Sunday, May 31, 2020

Malta's Air & Sea Ports to open again on July 1st

The Prim Minister of Malta, Dr R. Abela, announced this morning during a interview on One Radio that Malta's Air & Sea Ports will be opened again for passengers' travel on Wednesday, July 1, 2020.  

These were closed on March 21, 2020, by the Maltese Health Authorities as a precaution to stop the spread of the Covid-19 virus. (31-May-2020)

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Malta Air to lay off 60 cabin crew and pilots

According to a letter seen by The Times of Malta, Ryanair's subsidiary Malta Air is going to be making redundancies in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.  

It is understood that around 60 cabin crew and pilots will be made redundant at a time where the airline states there is an "unavoidable need for redundancies" in order to "survive the COVID-19 crisis".  The cuts of 60 employees represents around a third of continent staff at the airline.  

The decision had been made by the carrier following failed talks over what the airline had deemed "reasonable pay cuts".  Those who have been made redundant will be paid €1,489 with last day of employment being the end of June.

These job cuts will join those of Ryanair's overall cuts, of which the parent company is aiming to cut around 3,000 jobs as well as aiming to return to 40% operational capacity in July.  (Source: airwaysmag.com, 30-May-2020)

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Air Malta signs collective agreement with cabin crew union

Air Malta has signed a collective agreement which will see all cabin crew personnel keeping their job.  The agreement covers workers on both definite and indefinite contracts, who will be retained on the company's books.

The agreement signed between Air Malta and the Union of Cabin Crew will see the workers relinquishing a number of benefits agreed in 2016.  These include giving up the guarantee for a minimum take-home pay, which will now see crew members paid for the number of hours they work.  

Crew on an indefinite contract will be allocated a number of hours during the week, while crew with a definite contract will be called in once demand increases.

"Today is a step closer to a win, for the country and common sense," Economy Minister S. Schembri said, thanking workers for their "sacrifice".  Looking ahead, Mr Schembri said the last hurdle for the company’s management is coming to an agreement with the pilots’ union.  (Source: maltatoday.com.mt, 28-May-2020)

Avion Express Malta obtains FAA approval to fly to and from the United States

Avion Express Malta has reached another landmark in its development – the company obtained the Part 129 Operation Specification approval, issued by Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), to conduct passenger flights to and from the United States.

The Maltese company will now be able to make wet-lease agreements with companies throughout the North America.

In order to attain the approval, Avion Express Malta had to pass various checks and procedures of FAA, the Department of Transportation and Transportation Security Administration of the United States.  The whole approval process took more than half a year.

"Obtaining a Part 129 Ops Specs approval from the FAA serves as one of the most important achievements for Avion Express Malta.  In November 2019 the company landed a Foreign Air Carrier Certificate from Transport Canada.  We are discussing business opportunities in both of these markets with our potential clients," said D. Kajokas, CEO of Avion Express Malta.

With the first signs of the aviation industry recovery turning up, as some of the travel bans are being relaxed, borders reopened and flights resumed, Avion Express Malta is ready to help airlines and businesses to cover their air transport capacity needs.  (Source: Avion Express, 28-May-2020)

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Travel ban on persons to/from Malta extended to 15-Jun

A0466/20 NOTAMR A0366/20

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

A) LMML

B) 20/05/23 09:16z
C) 20/06/15 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: rocketroute.com, 23-May-20)

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Mandatory wearing of face mask on all Air Malta operated flights as of 1-Jun-20

Although Air Malta is one of the few airlines that is still operating a limited flight schedule, to support repatriation and to ensure essential connectivity for critical supplies, including medical equipment, we are also busy working to be prepared to operate more flights as soon as the situation permits. 

To enable airlines to operate safely, new travel measures are being introduced and we will keep you updated as soon as information becomes available. 

Evidence suggests that the risk of transmission on board an aircraft is low due to the high efficient air ventilation and filtration systems.  However, to further reduce the already low risk, as of 1-Jun-20, all passengers travelling on an Air Malta flight will be required to wear, at all times, their own face mask. 

It is imperative that the mask is kept on during boarding, transfer to and from the aircraft, and on board at all times.  It is also highly recommended that the mask is also kept on within the airport building, before and during check-in as well as upon arrival, when collecting your baggage up until when you leave the airport building.  Passengers without their own face mask will not be allowed to board the aircraft.  (Source: Air Malta, 18 May 2020)

Friday, May 15, 2020

Air Malta waves farewell to A320 9H-AEI

Air Malta's Airbus A320-200 (9H-AEI, c/n. 2189) has departed for the last time from Malta IAP this afternoon (KM-998) on its ferry flight to Ostrava (Czechia) after the end of its lease.  In Ostrava the aircraft will be repainted in the colours of its new operator, Getjet Airlines.

9H-AEI was delivered new to Air Malta on 27-Apr-2004, on dry lease from ILFC. Between Nov-2010 and Apr-2014, the aircraft was on dry lease with Interjet of Mexico and operated as XA-SOB.  After its return with Air Malta, the aircraft was re-sprayed in Air Malta's retro livery to commemorate the 40 years of the airline.

9H-AEI operated its last commercial flight for Air Malta on 17-Mar-2020 as KM-828/829 to/form Tel Aviv (Israel).  Afterwards, the aircraft entered SR Technics Malta for its end-on-lease maintenance.  (15-May-2020)

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Malta withdraws from military operation against arms trafficking in Libya

The Government has withdrawn from an E.U. Mission to patrol and monitor the trafficking of arms in the Central Mediterranean because of the lack of solidarity shown by the European Union in Malta's burden with irregular immigration.

A Government spokesperson confirmed that Malta will not be participating in the Mission IRINI that is aimed at stopping arms trafficking in Libya.  The spokesperson said the decision was taken because of lack of E.U. support in the immigration crisis.  It was explained that this year not a single immigrant landed in Malta has been relocated and Malta cannot commit its armed forces in this Mission.

This may mean the Mission being rendered useless because Malta is in a strategic geographical position for patrol in the Eastern Mediterranean.  Malta informed the E.U. it may use its veto on the operation and this may lead to the Mission not becoming operational.  (Source: tvm.com.mt, 8-May-2020)

Friday, May 8, 2020

Malta IAP releases traffic results for April 2020

Passenger numbers through Malta Int'l Airport suffered a 99.64% drop in April when compared to the same month last year, further highlighting the overwhelming impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the aviation industry.

While passenger traffic had already decreased significantly in March 2020, the situation at Malta IAP continued to deteriorate in April, which was the first full month to see air traffic to and from the airport come to an almost complete standstill.

"Last April, we handled just 2,370 passengers, which is roughly equivalent to the number of passengers usually processed in an hour on a typical day in summer.  The road to pre-COVID figures will doubtlessly be a long and hard one, but I am optimistic that if all stakeholders continue to pull the same rope and remain open to taking the necessary measures, customer confidence will gradually be restored and the demand for travel will recover," said Malta IAP CEO A. Borg.

The decline in passenger numbers for the month of April was observed in parallel with drops of 94.3% in aircraft movements and 98.35% in seat capacity.  Seat load factor for the month of April stood at a very low 18.8%.

Following the ban of all inbound commercial flights towards the end of March, Malta IAP continued to focus on its role in facilitating essential travel.

In April, there were 73 repatriation flights to and from eight countries including the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands.  Moreover, flights carrying freight registered an increase of 39.8% over the same month in 2019 to total 186 aircraft movements.  (Source: maltairport.com, 7-May-2020)