Air Malta said in a statement this afternoon that it “confirmed all flights have operated as planned so far today and the airline is hopeful that normal service can now be restored on an ongoing basis.”
The airline’s management said that it is pleased to confirm “that all pilots rostered today are carrying out their duties with their normal professionalism and commitment to providing safe and reliable service to our customers.”
“Yesterday the airline enacted its contingency plans to minimise disruption to customers. Whilst the airline was forced to cancel its services to and from Milan Malpensa and Benghazi, most passengers were rerouted on the same day. All other passengers have been provided with assistance,” the airline saidl
Air Malta was also able to re-instate the cancelled service to and from Newcastle, by leasing an aircraft to cover another charter flight.
Many passengers were affected by lengthy delays to their services. “The airline’s ability to provide passengers with timely and accurate information was impacted by the late notification of sickness from some flight crew,” the airline said.
Air Malta added that it “notes with regret that over 2000 passengers were inconvenienced unnecessarily and that over €500,000 in costs were incurred at a time when the airline is striving to break even.”
“For the sake of record,” Air Malta said, it “can confirm that 17 pilots were on sick leave when normally we would expect an average of between two and four pilots to report sick.”
The airline stated that “only the ALPA Executive Committee and pilots involved know what control each had over the unfortunate spike in crew sickness. Had ALPA chosen to encourage their healthy members to help crew flights, then less passengers would have been disrupted.”
Air Malta remains committed to develop a positive working environment with our pilots and ALPA at all times, it concluded.