Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Turkish Airlines' Istanbul-Malta flight diverts to Istanbul

A Turkish Airlines Boeing B737-800 (TC-JVA), performing flight TK-1369 between Istanbul-Ataturk (Turkey) and Malta IAP, had to turn back to Istanbul this morning for technical reasons. 

The flight was later operated by a replacement aircraft (Boeing B737-800, TC-JVE) and reached Malta with a delay of nearly five-hours on its original scheduled time. (18-Oct-2017)

Air Malta to start flying to Ukraine following Kiev agreement

With effect from March next year Air Malta will start operating scheduled flights to Ukraine. The agreement was concluded during a State visit by President M.L. Coleiro Preca to Ukraine, a country with a population of 45 million. (Source: tvm.com.mt, 17-Oct-2017)

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Air Malta flights delayed due to cabin crew industrial action

A number of Air Malta flights have been delayed by roughly half an hour after the Union of Cabin Crew informed Air Malta last night that it had ordered its members to start industrial action, an Air Malta spokesman has confirmed. 

The airline confirmed that some flights had been affected but stressed that none had been delayed by more than 30 minutes, adding that it was currently holding discussions with members of the union. (Source: maltatoday.com, 15-Oct-2017)

Saturday, October 14, 2017

U.K Border Force HMC Protector recalls at Valletta Port

The United Kingdom's Border Force cutter HMC Protector sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) last evening on a courtesy visit. This is her eleventh visit in Valletta Port this year.

The British cutter is presently berthing alongside at Coal wharf, and she's expected to sail from Valletta Port in three weeks. (14-Oct-2017)

Air Malta plans to offer five additional routes in summer 2018

Air Malta in summer 2018 season plans to offer five additional routes, including four routes previously served by the carrier.  Planned service as follow.
  • Malta - Lisbon (Portugal), effective 25-Mar, twice weekly (last served in September 2006)
  • Malta - Malaga (Spain), effective 26-Mar, twice weekly 
  • Malta - St. Petersburg (Russia), effective 30-Mar, weekly flight (last served in October 2014)
  • Malta - Stockholm Arlanda (Sweden), effective 1-May, once weekly (last served in November 2007)
  • Malta - Venice (Italy), effective 26-Mar, three times weekly (last served in September 2015)
(Source: routesonline.com, 13-Oct-2017)

Friday, October 13, 2017

German Navy FGS Mecklenburg-Vorpommern calls at Valletta Port

The German Navy Brandeburg-class (Type F123) frigate FGS Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (F 218) sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit. 

FGS Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is presently berthing alongside at Bormla wharf (in French creek), and she's scheduled to sail from Valletta Port in two weeks. (13-Oct-2017)

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Air Malta to fly to Comiso as from Dec. 17th

Air Malta will start operating a twice weekly evening scheduled service to Sicily’s Comiso airport, on Fridays and Sundays, from Dec. 17th. The airline said its Go-Light fares will apply on the route making it possible to fly for €39 per way including taxes and charges.

KM-658 Malta 2030 - 2110 Comiso
KM-659 Comiso 2200 - 2240 Malta

(Source: timesofmalta.com, 12-Oct-2017)

Irish Naval Service LE Niamh calls at Valletta Port

The Irish Naval Service Roisin-class patrol vessel LE Niamh (P 52) has sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this afternoon on a courtesy visit.

The Irish patrol vessel is presently berthing alongside at Pinto-5 wharf and she's expected to sail from Malta tomorrow, Oct. 13th. (12-Oct-2017)

Atlantic Airways adds Malta seasonal flights in summer 2018

Atlantic Airways in summer 2018 season is offering new non-stop service to Malta, becoming the sole operator on Vagar (Faroe Islands) - Malta route. 

The airline scheduled five round-trip flights between June and August 2018, on board Airbus A319. Operational dates are: 19-Jun, 3-Jul, 17-Jul, 31-Jul and 14-Aug.

