Friday, April 24, 2020

Travel ban on persons to/from Malta extended to 31-May

A0366/20 NOTAMR A0335/20

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

A) LMML

B) 20/04/23 23:25z
C) 20/05/31 23:59z

E) The Superintendent of Public Health hereby extends the order of a travel ban on persons to Malta and from Malta to and from all countries due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  Provided that cargo flights, ferry flights, humanitarian flights, and repatriation flights shall be exempt from this order.  

The Superintendent of Public Health may, in her absolute discretion, issue an exemption from the provisions of this order, by notice in the gazette, or by other means, where, in the opinion of the said Superintendent of Public Health, the travel of certain persons or goods is deemed to be essential.  Operators shall obtain prior approval from the Malta’s Civil Aviation Directorate before any operations. (Source: notams.aim.faa.gov, 23-Apr-2020)

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Air Malta offers new options for customers with cancelled flights

Air Malta has announced three new options for customers who had flights cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement on Tuesday, it said the new terms offer more flexibility and value to customers in the form of travel vouchers that range from future credits to an extra 30% voucher off the value of the fare purchased.

The options are redeemable once per booking. 

1: Ready to ‘Book your trip’ 

The ‘Book Your Trip’ option, allows customers to change their destination if the flight originates from Malta and to choose a new date within a year from the date of the original flight free of charge.  A €20 travel voucher for each flight and passenger booked will also be offered to all who choose this option, the airline says.  This voucher is valid for 12 months from the date of issue and can be used for any Air Malta operated flight.

2: ‘Save your trip’ 

The ‘Save your trip’ option allows customers to book the same flight "when you are ready" to travel again.  This option awards customers an additional 30% of the value of the original fare price (excluding taxes and fees).  These travel vouchers are valid for 12 months from the date of issue on any Air Malta operated flight. 

3: Decide on your ‘Trip Later’ 

In this option the full amount of the customer's ticket is issued in the form of a travel voucher.  It must be used within a year from the date of issue on any Air Malta operated flight.  If not used, customers can apply for a refund of the travel voucher in the last month of its validity. 

Following receipt of these online forms, customers will be contacted and sent their vouchers.  

Air Malta said it was offering customers the best options during these extraordinary circumstances.  It thanked clients for their loyalty and continuous support during these difficult times.  (Source: timesofmalta.com, 15-Apr-2020)

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Medavia grounds its entire fleet, ceases flight operations

With the recent events of the COVID-19 pandemic and its disastrous effect on the Compay’s operation, the drastic decision to ground the fleet was inevitable.  As a direct result the Company could not do otherwise but to make redundancies.  This was a very drastic measure taken with the aim of saving the Company.

Meanwhile management is leaving no stone unturned in its efforts to restructure the company in a way that will make it viable to continue to run the remaining operating segments.  The Company will work tirelessly to make up for the losses to ensure long term survival.

Meanwhile the Company is in the process of repatriating all crew members in outstations despite the COVID-19 difficulties.  Ceaseless efforts will continue until all crew members are safely back.  (Source: Medavia, 14-Apr-20)

Sunday, April 12, 2020

90% of cabin crew accept Air Malta’s proposed salary cut

Air Malta's cabin crews have voted overwhelmingly to remain in the company's employment while accepting a salary cut that maximises at €1,200 monthly.  The national airline made this offer to all its employees resulting from highly decreased operations that have left most of its aircraft stranded because of travel restrictions.

The company's offer had already been accepted by the engineering union yet the final result rests on whether the union that represents pilots accepts a salary cut.  Sources close to Air Malta said the offer has to be accepted by all employees, the alternative of which is that a number of pilots and cabin crew will have to be laid off.  The Department for Industrial Relations and Employment has already been informed of this.

The union representing cabin crews registered a vote of 90% of its members.  Of those that voted, 90% accepted the offer of a social salary, 9.3% voted against and 0.7% invalidated their vote.  In comments made to TVM some cabin crew said this will mean a 60% reduction of their existing salary.  (Source: tvm.com.mt, 11-Apr-2020)

Friday, April 10, 2020

Travel ban on persons to/from Malta extended to 20-Apr

A0335/20 NOTAMR A0264/20

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

A) LMML

B) 20/04/10 16:59z
C) 20/04/24 23:59z

E) The Superintendent of Public Health hereby extends the order of a travel ban on persons to Malta and from Malta to and from all countries due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  Provided that cargo flights, ferry flights, humanitarian flights, and repatriation flights shall be exempt from this order.

The Superintendent of Public Health may, in her absolute discretion, issue an exemption from the provisions of this order, by notice in the gazette, or by other means, where, in the opinion of the said Superintendent of Public Health, the travel of certain persons or goods is deemed to be essential.  Operators shall obtain prior approval from the Malta's Civil Aviation Directorate before any operations. (Source: windy.com, 10-Apr-2020)

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Air Malta to lay off 108 pilots, 284 cabin crew after no agreement reached on pay cuts

Air Malta will be laying off 108 of its 134 pilots and 284 of its 333 cabin crew members after it failed to reach an agreement with the pilots' union and the cabin crew members' union over pay cuts necessitated by the Covid-19 crisis.

Early on Wednesday, MaltaToday reported that the airline had sent a letter to the Industrial and Employment Relations Department indicating the dismissals.  MaltaToday reported that the airline had asked pilots to accept a salary cut of €1,200 a month but the offer was refused by ALPA, the airline pilots union.

A statement issued by the airline on Wednesday evening confirmed the news and also indicated that 284 members of its cabin crew will be made redundant as well, before laying the blame for the redundancies squarely at the feet of the unions representing pilots and cabin crew members.  (Source: independent.com.mt, 8-Apr-2020)

Malta IAP releases traffic results for March 2020

Passenger movements through Malta Int'l Airport registered a drop of 64.5% when compared to March 2019.

This drop in traffic was largely the result of the COVID-19 outbreak in Europe, which led to mounting travel restrictions – locally culminating in the ban of all inbound commercial flights from 21 March 2020 – and the introduction of more stringent measures aimed at containing its spread.

These restrictions also led to decreases of 46.6% in aircraft movements and 48.1% in seat capacity.  Moreover, a dwindling demand for travel caused seat load factor for the month to tumble to 55.6% from a healthy 81.3% registered in March 2019.

Travel bans announced in the second week of March directly impacted four of Malta IAP's top five markets – Germany (-75.4%), Italy (-87.4%), France (-62.4%), and Spain (-63.6%), with each one of these top drivers of traffic suffering unprecedented drops in passenger numbers.  Malta IAP's topmost market – the United Kingdom – experienced a 53.5% decline in passenger numbers.

The month of March brought winter to a close for the aviation industry, with Malta IAP welcoming over 1.9 million passengers during this season, which starts in November.

The strong growth registered in the first four months of winter partly offset the staggering decrease in traffic experienced in March, with Malta IAP ultimately ending the season with a drop of 4.4% in passenger movements over the previous winter.  (Source: maltairport.com, 8-Apr-2020)