanair’s Malta Winter 2020 schedule.  Malta consumers and visitors can now book a winter getaway to Vienna as far out as March 2021, flying on the lowest fares and with a new set of health measures that Ryanair has rolled out to protect its customers and crew.

(Source: newsbook.com.mt, 30-Jul-2020)

Emirates stop permanently all flights to Malta

Emirates has permanently stopped all flights to Malta and made all local staff redundant as it closes its Maltese office.  A former high-ranking official from Emirates has informed Lovin Malta that the airline has discontinued its daily operations from Dubai to Malta on a permanent basis.  The decision comes following problematic months for the company in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Emirates stopped flights to Malta back in March as the Covid-19 pandemic swept the world.

(Source: lovinmalta.com, 30-Jul-2020)

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Austria's Lauda to close, be replaced with new Maltese unit 'Lauda Europe'

Lauda has announced that it will cease operations by the end of 2020 and will be replaced by a new unit, Lauda Europe, which has already commenced its certification in Malta.


The Austrian subsidiary of Ryanair Holdings said that the new unit would continue to operate A320s as a capacity provider under wet-lease terms for the needs of the entire group from its existing bases in Austria, Germany, and Spain, as well as new bases around Europe.  Lauda Europe plans to commence operations in Nov-20, subject to its AOC being secured by then.

The low-cost carrier holding blamed Austrian tax regulations for the decision, saying that they prevented Laudamotion GmbH (Lauda's legal name) from fulfilling the true potential of the Lauda brand.  In particular, it pointed out that by demanding that all employees be taxed under Austrian law, regardless of the location of their bases, the regulations hindered the expansion of Lauda as a wet-lease provider in other countries.

"Lauda Europe will allow German and Spanish based cabin crews to pay their income taxes in Germany and in Spain.  Lauda Europe will also facilitate new bases being opened across Europe, with pilots and cabin crew employed on local contracts.  Lauda Europe, with an Airbus AOC, will offer greater flexibility to the Ryanair Group, as it will open up bases across Europe without the penal restrictions imposed by Austria's income tax system," the group said.

In terms of its business model, the change will have limited impact on Lauda and Lauda Europe.  The Austrian unit planned to drop all in-house operations and fly exclusively under Ryanair's FR code going forward even if it had stayed in Austria.

Lauda Europe will be Ryanair Holdings' second Maltese AOC besides Malta Air, which operates B738s on behalf of Ryanair.

(Source:  ch-aviation.com, 28-Jul-2020)

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Turkish Airlines to resumes flights to Malta on Aug. 1st

Turkey's national airline Turkish Airlines will resume flights to Malta on Aug. 1st after four months of service suspension due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, Turkish Airlines operated two scheduled daily flights between Malta and Istanbul, connecting the two countries with 322 destinations worldwide.

The Istanbul-Malta-Istanbul service is now planned to operate with a seven-weekly flight frequency until Aug. 15th.  Every Monday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday the service will operate in the morning as TK1369/70, while every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday the service will be in the evening as TK1371/72.  After Aug. 15th, the airline will operate a five-weekly flight frequency by temporarily eliminating the flights on Saturdays and Sundays. 

(Source: newsbook.com.mt, 28-Jul-2020)

Monday, July 27, 2020

Ryanair's flight FR-8280 to Luxembourg diverts to Bergamo

A Malta Air Boeing 737-800 (9H-QCQ), operating Ryanair flight FR-8280 between Malta International Airport and Luxembourg (Luxembourg), had to divert to Bergamo (Italy) this evening for technical reasons.  The flight then continued to Luxembourg, with a replacement aircraft (B738, 9H-QBH), reaching destination at 2126lt, with a delay of nearly two hours.  

(Source: flightradar24.com, 27-Jul-2020)

Friday, July 24, 2020

Malta makes it to Ryanair’s strongest destinations for Summer 2020

Ryanair announced that it's seen a surge in its Maltese Summer 2020 bookings, with tens of thousands of passengers booking to the island since it was announced that travel restrictions were progressively lifted on 1st and 15th July.