RC-494 Vagar 0710– 1230 Malta 
RC-495 Malta 1330 – 1710 Vagar


(Source: routesonline.com, 12-Oct-2017)

Ryanair's flight to Bristol returns to Malta IAP due to an undercarriage problem

A Ryanair B737-800 (EI-DWZ), operating scheduled flight FR-3375 between Malta IAP and Bristol (U.K.) had return to Malta IAP this morning due to a technical issue with its undercarriage. 

The aircraft landed safely RWY 13 at 0906lt (departed 0736lt). No one was injured although it was reported that some of the passengers were suffering from shock.

Flight FR-3375 to Bristol will be operated by a replacement Ryanair aircraft this afternoon. (12-Oct-2017)

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

M.I.A. plc releases trafffic results for September 2017

Traffic at Malta IAP in September registered an increase of more than 89,000 passenger movements over the same month last year, with a total of 626,488 guests welcomed at MIA.

This translated into an increase of 16.7% over 2016. Moreover, September was the third consecutive month at the airport to surpass the 600,000 mark in terms of passenger numbers.

Standing at 86.7%, September’s seat load factor (SLF) remained constant, in spite of the increase in both aircraft movements (14.6%) and seat capacity (17.0%).

The United Kingdom continued to lead Malta IAP's list of top markets, contributing 146,160 passenger movements to September's total traffic, and growing by 4.7% over last year mainly due to an increase in capacity as a result of the Cruise & Fly operation.

On the other hand, the rest of the top markets, these being Italy (10.5%), Germany (25.8%) and France (17.6%) all registered double-digit growth. Spain, which is the fifth largest market, is maintaining its year-to-date progress, with a hefty 43.8% increase in passenger movements in September, partly stemming from increased flight frequencies to Madrid. (Source: maltairport.com, 9-Oct-2017)

Sunday, October 8, 2017

U.K Border Force HMC Protector recalls at Valletta Port

The United Kingdom's Border Force cutter HMC Protector sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this afternoon on a courtesy visit. This is her tenth visit in Valletta Port this year.

The British cutter is presently berthing alongside at Wine wharf, and she's expected to sail from Valletta Port in the coming days. (8-Oct-2017)

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Five flights bound to Malta IAP divert to airports in Sicily due to severe thunderstorm over the island

A severe thunderstorm over the Maltese Island this morning has forced five aircraft en route to Malta IAP to divert to Palermo and Catania-Fontanarossa in Sicily, Italy.
  • Transavia Boeing B737-800 (PH-HZI), operating flight HV-5773 between Amsterdam-Schiphol (Netherlands) and Malta IAP, diverted to Palermo. The flight then continued to Malta reaching destination with a delay of nearly three-hours on its original scheduled time. 
  • EAT Leipzig Boeing B757-200 (D-ALEH), operating cargo flight QY-7922 between Marseille (France) and Malta IAP, diverted to Palermo. The flight will then continue to Malta later on day. 
  • Ryanair Boeing B737-800 (EI-FZA), operating flight FR-5224 between Weeze (Germany) and Malta IAP, diverted to Catania-Fontanarossa . The flight then continued to Malta reaching destination with a delay of nearly two-hours on its original scheduled time. 
  • LOT Polish Airline Embraer E195 (SP-LNA), operating charter flight LO-7455 between Warsaw (Poland) and Malta IAP, diverted to Palermo. The flight then continued to Malta reaching destination with a delay of three-hours on its original scheduled time. 
  • easyJet Airbus A319-100 (G-EZGA), operating flight U2-1997 Manchester (U.K.) and Malta IAP, diverted to Palermo. The flight then continued to Malta reaching destination with a delay of nearly two-hours on its original scheduled time. 
(4-Oct-2017)

Air Malta's Catania-Malta flight diverts to Catania

An Air Malta Airbus A320-200 (9H-AHR), operating scheduled flight KM-643 between Catania-Fontanarossa (Sicily, Italy) and Malta IAP, had to return/divert to Catania-Fontanarossa yesterday evening due bad weather over Malta. The flight then continued to Malta reaching destination with a delay of 2.25-hours on its original scheduled time. (4-Oct-2017)

TM/DCA: Malta Aircraft Registry update

Transport Malta/Directorate of Civil Aviation published today the latest update of the Maltese Aircraft Register.

