Wednesday, May 24, 2017

German Navy FGS Rhein calls at Valletta Port

The German Navy Elbe-class auxiliary vessel FGS Rhein (A 513) sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit. 

The German tender currently deployed in the Mediterranean and forms part of the E.U.'s Naval Force Mediterranean (Operation Sofia). 

FGS Rhein is presently berthing alongside at Pinto-4 wharf, and she's expected to sail from Valletta Port next week. (24-May-2017)

Maleth-Aero strikes partnership deal with Oryx Jet

Malta's Maleth-Aero has announced it has signed a strategic partnership agreement with UK-based executive aviation specialist Oryx Jet wherein the two will combine their respective industry expertise to further their B737 VIP charter operations and ACMI activities.

Under the terms of the deal, disclosed last week in a press communique, Malta-based Maleth Aero said it would focus on a wide range of services including aircraft management and charters while Oryx Jet would handle the VIP sales for the B737s. (Source: ch-aviation.com, 24-May-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-TJG - Boeing B737-800 (c/n. 29120/202), registered to Corendon Airlines Europe (ex TC-TJG)
Cancellation/s: none

(Source: Transport Malta, 19-May-2017)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Armed Forces of Malta inaugurates its third new B200 King Air maritime patrol aircraft

A  state-of-the-art King Air maritime patrol aircraft for border control and an explosive ordnance disposal robot for detection and bomb disposal valued at €16 million co-financed by the E.U. were inaugurated today by the Armed Forces of Malta. Minister for Home Affairs and National Security C. Abela, Parliamentary Secretary for the E.U. Presidency 2017 and E.U. Funds I. Borg, and Commander of the Armed Forces of Malta J. Curmi presided over the ceremony held at the Air Wing in Luqa.

Commander of the Armed Forces of Malta J. Curmi said that this new King Air maritime patrol aircraft is specifically designed to incorporate innovative capabilities on many levels. Some of the aircraft's features include improved situational awareness with the ability to have a maritime domain awareness picture and advanced navigational capabilities. (Source: independent.com.mt, 22-May-2017)

Airbus Corporate Jets launches ACJ330neo

Airbus Corporate Jets has launched a private jet version of its new A330neo, which combines new-generation engines and aerodynamic and other improvements to deliver even more comfort, efficiency and true "nonstop to the world" range. Called the ACJ330neo, it will fly 25 passengers 9,400-nm/17,400-km or 20 hours, enough to fly nonstop from Europe to Australia. Featuring a very spacious cabin the ACJ330neo readily accommodates conference/dining areas, a private office, bedroom, bathroom and guest seating, and can be fully customised to suit customer needs. (Source: Airbus, 22-May-2017)

Monday, May 22, 2017

French Navy FS Thetis calls at Valletta Port

The French Navy auxiliary vessel FS Thetis (A 785) has sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit.

The French mine-warfare experimentation vessel is presently berthing alongside at Wine wharf, and she's scheduled to sail from Valletta Port in the coming days. (22-May-2017)

Sunday, May 21, 2017

British Airways' flight bound to Catania diverts to Malta IAP

A British Airways A319-100 (G-DBCG), performing flight BA-2592 from London-Gatwick (U.K.) to Catania-Fontanarossa (Sicily, Italy), had to divert to Malta IAP this afternoon after one missed approached at Catania due to strong winds on the final approach. The flight then continued to Catania reaching destination with a delay of 3-hrs 50-mins on its original scheduled time. (21-May-2017)

Wizz Air launches new route Belgrade-Malta IAP

Wizz Air launched today its new route between Belgrade (Serbia) and Malta IAP. The first scheduled flight, operated with Airbus A320-200 (HA-LPQ) landed at Malta IAP (W6-4021) at 1431lt. The return flight to Belgrade departed from Malta IAP (W6-4022) at 1547lt. WizzAir will be operating this new route twice-weekly, on Wednesdays and Sundays. (21-May-2017)

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Severnaya Verf SY launches second Project 18280 intelligence-gathering ship for Russian Navy

Russian Navy's second Project 18280 intelligence-gathering ship Ivan Khurs was launched during a ceremony held at St. Petersburg’s Severnaya Verf Shipyard on May 16th. Ivan Khurs is the second of overall four planned vessels in the Yury Ivanov-class.

Named after Russian Vice-Admiral Ivan Khurs, the vessel is 95m long and displaces 4000 tons. It has a cruising range of 8000 nautical miles and is crewed by 131 sailors. Project 18280 ships are used for signals intelligence and electronic warfare in addition to fleet management roles. (Source: navaltoday.com, 17-May-2017)

Lockheed Martin-led team lays keel on 19th littoral combat ship for USN

The Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT]-led industry team officially laid the keel for the U.S. Navy's 19th Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), the future USS St. Louis, in a ceremony held at Fincantieri Marinette Marine in Marinette, Wisconsin.

Ship sponsor B. Broadhurst Taylor completed the time-honored tradition and authenticated the keel by welding her initials onto a steel plate that will be placed in the hull of the ship. (Source: Lockheed Martin, 17-May-2017)

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

European Commission updates the E.U. Air Safety List

Today the European Commission updated the E.U. Air Safety List, the list of non-European airlines that do not meet international safety standards, and are therefore subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union.

Following today's update, all airlines certified in Benin and Mozambique are cleared from the list, following further improvements to the aviation safety situation in these countries. On the other hand, the airlines Med-View (Nigeria), Mustique Airways (St. Vincent and the Grenadines), Aviation Company Urga (Ukraine) and Air Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe) were added to the list due to unaddressed safety deficiencies that were detected by the European Aviation Safety Agency during the assessment for a third country operator authorisation.

