New Government company established to handle Airmalta’s landing slots in European airports
The Government has launched a new company to handle Airmalta’s landing rights in European airports. Tourism Minister Dr Konrad Mizzi said this step will give added value to the airline’s assets and will strengthen the national airline, the only remaining outstanding item now being the finalisation of a collective agreement with airline pilots.
With a capital of €70 million, Malta Air Travel Limited has been established and will handle all landing rights for Airmalta aircraft at European airports and will in turn rent the slots to the national airline.
In a comment to tvm.com.mt, Minister Mizzi explained the reason behind this development.
He said the Government has determined to establish that Airmalta becomes the airline of the Mediterranean region. To do this, its fleet has to be increased as well as its destinations and including crew complements. Various strategies have been studied and singled out the need of creating a new company to assume responsibility for landing rights and slots in European airports currently being handled by Airmalta.
Asked by tvm.com.mt whether this means it will result in reducing the value of the national airline, the Minister did not agree.
He said the reality is that the slots held by Airmalta are not actually documented in its accounts because these are not tangible in financial terms. As a result of this development these slots have now been given a value that can be reflected in accounts. This will enable Airmalta to increase its resources and its fleet because it will enable greater investment to achieve its strategy.
With this as a background, the Minister expressed the hope that the airline’s pilots will now accept the Government’s latest offer, an offer that now cannot be improved upon in the company’s interest.
Mizzi said it is felt the offer to pilots is a reasonable one because it includes considerable increases and productive improvements, better working conditions as well as flight times. He said he hoped that common sense will now prevail.
In recent weeks four collective agreements have been sealed with the airline’s employees and the only outstanding one remaining is the agreement with pilots.
Hear the whole comments made by Minister Mizzi.