The “new” airline which will replace Air Malta has officially been announced… and it’s bringing with it a number of changes.
The new airline will operate 17 routes instead of 37 and use eight planes instead of 10, but this time round, it’s all about the company actually registering a profit.
Three of the airline’s Airbus 320NEOs aircrafts will be brand new, bought directly from Airbus and owned by the new company.
Total employees within the company, meanwhile, went from just under 1,400 in 2010 to less than 400 this year.
As part of the revamped structure within the new airline, a series of cost cutting (also down to a smaller workforce) will see the airline’s wage costs go from a spend of €48 million to less than half of that, €22 million.
With Brussels turning down the Maltese government’s request for a €290-million State aid injection into the struggling Air Malta, the islands instead opted for a model which was used by neighbouring Italy, who recently replaced Alitalia with ITA. In fact, the European Commission gave Malta three years to run this… after which time a business partner needs to be allowed in so that it’s not state-funded.
Everything from aircraft maintenance to direct flying costs will be reduced, with a substantial change in the airline’s business model aimed at registering that long-sought-after profit margin.
Designing “the most commercially efficient network”, the new airline has also increased frequencies to existing routes like Rome, Munich, Paris (CDG), Zurich and Vienna… but other routes are now not on the roster.
Palermo, Naples, Nice, Geneva, Lisbon and Tel Aviv are the six routes which have been cancelled.
The remaining routes are now Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Catania, Dusseldorf, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Lyon, Madrid, Milan, Munich, Paris CDG, Paris Orly, Prague, Rome, Vienna and Zurich.
With a workforce of 375 employees, the airline’s new €350 million investment (and €90 million for staff and pilots) also includes the acquisition of the London Heathrow and Gatwick slots from Med-Air.
By the third year of operations (2026/7), Copenhagen will also be added as a route.
Air Malta’s final flight will be on 30th March 2024, with the new airline’s first flights leaving the following day.
As of November 2023, Air Malta customers can apply for refund of tickets post 30th March 2024, with a recruitment process of the new airline kicking off in December.
On 1st December 2023, the new airline will start receiving bookings.
As for Air Malta’s current pilots, these will have four years to decide if they want to leave and not be a part of the new airline… but if they do, they won’t be able to ever join again.
As part of a clause in their contracts, the pilots will be given these four years to decide if they want a sum payment as part of their departure. If they do choose this, they won’t be able to work as pilots with the new airline, or Med-Air, ever again. A six-year “ban” from working within the public sector will also apply.
Read the full article: https://lovinmalta.com/news/air-maltas-final-flight-will-be-on-30th-march-2024-as-new-downsized-national-airline-announced/
Air Malta carried 970,636 passengers between April and August 2023
970,636 passengers travelled with Air Malta between the start of April and the end of last August, Executive Chairman David Curmi confirmed on Thursday.
The figure represents a 26 per cent increase from the performance of the same period last year, with the highest number of passengers being carried last month with 213,963.
“As we move into the sixth month of our summer 2023 programme, we continue to see a strong demand for travel with our airline,” Mr Curmi stated.
He added that during the reporting period, Air Malta operated to 23 destinations and performed a total of 3,238 rotations with a monthly average of 637 and a weekly average of 154 rotations. The total rotations came out at 28 per cent higher than in 2022, with the highest number of rotations being performed for routes including London Heathrow, Rome Fiumicino, and Catania.
Italy remains the top destination when it comes to passenger loads with 249,730 passengers, followed by France, the United Kingdom and Germany. The airline’s most frequented airport remains London Heathrow, followed by Munich and Rome Fiumicino.
Mr Curmi noted that it gives him “great pleasure” that despite the addition of five new routes, Air Malta still achieved an average seat load factor of 88 per cent during the five months reported. The airline recorded a high average seat load of 92 per cent during August.
“14 out of 23 routes achieved a seat load factor of over 90 per cent. The highest seat load factors were achieved on the Lisbon, Amsterdam, and London Heathrow routes at 99 per cent, 96 per cent, and 95 per cent, respectively,” he continued.
“I attribute this successful performance to the hard work, dedication, and commitment of our people across the company,” Mr Curmi concluded.
Despite the positive results, Air Malta’s future remains uncertain, with it awaiting a verdict from the European Commission on whether Government’s request to inject state aid into the airline will be approved. Back in April, Mr Curmi had said that the airline is set to wind down operations by the end of the year, with a new flag-carrier set to take its place.
Article credits: https://whoswho.mt/en/air-malta-carried-970-636-passengers-between-april-and-august-2023Additional Paris CDG rotations
Air Malta is further expanding its Winter 2023-24 scheduled flight operation with the addition of:
2 x extra Paris CDG rotations on Days 1 & 5 respectively
See the above table for the updated schedule for both Paris airports.