Following today's update, a total of 181 airlines are banned from E.U. skies:
  • 174 airlines certified in 16 states, due to a lack of safety oversight by the aviation authorities from these states.
  • Seven individual airlines, based on safety concerns with regard to these airlines themselves: Iran Aseman Airlines (Iran), Iraqi Airways (Iraq) and Blue Wing Airlines (Suriname), Med-View Airlines (Nigeria), Mustique Airways (St Vincent and the Grenadines), Aviation Company Urga (Ukraine) and Air Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe).
An additional six airlines are subject to operational restrictions and can only fly to the E.U. with specific aircraft types: Afrijet and Nouvelle Air Affaires SN2AG (Gabon), Air Koryo (Democratic People's Republic of Korea), Air Service Comores (the Comoros), Iran Air (Iran) and TAAG Angola Airlines (Angola). (Source: europa.eu, 16-May-2017)

Boeing delivers its first 737 MAX to customer

Boeing today marked the first delivery of the new 737 MAX. The airplane, a 737 MAX 8, was handed over to Malindo Air at the Seattle Delivery Center. The Malaysia-based airline will be the first to put the 737 MAX into commercial service. (Source: Boeing, 16-May-2017)

General Atomics receives contract for 36 MQ-9 Reapers

General Atomics has been awarded a $399,979,895 firm-fixed-price contract for MQ-9 Reaper production. Contractor will produce 36 MQ-9 Reaper aircraft in the fiscal 2016 production configuration. Work is expected to be complete by Aug. 31ST, 2020. This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, is the contracting activity (FA8620-15-G-4040 0001). (Source: U.S. Department of Defense, 16-May-2017)

Northrop Grumman receives contract for three MQ-4C Tritons

Northrop Grumman Systems Corp. is being awarded $303,936,000 for modification P00017 to a previously awarded fixed-price-incentive contract (N00019-15-C-0002) for the procurement of three low-rate initial production Lot 2 MQ-4C Triton unmanned aircraft.  In addition, this modification provides for one main operation control station, one forward operation control station, trade studies, and tooling. Work is expected to be completed in April 2021. U.S. Naval Air Systems Command, Patuxent River, Maryland, is the contracting. (Source: U.S. Department of Defense, 16-May-2017)

Singapore signs contract to acquire two more submarines

The Ministry of Defence has signed a contract with ThyssenKrupp Marine System GmBH to acquire two additional Type 218SG submarines. The contract includes a logistics package and a crew training arrangement in Germany.

Tailored to meet the RSN's unique operational requirements, the Type 218SG submarines incorporate design innovation and advanced maintenance and engineering concepts to optimise training, operation and maintenance costs. (Source: Singapore Ministry of Defence, 16-May-2017)

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Royal Danish HDMS Peter Willemoes calls at Valletta Port

The Royal Danish Iver Huitfeldt-class frigate HDMS Peter Willemoes (F 362) sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit

The Royal Danish frigate is presently berthing alongside at Shipwrights wharf and she's expected to sail from Valletta Port on Thursday, May 18th. (16-May-2017)

First Typhoon handed over to Oman

The first Typhoon for the Royal Air Force of Oman has been formally presented by BAE today. Oman announced its decision to purchase twelve Typhoon and eight Hawk aircraft in December 2012. Deliveries are due to begin later this year.

An invited audience of more than 100 delegates witnessed the event at BAE Systems site in Warton, Lancashire, including His Excellency Sayyid Badr bin Saud al Busaidi, the Sultanate of Oman’s Minister Responsible For Defence Affairs and the Commander of the Royal Air Force of Oman, Air Vice-Marshal Mattar bin Ali bin Mattar Al Obaidani. (Source: ukdefencejournal.org.uk, 15-May-2017)

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Turkey orders 52 Super Mushshak trainers from PAC

On the second day of the 2017 International Defence Industry Fair (IDEF), which is taking place in Istanbul, the Turkish Undersecretary for Defence Industries (SSM) awarded a contract of 52 Super Mushshak trainers to Pakistan Aeronautical Complex (PAC). This is PAC’s largest single order for Super Mushshak since the aircraft’s introduction in 2002. (Source: Quwa.org, 10-May-2017)

Friday, May 12, 2017

AirBaltic's Malta-bound flight from Riga diverts to Rome-Fiumicino

An AirBaltic Bombardier CS-300 (YL-CSB), performing flight BT-739 from Riga (Latvia) to Malta IAP (Malta), had to divert to Rome-Fiumicino early this morning after two missed approaches at Malta IAP due to strong winds on the final approach. The flight then continued to Malta reaching destination with a delay of 4-hrs 15-mins on its original scheduled time. (12-May-2017)

Delta orders 30 additional A321s

Atlanta, Georgia (U.S.)-based Delta Air Lines has placed an incremental order for 30 firm A321ceo aircraft. This order follows three previous Delta orders for the Current Engine Option version of the largest Airbus A320 Family member. The airline took delivery of its first A321 in March of last year. Delta now has ordered a total of 112 A321s, each powered by CFM56 engines from CFM International. (Source: Airbus, 11-May-2017)

Primera Air orders up to 12 737 MAX 9s, to lease eight more from ALC

Boeing and Primera Air today announced an order for eight 737 MAX 9 airplanes, valued at more than $950 million at list prices. The agreement also includes purchase rights for four additional 737 MAX 9s and a lease agreement for eight more airplanes from Air Lease Corporation (ALC). (Source: Boeing, 11-May-2017)

