Air Malta increasing flights on its Malta based routes this winter
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Following recent debates in certain sections of the press, Air Malta’s Chief Executive, Philip Micallef, has said in a statement that he would like to clarify matters.
“Contrary to the impression that is being given, Air Malta is not decreasing any flights but will be actually increasing operations on its Malta based routes this winter. In effect the airline is planning to carry more tourists to the islands whilst utilising fewer aircraft.”
Micallef said that “Air Malta absolutely agrees that aircraft are there to fly and seeing opportunities in this area, the management has drafted plans to increase aircraft utilisation hours this winter and operate the same amount of 4,452 flight sectors with seven instead of eight aircraft.”
He added, “Air Malta’s ultimate aim is to do more with less and increase productivity of its assets. Various initiatives are being taken such as operating more night flights, carrying more maintenance during the night, improve aircraft turnaround times and modifying flight departure times. Air Malta reviews the profitability of all flights routes and optimises its capacity accordingly.”
“Aircraft are fundamental but a costly resource to any airline. All 12 Air Malta aircraft are leased in, with each lease costing millions of Euros each year,” said Micallef. “In the last few years Air Malta leased out two aircraft to foreign operators in order to recover part of its leasing costs.”
“Air Malta is in the process of building a sustainable basis so that in future it will be in a position to grow its network and fleet in a methodical manner according to requirements.”
Philip Micallef pointed out that all the initiatives have to be understood in the light of the constraints imposed by the Restructuring Plan agreed with the EU Commission. “This plan limits Air Malta by the number of flights it can operate on certain profitable routes.”
“Air Malta will continue to be the backbone of Maltese tourism assisting the local operators whilst at the same time supporting the local community and other business enterprises all year round,” Philip Micallef concluded.