Current Affairs
Air Malta plans to operate routes from European airports to Southend near London

Air Malta is planning to start operating flights to Southend airport, near London, possibly from foreign airports. The company’s chairman, Charles Mangion, said on TVM programme Dissett that the company’s plans will be announced in the coming weeks and did not exclude that Air Malta will implement its plans as it is being offered advantageous conditions from this airport which used to serve as a maintenance base for aircraft and is now operating in commercial flights.

The prospects are that costs are much lower compared with Heathrow as with Easyjet and Ryanair subsidy, in both groundhandling and taxes, the company can offer a more competitive price to its clients.

Notary Mangion stated that this economic model which Air Malta will implement is different from that used by Excalubur and Azurra Air companies, which used to operate from England and Italy before their bankruptcy. The Air Malta chairman said the company is considering also other routes with those announced, including Algeria and Cairo.

He excluded that Air Malta offers a voluntary retirement scheme to pilots, however not to the other company’s workers.

On the company’s financial results ending in March, Dr Mangion said that Air Malta appears it will break even and it will be the first year it operated without losses after it lost €13 million last year. “That is, I am cautiously optimistic that the break even will be there”.

He added that Air Malta’s fleet is expected to be gradually replaced from November this year. On the new fleet, he said that there is still no decision however since the national airline started growing again, interest by foreign companies has increased. Dr Mangion revealed that a Chinese aircraft leasing company is interested in having a base in Malta, possibly for aircraft repairing.

He also announced that Air Malta will offer free service for transporting Dan Urea’s coffin to Romania.

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