Italian Navy takes delivery of its fourth and final Type 212 submarine, Romeo Romei

Italian Navy received its fourth and final Todaro-class submarine Romeo Romei (S 529) during a ceremony held at Fincantieri's Muggiano, La Spezia, shipyard on May 11th. Romeo Romei is part of a second batch of Type 212 submarines, together with ITS Pietro Venuti (S 528) which was commissioned into service on Jul. 6th, 2016. First batch submarines ITS Salvatore Todaro (S 526) and Scire (S 527) entered service in 2006 and 2007, respectively. (Source: navaltoday.com, 11-May-2017)

Pakistan signs LOI to acquire four Project MILGEM corvettes

During the 2017 IDEF defence exhibition in Istanbul, on May 10th, Pakistan signed an agreement to acquiring four Turkish Project MILGEM corvettes. Karachi Shipyard & Engineering Works Limited (KSEW) from Pakistan, signed a letter of intent (LOI) with Turkish STM for the corvette-construction. According to an announcement from the Turkish Defence Industries Undersecretariat (SSM), the deal is expected to be finalized on June 30, 2017. (Source: navaltoday.com, 11-May-2017)

M.I.A. plc releases traffic results for April 2017

Last month's passenger movements registered an increase of 26.6%, surpassing the half a million mark for the first time in April. Malta IAP welcomed a total of 530,576 passengers, on the back of an increase of 17.7% in seat capacity and an improvement of 5.3% in seat load factor.

April's strong performance partly stemmed from the Easter holiday effect, together with the start of new operations and the extension of certain winter routes into the summer period. The Cruise & Fly programme, which was launched at the beginning of last month, was an important contributing factor to the growth registered by both the United Kingdom and Germany.

The United Kingdom retained its top spot among M.I.A.'s top five markets, followed by Italy, Germany, France, and Belgium. Italy's growth was mainly generated on the Catania route, following increased flight frequencies to this destination. 

Meanwhile, enhanced seat capacity deployed on the Paris route and the launch of the new Bordeaux route in mid-April contributed to increased passenger numbers from France. Belgium was the market that registered the strongest growth, resulting from enhanced connectivity to Brussels.

While an average of 17,600 passengers passed through the airport every day, this figure spiked on the 13th of April. 23,400 passengers were welcomed at the terminal on the day, making it the busiest one of the year so far. (Source: maltairport.com, 10-May-2017)

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Submarine ITS Scire collides with a merchant vessel in the Ionian Sea

Italian Navy submarine ITS Scire (S 527) collided with a merchant vessel in the evening of May 10th, the navy said in a statement. According to the navy, no one was injured and the merchant vessel was able to proceed under its own propulsion.
The Type 212 submarine was returning from exercises, transiting the Gulf of Squillace in the Ionian Sea when the incident happened. The submarine has continued her return to the homeport while the incident is under investigation, the navy said. (Source: navaltoday.com, 11-May-2017)

French Navy FS Cdt. Blaison calls at Valletta Port

The French Navy D'Estienne d'Orves-class corvette FS Commandant Blaison (F 793) sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit. 

The French corvette is currently deployed in the Mediterranean and assigned to E.U.'s Naval Force Mediterranean (Operation Sofia).

FS Cdt. Blaison is presently berthing alongside at Wine wharf and she's expected to sail from Malta on Sunday, May 14th. (11-May-2017)

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Fincantieri lays keel of first multipurpose offshore patrol ship for Italian Navy

Italian shipbuilder Fincantieri laid the keel for the Italian Navy's first Multipurpose Offshore Patrol Ship (PPA) on May 9th. The ceremony took place at Fincantieri's shipyard in Muggiano, La Spezia. According to Fincantieri, the first of seven offshore patrol ships will be delivered in 2021. The PPA vessels are part of the Italian Navy’s fleet renewal plan, approved by the government and parliament and started in May 2015. (Source: navaltoday.com, 9-May-2017)

Cruiser USS Lake Champlain collides with a South Korean fishing vessel in international waters

U.S. Navy's guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain (CG 57) collided with South Korean fishing vessel in international waters off South Korea on May 9th. According to the USN, the Ticonderoga-class cruiser was conducting routine operations at approximately 11:50 a.m. (+9I) when the incident happened.

No one was injured in the incident and both vessels were able to sail on their own power, the navy added without providing additional info on the cause of collision. The incident is under investigation by both USN and South Korea Coast Guard while damage assessments of both the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser and the 60-70 ft. long fishing vessel are underway. (Source: navaltoday.com, 9-May-2017)

IndiGo selects the ATR 72-600 for its ambitious plans to enter regional market

ATR is pleased to announce that it has signed a term sheet with India’s largest airline by market share, IndiGo, for the sale of 50 ATR 72-600 aircraft, with the flexibility to reduce the number of aircraft deliveries based on certain conditions. In a deal valued at over US$ 1.3 billion at list price, the aircraft are expected to begin operations by the end of 2017. The airline is currently preparing for an ambitious development of its regional footprint. (Source: ATR, 9-May-2017)

Saturday, May 6, 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-AVA - Bombardier Global 5000 (c/n. 9633), registered to Maleth-Aero AOC Ltd. (ex M-DANK)
Cancellation/s: none

(Source: Transport Malta, 5-May-2017)

Friday, May 5, 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-GGF - Cessna 560XLS Citation Excel (c/n. 560-5723), registered to TRTO Agency Ltd. (ex OE-GGF)
Cancellation/s: none

(Source: Transport Malta, 3-May-2017)

Comac's C919 successfully completes its maiden flight

The first Comac C919 (B-001A) successfully completed its maiden flight at 1519lt today, after being airborne for one hour and nineteen minutes. The maiden sortie, flown from Shanghai's Pudong International airport, was broadcast live on Chinese television, with a camera behind the pilot's shoulder. Another camera mounted fore of the nose gear faced backward.