This increased capacity should help cater for more inbound GROUP and MICE traffic to Malta, as well as increase connectivity to Francw and beyond for the local Malta Market.
We are available should you require any further information or assistance with flights.
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Malta’s national airline, Air Malta will officially be replaced by a new flag-carrier and is expected to continue operating right until the new one takes over by the end of the year.
The fact that the country’s national airline was expected to wind down operations had become an open secret in recent months, especially following reports made that the airline was to undergo dissolution by the end of the year.
It is likely that the new airline will take on the Alitalia – ITA solution, which saw a new, debt-free Italian national airline acquire half of the original airline’s aircraft and a quarter of its staff and had an investment plan approved by the EU Commission.
The airline’s Executive Chairman, Mr David Curmi. explained that the new airline will have its own booking platform, and that the old company will operate right until the new one takes over, allowing a seamless transition. This is unlike what happened with Alitalia – ITA, which refunded flights booked for customers past the date of dissolution.
However, it is not yet clear how many of the routes the new airline will inherit from the original one.
The decision to start a new debt-free airline to replace Air Malta comes after Malta failed to receive permission from the EU Commission to give the ailing airline a capital injection of 290 million. Despite slashing headcount by 50 per cent and removing unprofitable routes, it was unable to convince the EU Commission.
Read the full article: https://whoswho.mt/en/air-malta-to-be-replaced-by-a-new-national-airline-by-the-end-of-the-year-exec-chairman-confirmsAir Malta announce new flights to Lisbon
The trips to the Portuguese capital are the fifth new destination which form part of the airline’s summer route expansion, which also include flights to Naples, Nice, Palermo and Tel Aviv.
The flights will happen twice per week, on Mondays and Thursdays and will operate between June and October 26th, 2023.Air Malta launches its summer 2022 schedule
Summer has finally arrived with Air Malta launching operation of its significantly expanded Summer 2022 flying program. The seven-month schedule, which runs from 27th March till 29th October, will see the airline operate 125 weekly return direct services to 18 key European Airports, across 10 different countries.
After an absence of over a year, Air Malta will be returning with a daily service to London Gatwick and with a three times a week service to Madrid. London Heathrow will be the most served route with 15 weekly scheduled flights, followed by Munich (12), Rome (10), and Paris with nine weekly frequencies on Orly and seven weekly frequencies to/from Charles De Gaulle airport. Amsterdam, whilst operating a daily service, will see this increasing to eight services per week during July – October.
This Summer Air Malta will be operating direct flights to Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Catania, Dusseldorf, Geneva, Paris Charles De Gaulle, Paris Orly, Rome Fiumicino, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, Madrid, Milan Linate, Munich, Lyon, Prague, Vienna, and Zurich.
Read the full article here: https://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2022-03-30/local-news/Air-Malta-launches-its-summer-2022-flight-schedule-reintroduces-flights-to-London-Gatwick-Madrid-6736241872
New direct routes for Zagreb, Croatia & Parma, Italy
Malta International Airport (MIA) welcomed the first two flights from Zagreb and Parma, which will be operated on Tuesdays and Saturdays throughout winter by Lauda Europe and Malta Air respectively, both of which are part of Ryanair Holdings. While Italy is one of Malta International Airport’s most popular markets, connected by flights to 16 out of its 20 regions, the Zagreb route is the first direct link between Malta and Croatia.
The capital of Croatia is characterised by red-roofed buildings, narrow cobbled streets snaking through the old Upper Town, and grand architecture dating to the times of the Habsburgs dominating the busier Lower Town. While the city brims with charm and activity all year, as Christmas rolls around, Zagreb’s festive attire and renowned street markets heighten its appeal as a winter destination.
By venturing just outside the city, visitors can also enjoy a spot of adventure down one of Mount Medvednica’s five ski runs. Other interesting places which are easily reachable from Zagreb and ideal for a day trip include Plitvice Lakes, which turn into a winter wonderland after snowfall, the sleepy town of Rastoke, and Karlovac where one of Croatia’s top beers is brewed.
While Croatia’s go-to tipple is beer, with the country producing 90% of all beer sold locally, Parma is well known for Lambrusco wine, Parmesan and prosciutto, making it a top destination for artisanal food tours. The time spent sampling Parma’s satisfying delicacies can be balanced with sighteeing tours of the city’s stunning monuments, including the Romanesque Cathedral and the medieval baptistery, both of which boast splendid frescoes, Palazzo della Pilotta, and the wooden Teatro Farnese.