New addition/s: 

  • 9H-DFS - Dassault Falcon 50 (c/n. 185), registered to AS AILES Ltd. (ex T7-DFX)
  • 9H-IAN - Tecnam P2002-JF (c/n. 082), registered to 'Private' (ex HB-KPE)
  • 9H-JSY - Bombardier Global Express XRS (c/n. 9423), registered to Elit'Avia Malta Ltd. (ex G-RAAA)
  • 9H-VTD - Bombardier Global 6000 (c/n. 9763), registered to VistaJet Ltd. (ex C-FNLH)
Cancellation/s: 
  • 9H-GVA - Bombardier Global 5000 (c/n. 9548), registered to Elit'Avia Malta Ltd. (rrg N499WR)
  • 9H-VTC - Bombardier Global 5000 (c/n. 9571), registered to VistaJet Ltd. (rrg N505VJ)
(Source: Transport Malta, 3-Oct-2017)

Spain's Air Nostrum acquires 51% of Medavia

Maltese-based airline Medavia has avoided being deemed a non-European airline by the European Commission (EC) following the sale of a 51% stake to Spanish operator Air Nostrum. 

The Times of Malta reports the transaction was concluded at the "eleventh hour" and after pressure from Transport Malta to resolve the issue.

EC ownership and control regulations require either an EU citizen or firm to control at least 51% of a bloc-based carrier's stock and exercise effective control over it.

For its part, Medavia was established in Malta in 1978 as a joint venture between the Maltese and Libyan governments. Since then, it has been using a Maltese (EU) license despite being fully owned by Libyan interests. (Source: ch-aviation.com, 3-Oct-2017)

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

French Navy FS Cdt. Ducuing recalls at Valletta Port

The French Navy D'Estienne d'Orves-class corvette FS Commandant Ducuing (F 795) sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit. This is her second visit in Valletta Port this Malta

FS Cdt. Ducuing is presently berthing alongside at Deep Water Quay-1 and she's expected to sail from Valletta Port on Friday, Oct. 6th. (3-Oct-2017)

Monday, October 2, 2017

Lightning strikes equipment at Malta's Air Traffic Control

As the weather forecast predicted, the month of October began with heavy rainfall. As a result, a number of flights to and from Malta International Airport have also been affected this morning.
In a statement, the Malta Air Traffic Services (MATS) said that it was hit by a lightning bolt, causing damage to its technical equipment. It said that as a precaution it had to temporarily stop flights from flying over Maltese air space until the problem was solved. It added that the systems operated by MATS have now been fully restored and is operating normally.
An airport spokesperson said that, in all, six flights had been affected: Ryanair flight FR-7591 from Roma-Fiumicino (diverted to Palemo), Ryanair flight FR-7592 to Rome-Fiumicino,  Wizzair flight W6-7766 to Skopje, Air Malta flight KM-116 to London-Gatwick and Air Malta flight KM-306 to Munich. (Source: tvm.com.mt)

Thursday, September 28, 2017

AirMalta's flight to Amsterdam returns to Malta IAP for technical reason

An Air Malta Airbus A319-100 (9H-AEJ), operating scheduled flight KM-394 between Malta IAP and Amsterdam-Schipol (Netherlands) had return to Malta IAP this morning due to a technical issue. The aircraft landed safely RWY 31 at 0927lt (departed 0750lt). Flight KM-394 was subsequently operated by 9H-AHR (Airbus A320-200) reaching Amsterdam-Schipol with a delay of nearly 5-hrs and 40-mins on its original scheduled time. (28-Sep-2017)

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Irish Naval Service LE William Butler Yates recalls at Valletta Port

The Irish Naval Service Samuel Beckett-class offshore-patrol vessel LE William Butler Yates (P 63) has sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit. This is her third visit in Valletta Port this year.