The landing gear was extended throughout the entire flight, which appeared to be uneventful. Comac says that all 15 parameter tests originally planned were successfully carried out during the first flight. After the landing, the aircraft taxied to a parking bay, where journalists gathered to film the aircraft's five man crew emerge. (Source: flightglobal.com, 5-May-2017)

Thursday, May 4, 2017

French Navy FS La Fayette calls at Valletta Port

The French Navy La Fayette-class frigate FS La Fayette (F 710) has sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit.

The French frigate is currently berthing alongside at Pinto-3 wharf, and she's expected to sail from Valletta Port on Sunday, May 7th. (4-May-2017)

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

SR Technics to expand operations in Malta

SR Technics, an aircraft maintenance company with a base in Malta, is to expand its operations with the building of a new €30m six-bay hangar at Safi Aviation Park. A memorandum of understanding with the government was signed this morning. The investment will create 400 new jobs, bringing the staff compliment at the company up to 560. (Source: timesofmalta.com, 3-May-2017)

Air Malta registers double digit growth over easter

Air Malta has registered an impressive 14% increase this Easter when compared with Easter last year. The Easter weekend has been deemed a huge success by the airline as it operated 22 flights more than last year and carried an additional 3,000 passengers achieving an average load factor of over 90%. (Source: Air Malta, 2-May-2017)

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Pakistan AF Mirage jet crashes near Jhang, pilot ejects safely

A Pakistan Air Force (PAF) training jet crashed in the wee hours of Tuesday morning near Jhang, Express News reported. The Mirage was on routine training when it crashed in the Athara Hazari area. The pilot safely ejected the aircraft when it was about to crash, said a PAF spokesperson. No loss of life was reported. (Source: tribune.com.pk, 2-May-2017)

Boeing receives contract for 15 CH-47F cargo renew and new build helicopters for the Netherlands

Boeing was awarded a $541,088,553 modification (P00064) to foreign military sales (Netherlands) contract W58RGZ-13-C-0002 for production lot 15 CH-47F cargo renew and new build helicopters. Work has an estimated completion date of Dec. 3, 2020. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Redstone Arsenal, Alabama, is the contracting activity. (Source: U.S. Department of Defense, 28-Apr-2017)

Monday, May 1, 2017

TAAG B737 nose-gear collapse after landing at Soyo

A TAAG Angola Airlines Boeing 737-700 (D2-TBF), performing flight DT-130 from Luanda to Soyo (Angola) with 47 passengers and six crew, landed on Soyo's runway 24 at 11:00L (10:00Z) but came to a stop on the runway with nose gear retracted/collapsed. No injuries are being reported, the aircraft sustained substantial damage. (Source: avherald.com, 30-Apr-2017)

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Spanish Navy ESPS Canarias calls at Valletta Port

The Spanish Navy Santa Maria-class frigate ESPS Canarias (F 86) has sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit. 

The Spanish frigate is currently deployed in the Mediterranean and assigned to E.U.'s Naval Force Mediterranean (Operation Sofia).

ESPS Canarias is presently berthing alongside at Bormla wharf (in French Creek) and she's expected to sail from Valletta Port in the coming days. (30-Apr-2017)

Friday, April 28, 2017

American Airlines signs a contract for four additional E175s

American Airlines Group (AAG) have signed a firm order with Embraer for four E175 jets. The contract, in addition to the original order placed by the airline in 2013, for 60 E175s, has a value of USD 182 million, based on current list prices, and will be included in Embraer's 2017 second-quarter backlog. The deliveries will start in the last quarter of this year. (Source: Embraer, 27-Apr-2017)

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Russian AF MiG-31 crashes near the Telemba proving ground, Republic of Buryatia

Russian Defence Ministry reported that a MiG-31 interceptor jet of the Eastern Military District crashed today during a training flight near the Telemba proving ground, the Republic of Buryatia, at 12:05 Moscow time. Both crewmembers reportedly ejected themselves. A search and rescue service helicopter was dispatched to the site of the incident were the crew were promptly evacuated (Source: tass.com, 26-Apr-2017)

China Southern Airlines signs a purchase agreement for 20 A359s

China Southern Airlines has signed a purchase agreement with Airbus for 20 A350-900s, becoming the latest customer for the aircraft. China Southern Airlines now operates one of the largest Airbus fleet in the world with more than 300 Airbus aircraft in service, comprising the A320 Family, the A330 Family and five A380s. (Source: Airbus, 26-Apr-2017)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Condor launches flight operations to Malta IAP from Hamburg and Frankfurt

Condor has launched flight operations today between two major German airports and Malta IAP. 

The first scheduled flight from Frankfurt, operated with an Airbus A320-200 (D-AICC), landed at Malta IAP at 0715lt (DE-1384). The aircraft departed after turnaround to Frankfurt at 0808lt (DE-1385).

The first scheduled flight from Hamburg, operated with an Airbus A320-200 (D-AICl), landed at Malta IAP at 1826lt (DE-1386). The aircraft departed after turnaround to Hamburg at 1933lt (DE-1387).