Visitors can discover more of the Emilia-Romagna region by travelling to Bologna and Modena, both of which are a train ride of just under an hour away from Parma. The area between these two cities is often dubbed ‘Motor Valley’ due to a concentration of manufacturers of luxury cars and motorbikes, the likes of Ferrari and Ducati. Travellers who are more impressed by the sounds of opera than the purrs of fast cars will be happy to know that Modena also gave birth to Luciano Pavarotti, where his house has been turned into a museum.
Article credits: https://whoswho.mt/en/malta-international-airport-announces-new-direct-routes-for-zagreb-croatia-parma-italyAir Malta launches new website and booking engine
Air Malta has re-launched its popular website airmalta.com, and upgraded its internet booking engine as part of wide-ranging initiatives to transform its digital ecosystem.
“With a fresh, clean, intuitive, modern design and navigation layout, the site is optimised for a better user experience with components of personalisation depending on customer preferences, such as country of residence and preferred language”, Malta’s national carrier said in an announcement on Monday.
The website and booking engine are now fully integrated with the airline’s customer relationship management platform giving Air Malta a 360-degree view of its online customers that will assist it in offering personalised offers and best fares depending on previous purchases and booking preferences.
The redesigned website offers customers an array of increased capabilities and services that include features to plan holidays, manage bookings, check-in online and buy ancillary items including inflight menu products and boutique items that will be delivered on board. The site also allows users to book car hire and hotel accommodation in Malta and throughout the airline’s network through its partners as well as holiday packages through ‘Air Malta Holidays’.
Commenting on this launch, Air Malta’s Executive Chairman David G Curmi said, “We are very excited to announce the launch of our newly designed website. After months of hard work and dedication, we are delighted to deliver a customer experience that is faster, more intuitive, easier to navigate, and more user-friendly. The website incorporates a refreshed new look and features which will enhance the overall experience whether accessed from desktop, mobile or any tablet device. This platform will now enable us to launch our first mobile app and a redesigned Loyalty Programme in the coming months.”
Air Malta’s Chief Commercial Officer Roy Kinnear added, “Online services have today become indispensable tools to showcase one’s products and services and facilitate sales. This project’s aim was simple: to offer an outstanding user experience when browsing and booking through our website. We wanted the site to be the best in class, with simple and clear navigation by personalising the user experience through appropriate content and offers.
“The website showcases the Maltese Islands through its ‘Discover’ section which is full of interesting articles and information about the Maltese Islands. This section also incorporates the digital edition of the airline’s monthly inflight magazine ‘Il-Bizzilla’ Mr Kinnear added.
Wayne Grixti, Air Malta’s Chief Technology Officer added, “Digitalisation and modernisation are strategically important for the Airline in its journey to become sustainable. Our main goal is to leverage technology to provide the Airline with a set of tools required to ultimately serve our Customers in a digitally secure environment and make their online experience unique. This digital ecosystem initiative is a proof that Air Malta’s mindset is Customer First”.
airmalta.com attracts around five million visitors every year, the national carrier revealed. The website is available in seven languages (Maltese, English, German, Italian, French, Russian, and Dutch).
The application of new technologies will facilitate future upgrades including a unified check-in experience, integration of the loyalty programme, online shop for ancillary products, a B2B portal and a mobile app.
Article credits: https://whoswho.mt/en/air-malta-launches-new-website-and-booking-engine
Malta to welcome vaccinated Brits from June
As of June 1st, Malta will welcome passengers from the UK who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
British travellers who can show proof of full vaccination received at least ten days before arriving in the country will no longer have to provide a negative PCR test certificate 72 hours prior to, or on arrival in Malta.
Passengers will need to show their vaccination card when boarding to be accepted to travel.
Malta is second to the UK in terms of European countries vaccinating the greatest proportion of its population, with 40 per cent of the adult population having received its first dose, making the destination a safe choice for future travel.
Tolene Van Der Merwe, director UK & Ireland of Malta Tourism Authority, commented: “Malta is a very popular destination for British holidaymakers and is a key contributor to Malta’s economy, so we are excited to welcome back fully vaccinated travellers from the United Kingdom from June.
This latest announcement is another example of Malta and the UK’s special, long-standing relationship which dates back to the 1800 when Malta voluntarily became part of the British Empire as a protectorate and in the 20th century Malta was famously favoured by her majesty the Queen, and she spent two years living on the island when the Duke of Edinburgh conducted his work for the Royal Navy and returned for many state visits.
Present day Malta offers world-class diving, a burgeoning gastronomy scene and year-round warm weather.
The islands have an exciting few months in store with a wealth of new restaurant, hotel and spa openings for travellers to enjoy when they can return.