An aviation industry insider told Newsbook.com.mt that the reason why Air Malta got a new aeroplane has nothing to do with Gatwick. “On the contrary, it has everything to do with the fact that with its current fleet, Air Malta cannot operate without huge delays” said the insider who spoke on condition of anonymity. The leased plane is from a company called SmartLynx registered as ES-SAK in Estonia
He said that one of the Air Malta aeroplanes in in maintenance, and eight aeroplanes are simply not enough to service the current schedule, particularly when one of the fleets leased aeroplanes with a registration of 9HAHR has just been returned to its lessors in Birmingham. This was a 15 year old plane and was replaced by a 20 year old plane. Asked if the age is a risk factor, the industry insider said that this was certainly not the case but, the older a plane gets, the less fuel efficient it is and the cheaper it is to rent. “Replacing a leased aircraft with an older one is indeed odd” concluded the aviation observer.