Condor will be operating the Frankfurt-Malta IAP and Hamburg-Malta IAP routes this summer twice weekly, on Wednesdays and Sundays. (26-Apr-2017)

Royal Jordanian A320 diverts to Malta IAP due to a medical emergency

A Royal Jordanian Airlines A320-200 (JY-AYM), performing flight RJ-522 from Tunis-Carthage (Tunisia) to Amman-Queen Alia (Jordan), had to divert to Malta International Airport this afternoon due to a medical emergency on board. The flight then continued to Amman reaching destination with a delay of two-hours on its original scheduled time. (26-Apr-2017)

Air Malta to resumes schedule services to Tunis

Air Malta is reconnecting Malta to North Africa following the re-start of schedule services between the islands and Tunis-Carthage Airport as from Monday, Jun. 26th, 2017.

“We are very excited to announce that we will be returning to North Africa this summer with up to three direct flights a week. This is the second destination we are announcing in as many weeks. 


"We have been following the situation in North Africa every day. Now that the situation in Tunisia has stabilised, we want to be amongst the first Airlines to connect Europe with the country again," said P. Sies, Air Malta's Chief Commercial Officer (Source: maltatoday.com.mt, 25-Apr-2017)

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Asiana Airlines takes delivery of its first A350 XWB

Asiana Airlines of South Korea has taken delivery of its first A350-900, becoming the 12th airline to operate the twin engine widebody airliner. Asiana's A350-900 is configured with a three class layout with a total of 311 seats, comprising 28 in Business Smartium, convertible to fully flat beds, 36 in Economy Smartium and 247 in the main cabin. (Source: Airbus, 24-Apr-2017)

Monday, April 24, 2017

Italian Navy ITS San Giusto calls at Valletta Port

The Italian Navy San Giorgio-class amphibious transport dock ITS San Giusto (L 9894) sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit. She has on board an AgustaBell AB-212 helicopter, serial MM81090.

The Italian amphibian is currently deployed in the Mediterranean and is the flagship of the E.U.'s Naval Force Mediterranean (Operation Sofia). 

ITS San Giusto is presently berthing alongside at Pinto-3 wharf, and she's scheduled to sail from Valletta Port on Thursday, Apr. 27th. (24-Apr-2017)

Saturday, April 22, 2017

USN F/A-18E crashes on final approach to carrier USS Carl Vinson

A pilot safely ejected and was quickly recovered by a helicopter assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 4 aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) while conducting routine flight operations during a transit in the Celebes Sea.

The incident occurred as the F/A-18E assigned to Carrier Air Wing 2 was on final approach to Carl Vinson. The incident is currently under investigation. The pilot is being assessed by the medical team aboard Carl Vinson and there are no apparent injuries at this time. (Source: U.S. Navy, 21-Apr-2017)

Friday, April 21, 2017

SNMCMG-2 calls at Valletta Port

Standing NATO Mine Countermeasure Group (SNMCMG) 2 sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit. The Group arrived with four vessels:
  • Polish Navy Bereza-class support vessel ORP Kontradmiral X. Czernicki (551) - flagship.
  • Turkish Navy Aydin-class mine countermeasure vessel TCG Alanya (M 265).
  • German Navy Frankenthal-class mine countermeasure vessel FGS Rottweil (M 1061).
  • Spanish Navy Segura-class mine countermeasure vessel ESPS Tajo (M 36).
SNMCMG-2 is presently berthing alongside at Wine & Gun wharves and is expected to sail from Valletta Port on Monday, Apr. 24th. (21-Apr-2017)

Kazakhstan orders two more C-295 aircraft

Kazakhstan is to acquire two more Airbus C-295 transport aircraft following the signature of a new contract with Airbus Defence and Space. The agreement, which includes a spares and support package, covers the final two aircraft included in a memorandum of understanding signed in 2012. Both aircraft will be delivered in the second half of this year and will take the Kazakhstan Air Defence Forces' C-295 fleet to eight. (Source: Airbus D&S, 20-Apr-2017)

Airbus delivers first ever A321neo to Virgin America

Airbus has delivered the first-ever A321neo (N921VA). The latest generation aircraft powered by CFM International's LEAP-1A engines was handed over to U.S. airline Virgin America, an all-Airbus operator, at a ceremony in Hamburg, Germany. (Source: Airbus, 20-Apr-2017)

Italian Navy takes delivery of sixth FREMM frigate

The frigate "Rizzo" (F 595) was delivered today to the Italian Navy at Fincantieri's shipyard in Muggiano (La Spezia). It is the sixth vessel of the FREMM program – Multi Mission European Frigates – commissioned to Fincantieri. "Rizzo" is the sixth unit built by Fincantieri including the combat system, the second in multipurpose configuration after the "Carlo Bergamini", delivered to the Italian Navy in 2012. (Source: Fincantieri, 20-Apr-2017)

Thursday, April 20, 2017

French Navy FS Cdt. Birot recalls at Valletta Port

The French Navy D'Estienne d'Orves-class corvette FS Commandant Birot (F 796) sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit. This is her fourth visit in Valletta Port this year.

The French corvette is currently deployed in the Mediterranean and assigned to E.U. Naval Force Mediterranean (Operation Sofia).