Over the last two weeks, Malta has been one of Ryanair's strongest destinations proving to be a clear favourite thanks to its 300 days of guaranteed sunshine.  Ryanair currently operates over 45 routes to/from Malta and its U.K. routes to the beautiful Mediterranean island rank among the most booked for the months of Jul & Aug 2020.

(Source: aviation24.be, 23-Jul-2020)

Monday, July 20, 2020

Air Malta to increase flights to Heathrow, Catania and add four more routes

Air Malta is to start flying more frequently to London-Heathrow and Catania airports and restart flights to four other destinations, some of them pending health and safety assessments.

Flights to Tunisia's capital, Tunis, are expected to start as early as July 31 but flights to Kiev, Moscow-Sheremetyevo and Tel Aviv are scheduled to restart by the first week of October depending on health and safety assessments.

The airline said on Monday that its Manchester route will restart on August 1 while it will also increase flight frequencies to and from London-Heathrow and Catania as of August.  It will be operating ten weekly flight to and from London-Heathrow and nine weekly flights on Catania. 

The airline's flight schedule is based on the 'safe corridors' model which Maltese authorities have embraced to encourage travel between countries deemed to be low-risk for coronavirus.  Air Malta said in its statement that it was seeing a gradual increase in bookings, but was too early to assess passengers' expectations and perceptions. 

(Source: timesofmalta.com, 20-Jul-2020)

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Air Malta relaunches scheduled service Malta-Madrid

After an absence of 12-years, Air Malta relaunched this morning scheduled service between Malta IAP and Madrid, the capital city of Spain.  

The first scheduled flight, operated with Airbus A320-200 (9H-AEP), departed from Malta IAP at 0912lt (KM-580) and the return flight landed at Malta IAP at 1509lt (KM-581).  Air Malta will operating this service twice weekly, on Tuesdays and Saturdays.  (18-Jul-2020)

Monday, July 13, 2020

Malta IAP strengthens its rescue & fire-fighting capabilities

Malta International Airport has further strengthened its rescue and fire-fighting capabilities with the arrival of the Rosenbauer Panther 8×8 fire truck from Austria.

The procurement of this low-emission rescue and fire-fighting vehicle, which is used at major international airports, forms part of Malta IAP's fleet modernisation programme entailing an investment of around €2.9 million.

As part of this investment, two Panther six-wheel-drive fire trucks are currently on order and expected to be added to Malta IAP's rescue and fire-fighting vehicle fleet in 2021.

The modern design and optimised features of the Panther fire trucks – including enhanced extinguishing power and inbuilt thermal imaging technology for low-visibility conditions – will enable the Rescue and Fire-Fighting team to respond faster and more efficiently to emergency situationes occurring in different scenarios.

Malta IAP has drawn up a training programme aimed at familiarising the Rescue and Fire-Fighting team with the functional features of the Panther trucks.  One such feature is the 8X8's high-reach extendable turret, which makes this vehicle ideal for high-precision response to emergencies at height.

Malta IAP's investment in these top-quality fire trucks supplied by one of the world’s leading providers of fire-fighting equipment further underscores the airport's strong commitment to safety and security.

(Source: maltairport.com, 13-Jul-2020)

Friday, July 10, 2020

Malta IAP releases half yearly traffic results

A look at the first half of 2020 shows that traffic through Malta International Airport totalled 1,017,850 passenger movements, translating into a drop of 68.7% over the same comparable period last year.

The year was off to a strong start, with the months of January and February registering double-digit growth of 14.2% and 17.3% respectively.

However, a diminishing demand for air travel resulting from Covid-19 observed at the beginning of March followed by the coming into effect of a travel ban closer to the end of the month, ushered in a most challenging quarter for Malta IAP.

During the second quarter, just over 8,700 passengers arrived in Malta or left the island on one of 311 humanitarian flights operated as commercial air traffic stood still.  3,348 passenger movements of this total were registered in June.

Since announcing its first 17 airport connections for the summer season back in June, Malta IAP has regularly updated its flight schedule to reflect the most recent developments.

At present, this schedule offers direct flights to 49 airports in 13 European countries, with more connections expected to be added in the coming days as Malta IAP continues to rebuild its route network.

(Source: maltairport.com, 9-Jul-20)