Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Air Europa A332 denied permission to land in Malta

An Air Europa A332 (EC-JPF) was refused permission to land at Malta IAP on Tuesday after claims that it was coming here for maintenance proved to be false, the authorities said.

Transport Minister I. Borg told Times of Malta that the plane was not granted permission to land, given that it had no valid reason to be here.

He said the plane's operators told the Maltese civil aviation authorities that it was coming here for schedule maintenance but it resulted that the plane appeared to have no booked slot with companies providing the service in Malta.

He pointed out that there was limited space at the airport since aircraft were not flying.

The Airbus A332 was spotted circling south of Malta at just 7,000 feet for more than 20-mins.  It then flew back to Madrid.  (Source: timesofmalta.com, 31-Dec-2020)

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Air Malta revises its 'lifeline schedule'

Air Malta revised its 'lifeline schedule' announced last week due to further travel restrictions imposed by various European states.  This limited schedule was planned following the ban on scheduled commercial flights as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Air Malta will now be operating flights to London-Heathrow (U.K.), Frankfurt (Germany) and Amsterdam (Netherlands).

These airports are proving to be a critical lifeline for cargo, the provision of medical equipment and supplies, and the repatriation of foreign nationals to their country from Malta.  These flights will continue in the coming weeks.

Scheduled flights to Brussels (Belgium) and Vienna (Austria) have been discontinued.  The situation is changing every day and further changes may be announced.  (Source: Air Malta, 25-Mar-2020)

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Air Malta setups a ‘lifeline schedule’

Air Malta has setup a 'lifeline schedule' to facilitate outbound travel for stranded individuals to their home countries and ensure essential connectivity for critical medical cases apart from medical equipment and medicines to the islands.  With these flights, the National Airline is also ensuring a continuous connectivity that is critical to the Islands’ supply chain.

Starting from next Monday, 23rd of March, the airline will introduce a new schedule operating to London, Paris, Amsterdam, Brussels, Frankfurt, and Vienna.  The schedule could be changed subject to demand.

Selected flights from the outbound only schedule will be available for individuals to book online on www.airmalta.com or through all travel agents and their systems.

All the flights will be operated on a point to point basis and will be available for customers who can prove that they are travelling back to their home country in the Schengen area and U.K. either by producing a valid passport or residents' card.

During this period no on-line check in will be offered to be able to control the validity of the passengers.  Passengers are asked to present themselves two and a half hours before the flight's departure time. (Source: Air Malta, 19-Mar-2020)

Wizz Air suspends all flights to and from Malta until Apr. 10th

Wizz Air has suspended all flights to and from Malta until April 10 as a result of the travel restrictions imposed by the Mediterranean island in an attempt to beat Europe’s worst outbreak of coronavirus, the low-cost carrier said on Thursday. (Source: uk.reuters.com, 19-Mar-2020)

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Air Malta to suspend all commercial flights

Following a decision by the Maltese Health Authorities, Malta is banning all commercial travel to Malta for flights departing after 2359UTC on Friday 20th March, until further notice.  This measure was taken to contain the spread of the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic.  The ban does not apply to ferry, cargo and humanitarian and repatriation or special flights. Air Malta shall operate such flights as directed by the Government of Malta.  (Source: Air Malta, 18-Mar-2020)

All passenger flights to/from Malta are temporarily suspended between 21-Mar and 10-Apr

NOTAM 0264/20

Q) LMMM/QXXXX/IV/NBO/AE/000/999/3551N01429E

A) LMML

B) 20/03/20 23:59z 
C) 20/04/10 23:59z

E) Based on a decision taken by the Malta Health Authorities all passenger flights inbound to Malta are temporarily suspended.  Flights departing before 23:59 UTC on the 20th March 2020 are exempted.  The ban does not apply to ferry flights, cargo flights, humanitarian flights and repatriation flights.  Maltese authorities may in special cases exempt individual flights.  (Source: rocketroute.com, 17-Mar-2020)

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Air Malta flight from Gatwick reports 'medical occurence'

Air Malta crew on board flight KM-117 from Gatwick reported a "medical occurence", Malta Int'l Airport said in a statement.  No details have been given as to the nature of the case.