FS Cdt. Birot is presently berthing alongside at Pinto-3 wharf and she's expected to sail from Malta in the coming days. (20-Apr-2017)

Tuesday, April 18, 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-AHR - Airbus A320-232 (c/n. 1979), registered to Air Malta plc, (ex EC-LQJ)
  • 9H-AUL - Boeing B737-375F (c/n. 23708/1395), registered to Maleth Aero AOC Ltd. (ex M-MOVE)
  • 9H-PLM - Cessna 650 Citation VI (c/n. 650-0217), registered to Luxwing Ltd. (ex 5Y-YAH)
  • 9H-SKI - Piaggio P180 Avanti (c/n. 1040), registered to Kemmunett Ltd. (ex I-BCOM)
Cancellation/s: 
  • 9H-USM - Aerospol WT-9 Dynamic (c/n. K14/2008), registered to Aero Club Malta
(Source: Transport Malta, 18-Apr-2017)

Monday, April 17, 2017

Turkish Navy commissions first Bayraktar-class landing ship

The Turkish Navy commissioned the lead ship of a new class of landing ships, TCG Bayraktar (L 402), on Apr. 14th, Turkish minister of defense tweeted. This was first reported by Turkish Bosphorus Naval News who noted that the ship will remain under the shipyard's warranty for 12-months. After the 12-month period, TCG Bayraktar will become responsibility of the Turkish Navy.

TCG Bayraktar and sister ship TCG Sancaktar, the second ship in the class, are being built under a contract signed between Anadolu Shipyard and the Turkish Ministry of Defense in May 2011. TCG Bayraktar and her sister ship displace over 7200 tonnes at 139 meters. They are capable of transporting up to 1200 tonnes of cargo (18 tanks). (Source: navaltoday.com, 17-Apr-2017)

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Silk Way announces an order for ten 737 MAX 8s

Boeing and Silk Way today announced an order for ten 737 MAX 8 airplanes. The order, valued at $1.1 billion at current list prices, was previously attributed to an unidentified customer on the Boeing Orders & Deliveries website. (Source: Boeing, 14-Apr-2017)

Friday, April 14, 2017

Spanish Navy ESPS El Camino Espanol calls at Valletta Port

The Spanish Navy auxiliary transport ship ESPS El Camino Espanol (A 05) has sailed into Valletta (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit.  

The Spanish auxiliary is currently berthing alongside at Pinto-3 wharf, and she's expected to sail from Malta in the coming days. (14-Apr-2017)

Boeing's 737 MAX 9 completes first flight

The Boeing 737 MAX 9 completed its first flight today in the skies above Puget Sound. The airplane completed a successful 2-hr 42-minute flight, taking off from Renton Field in Renton, at 1052lt and landing at 1334 at Seattle's Boeing Field.

Piloted by Boeing Test & Evaluation Capts. Christine Walsh and Ed Wilson, the airplane performed tests on flight controls, systems and handling qualities. The MAX 9 will now undergo comprehensive flight testing before customer deliveries begin in 2018. (Source: Boeing, 13-Apr-2017)

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Volotea launches flights between Bordeaux and Malta IAP

Volotea has launched flight operations today between Bordeaux (France) and Malta IAP.

The first scheduled flight, operated with Airbus A319-100 (EI-FMY), landed at Malta IAP at 1319lt (V7-2452). The aircraft departed after turnaround at 1425lt (V7-9085). (13-Apr-2017)

Air Malta to start scheduled services to Tel Aviv this month

Air Malta will start scheduled services between Malta and the Israeli city of Tel Aviv as from Apr. 21st. The Maltese airline will operate with up to three flights a week during summer 2017.

"We are thrilled that we can announce Tel Aviv as our new destination for this season. We have been operating regularly on this route offering Malta as a charter destination in Israel for years, working closely with leading Israeli tour operators. Now the market has matured enough that we can start offering this destination as a scheduled service, providing opportunities to visit the rest of Israel including Jerusalem and the Holy Land," added P. Sies Air Malta's Chief Commercial Officer. (Source: Air Malta, 13-Apr-2017)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

France takes delivery of fourth FREMM frigate Auvergne

French shipbuilder DCNS delivered the Marine Nationale's fourth FREMM multi-mission frigate Auvergne on Apr. 11th, in Toulon. Auvergne is also the fourth anti-submarine warfare (ASW) variant ship. The French Navy has a total of eight frigates in the class on order, six ASW and two anti-air warfare variants. The frigate was launched in September 2015 and started sea trials in September 2016. (Source: navaltoday.com, 12-Apr-2017)

SR Technics releases 200th aircraft for easyJet out of Malta

SR Technics, a world leading MRO service provider, recently completed the 200th aircraft for easyJet at its Malta facility. The landmark aircraft from easyJet departed from Malta International Airport for Geneva, Switzerland.

"As our launch customer in Malta, the partnership with easyJet has been essential to our company’s success and development at our Mediterranean hub," says SR Technics CEO J. Remacha. "We’ve been working with easyJet for well over a decade, and the 200th aircraft symbolizes our long-term partnership." (Source: SR Technics, 10-Apr-2017)

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

M.I.A. plc releases 2016/2017 winter traffic results

Malta International Airport welcomed over 1,662,659 passengers during its 2016/17 winter period, extending from November to March. This figure translates into an upturn of 25% in traffic, which growth was reached on the back of an increase of 19% in aircraft movements and an improvement of 26% in seat capacity.

The top five contributors of traffic at Malta IAP during winter were the United Kingdom, Italy, Germany, Belgium, and France. All of these markets reached varying levels of growth over last year following developments such as the introduction of new routes to Catania, Germany, and France and increased flight frequencies on existing routes.

