Watch: Air Malta to guarantee flight operations; Launches winter schedule to 21 destinations

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Air Malta has launched its Winter 20/21 flight schedule covering 21 destinations with 156 flights a week on Thursday.

The national airline will operate at least 50% of this schedule whilst continuing to waive rebooking fees if customers wish to change their booked flights for any reason.

The minimum guaranteed flight schedule will be at least to fifteen destinations amounting to 82 weekly flights.

Many airlines are cancelling their flights on short notice, Air Malta’s Chief Commercial Officer Paul Sies observed, saying that with the minimum guaranteed schedule, Air Malta promises to operate no matter what unless the circumstances are beyond the airline’s control.

Business related destinations will have key days of operations and minimum frequencies assured, Sies explained. Meanwhile the flight schedule for leisure destinations has been adjusted to allow short weekend and midweek trips.

Air Malta will operate to Amsterdam, Berlin, Brussels, Catania, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Lisbon, London Heathrow, Lyon, Madrid (new), Milan Linate, Munich, Moscow, Palermo, Paris Charles De Gaulle, Paris Orly, Prague, Rome, Vienna and Zurich. Moscow is still subject to safe travel corridors being declared by both countries’ governments.

Silvio-Schembri

Economy Minister Silvio Schembri explained that the Winter 20/21 Flight Schedule has been adapted to the current circumstances in order to put the client’s mind at rest that they will not remain stranded due to flight cancellations.

Schembri explained that the Business Guaranteed will ensure the operation of a network defined on the passengers and cargo movements in any case when legally possible. 50% of the 156 flights a week will be business guaranteed.

On Thursday, Air Malta’s Flexibility Guaranteed stamp was also launched. This will give additional booking flexibility to clients.

“Air Malta is also working to ensure that through more operational efficiency it would be
able to offer more competitive fares some starting from €29 this winter” Schembri said.

Air Malta’s Chairman Charles Mangion noted that travel has been disrupted due to the coronavirus pandemic. This led to airlines reducing capacity to match the decrease in demand. He observed that with island states such as Malta this creates further obstacles as they depend on air travel for their economic and social well-being.

Mangion stressed that in spite of the new challenges, the national airline will continue to serve various destination while at the same doing its utmost to keep regular and reliable flight connections to major European cities for customers wishing to travel.

“Despite the reduced flights and frequencies over last year, we are reaffirming our commitment to the Maltese Islands by guaranteeing that we will keep them connected with at least a minimum schedule on set days,” Mangion said.

Commercial flights were grounded due to the coronavirus pandemic in mid-March. The airport only reopened in July with flights to selected destinations deemed safe.


12,728 passengers repatriated

12,728 passengers were repatriated through Air Malta’s Lifeline Schedule between 21 March and 30 June. During the same period the national airline operated 506 flight sectors. The Lifeline Schedule had only five schedules London Heathrow, Rome, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Paris Charles De Gaulle. Air Malta also operated a repatriation flight to long-distance destinations, namely India.

Air Malta operated cargo flights carrying a total of 662 tonnes to and from the islands.

The government said that €5.5 million in freight costs when Air Malta assisted it in delivering around 800 tonnes of medical supplies to frontline workers at Mater Dei Hospital.

Air Malta has refunded €15,900,000 to customers, travel agents and tour operators totalling to 164,729 claims. The chairman of the national airline said that it is currently processing 58,000 more claims amounting to €7,350,000.