The flight landed in Malta just after 4pm on Tuesday. Two ambulances were called on-site.  The ambulances and the passenger transport bus left from near the aircraft at around 5:25pm.  "The established precautionary measures are being taken by the local health authorities so as to ensure everyone’s safety," -MIA said.  (Source: maltatoday.com.mt, 17-Mar-2020

Monday, March 16, 2020

Air Malta suspends flights to Morocco until further notice

Following the announcement by the Moroccan government to close its borders from several countries to contain the spread of the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, Air Malta will be suspending its Malta-Casablanca-Malta flights as from tomorrow Mar. 17th.  The airline's last flight to the country will be operated today until further notice.  Today's flight will operate 30 minutes before to avoid airport closure.  (Source: Air Malta, 16-Mar-2020)

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Jet2 cancels all flights to Malta

The Maltese government has announced that it will introduce a compulsory 14-day period of self isolation for all citizens arriving from the U.K.  As A result of these measures, we will not be flying any customers to Malta with immediate effect.  

We will be flying customers back to the U.K. via our programme of schedule flights which will continue to operate until Wednesday Mar. 18th (inclusive).  Thereafter, we have cancelled all flights up yo and including w/c Apr. 27th.  As this is a fast-moving and complex situation, we are keeping this under constant review.  

We are contacting customers who are currently in Malta, and who are due to travel to Malta, to advice them of their options.  (worldairlinenews.com, 14-Mar-2020)

Friday, March 13, 2020

Air Malta changes onboard services to avoid Coronavirus spead

Air Malta has announced that it is limiting its services on board flights to avoid the Coronavirus spread.  Business Class passengers will be serve with a single tray, disposable utensils and a bottle of water, while this service is not available to Economy Class passengers.  The national airline stated that it will keep contact with various authorities and will update clients with any changes.  (Source: tvm.com.mt, 13-Mar-2020)

Thursday, March 12, 2020

VistaJet reports record 2019 results and is cautiously optimistic for 2020

Maltese-based VistaJet starts 2020 with a market update amid the unique set of challenges posed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) as well as a recap of its solid growth during 2019 and the successes for the year.

VistaJet made a positive start to 2020. Early figures from January through today highlight that VistaJet’s total number of flights increased by a further 16% YOY and the oompany continues to see strong demand across all regions. The U.S. registered the greatest number of flights during the first two months of the year, making up 23% of global flights.  Despite the deep impact of the virus spreading across Asia, demand from the continent remains stable at 11%.

The Company's 2020 pipeline comes on the back of a strong 2019, during which VistaJet made significant progress on its core strategic priorities and grew market share worldwide with a 21% growth in its Program membership.

Consistent with historical corporate trends, VistaJet increased its number of flights and passengers by double digits in 2019.  Its new fleet optimization strategy catalyzed growth also during the low season of the first half, increasing global flights by 12% compared to the same time the previous year.  Q3 2019 remained the most popular quarter, responsible for 28% of journeys.

The opening of a dedicated Middle East office drove the region to record the largest growth for the company across number of flights, passengers and new clients joining the VistaJet Program — surging by 24%, 35% and 26% respectively.  The U.A.E. registered the majority of flights in the region and saw a 21% increase in flights, trailed only by Saudi for regional flights, which experienced a 41% growth.

The VistaJet Program model remained a favorable solution for U.S. based customers, recording a rise of 24% in the number of memberships in the market, while Asia's membership grew by 6%, with China, India and Singapore leading the charge.  Europe recorded an 11% growth in flight hours against 2018 figures and increased its Members in the market by 23%.  The U.K. alone accounted for 24% of VistaJet’s flights in the region, proving that despite political uncertainties, the country continues to be a focus for global and European business.  (Source: globenewswire.com, 12-Mar-2020)

Air Malta collaborating with government to organise repatriation flights for Maltese abroad

Air Malta is assisting the Maltese government to organise repatriation flights to bring home Maltese nationals and residents following the ban on travel between Malta, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, France and Spain.

In a statement on Thursday, the airline said this measure was taken to contain the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.  It said the flights from these countries have been suspended until further notice.

"I thank all of Air Malta’s staff dedication and commitment at such delicate times. It is at times like these when one sees the importance of having a national airline," Economy Minister S. Schembri said.