The Irish patrol vessel is presently berthing alongside at Ricasoli Tank Cleaning Farm, and she's expected to sail from Valletta Port on Saturday, Sep. 30th. (26-Sep-2017)

Monday, September 25, 2017

U.K Border Force HMC Protector recalls at Valletta Port

The United Kingdom's Border Force cutter HMC Protector sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit. This is her ninth visit in Valletta Port this year.

The British cutter is presently berthing alongside at Coal wharf, and she's expected to sail from Valletta Port on Wednesday, Sep. 27th. (25-Sep-2017)

Lufthansa's Frankfurt-Malta flight diverts to Catania

A Lufthansa Airbus A321-200 (D-AISN), performing flight LH-1312 from Frankfurt (Germany) to Malta IAP, had to divert to Catania-Fontanarossa (Sicily, Italy) yesterday evening due bad weather over Malta. The flight then continued to Malta reaching destination with a delay of 2.5-hours on its original scheduled time. (25-Sep-2017)

Friday, September 22, 2017

Royal Navy of Oman RNOV Shabab Oman II calls at Valletta Port

The Royal Navy of Oman tall ship RNOV Shabab Oman II sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit. RNOV Shabab Oman II serves as a training ship for the Royal Navy of Oman

The Royal Navy of Oman full-rigged ship is presently berthing alongside at Pinto-3 wharf, and she's expected to sail from Valletta Port on Monday, Sep. 25th (22-Sep-2017)

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Air Malta introduces cheap fares, hives off ground handling to separate company

Air Malta has introduced a new system of cheap fares and hived off its ground handling operations into a separate aviation services company, Tourism Minister Dr K. Mizzi said today.

Dr Mizzi confirmed this morning that agreement was reached with the General Workers Union to move around 450 Air Malta ground and passenger handlers to a new company. "The new company will offer services to other airlines and it will also manage cargo operations," he said, adding this was part of the reform process at the airline.

Dr Mizzi called on Air Malta unions to accept changes in work practices as the airline tried to survive in a cutthroat environment. He said collective agreements with unions had to be in place by a Jan. 1st. He acknowledged the stumbling block was the financial remuneration package but insisted workers will lose nothing from their take-home pay.

He said pilots and cabin crew were being asked to accept changes in work practices in line with international standards and called for understanding. “I am sure common sense will prevail and everyone will be reasonable otherwise the airline runs the risk of returning to insolvency and this time around taxpayers will not be able to foot the bill,” he said.

Dr Mizzi was speaking at the launch of a new cheap air fare intended to attract more customers, who prefer traveling with just a hand luggage. Labelled Go Light, passengers can buy a one-way ticket from €39 for almost all Air Malta destinations with no bag allowance (apart from the hand luggage). Baggage allowance can be bought at an extra charge.

Company officials said the system was introduced in the airline's booking platform last week to test the package and Air Malta sold 25,000 Go Light tickets. Booking activity increased between 20% and 35% as a result of the new package, the airline said.

P. Sies, Air Malta chief commercial officer, said the airline had to attract more passengers to fill its seats. He said the new package, part of a three-way choice for customers, would make the airline more competitive in a cutthroat business.

Air Malta chairman C. Mangion said the airline had to take quick decisions to survive, expressing hope in the airline's future. "The new turnaround strategy is based on the trust we have in our employees… we want Air Malta to be a Mediterranean hub linking Europe with North Africa and the Middle East," he said. (Source: timesofmalta.com, 19-Sep-2017)

Malaga route for Air Malta next summer

Next summer Air Malta will inaugurate a twice weekly scheduled service to Malaga, the second-most populous city of Andalusia and the sixth-largest in Spain. 

Paul Sies, chief commercial officer, said the airline would be announcing more routes for summer 2018. 

Besides connecting the popular Malaga area, the new route is also the ideal gateway for travelling to and from Gibraltar. Nowadays thousands of expats mostly working in the iGaming industry travel frequently between Gibraltar and Malta, he added. 

Malaga lies on the Costa del Sol on the Spanish southern coast, some 100 kilometres east of the Strait of Gibraltar. (Source: timesofmalta.com, 18-Sep-2017)