New discussions with Turkish Airlines could potentially see Air Malta expand its presence to new destinations in Asia and Africa.
If successful, the national airline could expand its destinations to places like China, Japan and Australia.
Joining the President’s state visit to Turkey, Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi held talks with his Turkish counterpart Nuri Ersoy over a future relationship between Air Malta and Turkish airlines.
They discussed how both companies could reach a code-share agreement allowing them to share Turkish Airlines code identifiers and sell flights to Turkish Airlines destinations, as Air Malta.
In addition to the expanding into Asia, there were also discussions about joint-venture flights to new destinations across Africa, like Cairo.
Commenting on the potential joint venture and code-sharing, President Marie-Louise Coleiro said that, ‘Malta and Turkey are in fact best placed, to explore such possibilities of collaboration due to our respective excellent connectivity, with Turkish Airlines as a global connector, and Air Malta as a Euro-Mediterranean connector.’
Collaborate not compete
Malta’s President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca has said that the Malta and Turkey should collaborate not compete in the tourism sector.
During her address to a tourism forum created by the Maltese Tourism Authority and the Mediterranean Tourism Foundation, she explained that collaboration between both countries would be mutually beneficial to both countries in terms of increasing the number of visitors.
She explained that their tourism sectors had been built on a platform of authenticity and pride in national identity, cultural diversity and heritage as well as the desire to provide the best in hospitality.
Linking this to economic prosperity, the President said that these sectors have the potential to, ‘boost the competitiveness of our economies and enhance economic opportunities, for the benefit of our respective peoples.’
The President made these comments during her State Visit to Turkey to expand Malta’s diplomatic and economic relations with their Mediterranean neighbor.
She added that, ‘a well-planned, well-regulated, and responsible tourism sector can create an excellent mechanism that channels resources equitably, for the benefit of all our communities, adding that she is confident that there are ample opportunities for Malta and Turkey to work together, share best practices with one another, and learn from each other.’
The President was joined by Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Promotion, Carmelo Abela, Minister of the Economy, Investment and Small Businesses, Chris Cardona and by Parliamentary Secretary for Planning and Property Market, Chris Agius. Minister for Tourism, Konrad Mizzi also accompanied the President, along with Permanent Secretary Mr Ronald Mizzi, Air Malta Chairman Charles Mangion, along with other Air Malta officials.