The season was closed off with March registering an increase of 53,795 passenger movements over 2016, even though the Easter effect was registered in March last year. Last month also marked the launch of two new routes – Katowice in Poland and Cluj-Napoca in Romania, with more new connections expected to commence operations in the coming weeks. (Source: maltairport.com, 10-Apr-2017

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Eurowings launches flights between Vienna and Malta IAP

Eurowings has launched flight operations between Vienna (Austria) and Malta IAP this morning. 

The first scheduled flight, operated with Airbus A320-200 (OE-IQC), landed at Malta IAP at 0812lt (EW-5874) and was welcomed by a celebratory water arch from Malta IAP's fire and rescue team. The aircraft departed after turnaround to Vienna at 0913lt (EW-5875)

Eurowings will be operating this route this summer twice weekly, on Tuesdays and Sundays. (9-Apr-2017)

Malaysia B738 veers off the runway on landing at Sibu, nose-gear collapses

A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737-800 (9M-MXX), performing flight MH-2718 from Kuala Lumpur to Sibu (Malaysia) with 61 passengers and six crew, landed on Sibu's RWY 13 in heavy rain at about 22:10L (14:10Z) but went off the side of the runway and came to a stop on soft ground with the nose gear collapsed, the aircraft heading about perpendicular to the runway center line with the nose towards the runway edge. No injuries are being reported, the aircraft received substantial damage. (Source: avherald.com, 8-Apr-2017)

Saturday, April 8, 2017

French Navy FS Cdt. Birot recalls at Valletta Port

The French Navy D'Estienne d'Orves-class corvette FS Commandant Birot (F 796) sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit. This is her third visit in Valletta Port this year.

The French corvette is currently deployed in the Mediterranean and assigned to E.U. Naval Force Mediterranean (Operation Sofia).

FS Cdt. Birot is presently berthing alongside at Pinto-3 wharf and she's expected to sail from Malta in the coming days. (8-Apr-2017)

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Lufthansa expands Malta flights from May 2017

Lufthansa starting May 2017 is increasing Frankfurt-Malta operation, with the introduction of night-time departure from Frankfurt, as 3rd daily flight. The new flight departs on May 1st. 

LH1312 FRA2020 – 2250MLA 32A (Tue, Thu, Fri)
LH1312 FRA2030 – 2300MLA 32A (Wed, Sun)
LH1312 FRA2040 – 2310MLA 32A (Mon)
LH1312 FRA2040 – 2310MLA 319 (Sat)

LH1313 MLA0630 – 0910FRA EQV (Daily)

Also, compared to summer 2016 schedule, the airline's Munich-Malta service has been increased from two to four weekly this summer. (Source: 
routesonline.com, 5-Apr-2017)

U.S. ANG F16 crashes six miles from Joint Base Andrews

A United States D.C. Air National Guard F-16C Fighter, assigned to the 113th Wing, at Joint Base Andrews, MD, crashed about 0931lt today approximately six-miles from Joint Base Andrews, MD. The aircraft was flying along with other DCANG aircraft in a routine training mission in the Greater Washington Area. The aircraft carried only the pilot. The pilot ejected and sustained non-life threatening injuries. (Source: 113wg.ang.af.mil, 5-Apr-2017)

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Iran Aseman Airlines signs memorandum to purchase up to 60 737 MAX

Boeing confirms the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Iran Aseman Airlines, expressing the airline’s intent to purchase 30 Boeing 737 MAX airplanes with a list price value of $3 billion. The agreement also provides the airline with purchase rights for 30 additional 737 MAXs. Deliveries would be scheduled to start in 2022. (Source: Boeing, 4-Apr-2017)

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Poland orders two BBJ2s and a B738

Boeing Business Jets and the Government of Poland announced an order for three Next-Generation 737s at a signing ceremony held today in Warsaw. The order includes two new BBJ2 airplanes and one 737-800, which will be operated by the Government of Poland as head-of-state aircraft for the president and top government officials. Deliveries are scheduled to begin in late 2017 and run through 2020. (Source: Boeing, 31-Mar-2017)

Anotonov's AN-132D completes first flight

Antonov new multipurpose aircraft, the AN−132D, took to the skies for its maiden flight today, from the company's airfield in Kyiv, Ukraine. The first prototype of the new aircraft flew for 1-hr 50-mins captained by Antonov test pilot 1st class, V. Goncharov, accompanied by test pilot General M. Ayash of the Taqnia Aeronautics Company, Saudi Arabia, co-piloted by Antonov test pilot, 2nd class, B. Zagoruyko. V. Nesterenko, a leading Antonov test flight engineer, was also on board the flight, which was escorted by a new AN-178 jet transport. (Source: Antonov, 31-Mar-2017) 

Monday, April 3, 2017

TM/DCA: Malta Aircraft Register update

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

New addition/s: 

  • 9H-LDN - Bombardier Global 6000 (c/n. 9754), registered to Blue Falcon Sarl, Luxembourg (ex C-FMCH)
Cancellation/s: none

(Source: Transport Malta, 30-Mar-2017)

Saturday, April 1, 2017

French Navy FS Cdt. Birot recalls at Valletta Port

The French Navy D'Estienne d'Orves-class corvette FS Commandant Birot (F 796) sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit. This is her second port-call in Valletta this year.

The French corvette is currently deployed in the Mediterranean and assigned to E.U. Naval Force Mediterranean (Operation Sofia).

