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)