Maltese Nationals and residents abroad affected by this travel ban and who are currently outside Malta need to contact: +356 22042200 or by email on sitcen.mfea@gov.mt.  (Source: maltatoday.com.mt, 12-Mar-2020)

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Two passengers fall ill on Edinburgh-Malta Ryanair flight

Medical staff were called to check on two passengers who fell ill during a Ryanair flight from Edinburgh to Malta.  It is not known at this stage whether this is in any way related to coronavirus, but the aircraft landed at Malta IAP this afternoon.

A spokesman for Malta IAP confirmed that a medical occurrence was reported on board the flight, adding "The established precautionary measures were taken by the local health authorities so as to ensure everyone’s safety."

According to the Malta Independent, government officials said that due to the situation regarding coronavirus, everyone on board is being asked to fill in a passenger locator form so that authorities have the information they need to trace everyone if necessary.

The Ryanair flight FR-6695 departed Edinburgh shortly after 9am and arrived in Malta at about 1:30pm.  (Source: edinburghnews.scotsman.com, 11-Mar-2020)

'Saudi Hawks' stop again at Malta IAP

Eight Hawks of the Royal Saudi Air Force's display team, the Saudi Hawks, together with their L-100-30 Hercules support aircraft, made a technical stop at Malta IAP this morning while on their way to Saudi Arabia after participating at the International Aerospace & Exhibition at Djerba–Zarzis IAP, Tunisia (11-Mar-2020)

- Hawk (x8): 8806, 8807, 8808, 8816, 8817, 8818, 8820 and 8821
- Hercules: HZ-128 (opb Saudi Arabian Airlines)

Malta bans travel from four more European countries because of coronavirus

Malta on Wednesday banned travel with Germany, France, Spain and Switzerland to try to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Prime Minister R. Abela said.  The small Mediterranean island imposed similar restrictions on travel from Italy on Monday.

"The decision has been taken on the advice of the medical authorities because of the sharp increase in the spread of the virus," Abela told a press conference.  He said the travel ban would come into force at midnight on Wednesday.  People who arrived in Malta from Italy and the other countries before the ban would have to observe mandatory quarantine.  (Source: Reuters, 11-Mar-2020)

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Air Malta to operate limited flights to repatriate Maltese citizens in Italy

Air Malta will be operating a limited number of flights to Italy to repatriate Maltese citizens back to Malta and to carry cargo and urgent medical supplies for hospitals.

The airline said on Tuesday that it was suspending all other flights to and from Italy, following the announcement by Prime Minister R. Abela last night of a travel ban to the country in light of the spread of the coronavirus.

The repatriation will be coordinated by the Ministry for Foreign and European Affairs Office.  Residents can contact this office on +356 2204 2200 or by email on sitcen.mfea@gov.mt.  (Source: maltatoday.com.mt, 10-Mar-2020)

Maltese Prime Minister announces travel ban to and from Italy

All flights between Malta and Italy have been stopped with immediate effect and the catamaran service to Sicily will only be used to transport goods, Robert Abela said.  The Prime Minister made the announcement in an emergency press conference in the early hours of Tuesday at Castille.  The measures come in the wake of drastic action in Italy where the government announced a territory-wide lockdown on Monday evening.  (Source: maltatoday.com.mt, 10-Mar-2020)

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Air Malta in talks to commence flying to Ghana in 2Q 2020

The Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC) Y. Grant has revealed that talks are underway for Malta’s national airline, Air Malta, to commence flying to Ghana in the second quarter of 2020.  The GIPC boss disclosed this information at the second Ghana and Malta Business Forum in Accra which is aimed at fostering bilateral trade opportunities for Ghana and Malta.

According to Y. Grant, the Air Malta which was ranked the fifth best in Europe 2017 is readying to fly to Ghana as it looks forward to expanding its Africa reach.  He further called for a strong thriving and mutually beneficial collaboration between Ghanaian and Maltese businesses to take advantage of opportunities in each other's country.

On his part as the Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Businesses in Malta, S. Schembri, said Ghana must consider Malta as its home in Europe; a partnership of growth and economic prospects.  He called on stakeholders from both countries to be proactive in the exchange of ideas aimed at bettering the lives of people.  (Source: 
ghanaweb.com, 2-Mar-2020)