FS Cdt. Birot is presently berthing alongside at Pinto-4 wharf and she's expected to sail from Malta tomorrow, Apr. 2nd (1-Apr-2017)

Boeing's 787-10 Dreamliner completes first flight

The Boeing 787-10 Dreamliner took to the skies for the first time today at Boeing South Carolina. The airplane, which is the newest and longest model of the 787 family, completed a successful flight totaling four hours and 58 minutes. 

Piloted by Boeing Test & Evaluation Capts. T.Berg and M. Bryan, the airplane performed tests on flight controls, systems and handling qualities. The 787-10 will now undergo comprehensive flight testing before customer deliveries begin in the first half of 2018.

As an 18-foot (5.5-m) stretch of the 787-9, the 787-10 will deliver the 787 family’s preferred passenger experience and long range with 25 percent better fuel per seat and emissions than the airplanes it will replace. (Source: Boeing, 31-Mar-2017)

Thursday, March 30, 2017

TAG Aviation granted Maltese AOC

TAG Aviation Europe is pleased to announce that it has received the Air Operators Certificate (AOC) from the Transport Malta - Civil Aviation Directorate (TMCA). The granting of the Maltese AOC is the culmination of several months of dedicated planning and reaffirms TAG's commitment to continue its expansion into new EU territories and provide its customers with an attractive choice of aircraft commercial registration. (Source: TAG Aviation, 27-Mar-2017)

Monday, March 27, 2017

Wizz Air launches new route Cluj-Malta IAP

Wizz Air launched today its new route between Cluj-Napoca (Romania) and Malta IAP. The first scheduled flight, operated with Airbus A320-200 (HA-LPJ) landed at Malta IAP (W6-3399) at 1946lt. The return flight to Cluj departed from Malta IAP (W6-3400) at 2038lt. WizzAir will be operating this route twice-weekly. (26-Mar-2017)

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Royal Navy HMS Echo (H 87) recalls at Valletta Port

The Royal Navy Echo-class survery vessel HMS Echo (H 87) sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit. This is her second port-call in Valletta this year.

The British survey vessel is currently deployed in the Mediterranean and assigned to E.U. Naval Force Mediterranean (Operation Sofia). 

HMS Echo is presently berthing alongside at Pinto-4 wharf, and she's expected to sail from Valletta Port tomorrow. (25-Mar-2017)

Friday, March 24, 2017

TM/DCA: Malta Aircraft Register update

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

New addition/s: 

  • 9H-OWL - Bombardier Challenger 605 (c/n. 5939), registered to TAG Aviation Malta Ltd. (ex M-AKER)
Cancellation/s: none

(Source: Transport Malta, 23-Mar-2017)

French Navy FS Cdt. Birot calls at Valletta Port

The French Navy D'Estienne d'Orves-class corvette FS Commandant Birot (F 796) sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this afternoon on a courtesy visit.

The French corvette is currently deployed in the Mediterranean and assigned to E.U. Naval Force Mediterranean (Operation Sofia).

FS Cdt. Birot is presently berthing alongside at Pinto-1 wharf and she's expected to sail from Malta on Monday, Mar. 27th (24-Mar-2016)

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Air Malta will start its summer schedule on March 26th

With a planned 150 weekly flights to 30 destinations, Air Malta will start its summer schedule on Sunday Mar. 26th. The Maltese national airline will operate with a fleet of eight aircraft, similar to last year and is set to carry over 1.2 million passengers during the coming seven-months.

After a period of consolidation, Air Malta can announce one definite new destination, and is close to deciding a second new destination. After having operated in the past as charter destination, Air Malta will soon offer Tel Aviv as a scheduled service, making it possible to buy seats through its website and also travel agents.

And there is more good news. This summer Air Malta has increased frequencies on Munich, Brussels, Amsterdam, Vienna, Zurich, Rome, Catania, Lyon, Palermo, Prague and Moscow. The airline will operate with up to double daily flights in peak summer to Munich, Rome and Catania.

"Besides more flights to some of our best leisure and business destinations, we are also concentrating on the most convenient international airports that offer world-wide connections to and from Malta. Air Malta is determined to further grow in its key markets and work to open new traffic streams to new leisure markets in the medium term", said P. Sies, Air Malta's Chief Officer Commercial. 

"Besides Tel Aviv we are expecting to announce another new destination for this summer. Air Malta will offer increased value for money in its new business model and besides structural competitive fares please do watch out for our flash sales actions several times per year. We operate the most comfortable and conveniently timed flight schedule and route network to and from Malta. Through our code-share partners we offer connections far and beyond Air Malta’s network", added Mr Sies.

Apart from the scheduled services this summer Air Malta is operating an interesting series of charter operations to Tel-Aviv, Bucharest, Warsaw, Bratislava, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Corfu Chania and Lourdes.

The Maltese National airline will continue code-share agreements with Air France, Alitalia, Aeroflot, Austrian Airlines, Emirates, Etihad, KLM, Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines, Czech Airlines, Meridiana, Swiss Airlines and Turkish Airlines. These agreements expand Air Malta's network to other markets worldwide. (Source: Mar-2017)

Italian Navy ITS Giuseppe Garibaldi calls at Valletta Port

The Italian Navy aircraft carrier ITS Giuseppe Garibaldi (551) sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit. She has two helicopters on board, an AB-212 (serial MM81090) and SH-90 (serial MM81590).

The Italian carrier is currently deployed in the Mediterranean and she's the mission flagship of the E.U. Naval Force Mediterranean (Operation Sofia). 

ITS G. Garibaldi is presently berthing alongside at Boiler wharf, and she's expected to sail from Valletta Port this Saturday, Mar. 26th. (23-Mar-2017)