Friday, March 16, 2018

Malta Air Travel secures its AOC

Tourism Minister Dr K. Mizzi announced that Malta Air Travel, that was set up to administer Air Malta's landing rights, has acquired the necessary Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) licence to be able to operate flights.  Dr Mizzi also announced that Tourism Authority Chief Executive P. Bugeja will be Malta Air Travel's Executive Chairman.  Dr Mizzi made these announcements when he was inaugurating the AMITEX Travel Fair, organised annually by Air Malta at Ta' Qali. (Source:, 15-Mar-2018)

Air Malta to offer scheduled flights to Lourdes from June and throughout the summer

During the inauguration of the AMITEX Travel Fair, organised annually by Air Malta at Ta' Qali, Air Malta's Chairman Dr C. Mangion announced that with effect from June and throughout the summer Air Malta would be offering scheduled flights to Lourdes. These flights were previously operated on a charter basis. Dr Mangion stated that with the increase in routes and flight frequencies, Air Malta is planning to carry 2.3 million passengers next financial year. (Source:, 15-Mar-2018)

Friday, March 9, 2018

French Navy FS Cdt L'Herminier calls at Valletta Port

The French Navy D'Estienne d'Orves-class corvette FS Commandant L'Herminier (F 791) has sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a scheduled visit.  This is her second visit in Valletta Port this year.  The French corvette is presently berthing alongside at Pinto-3 wharf, and she's expected to sail from Valletta Port on Monday, Mar. 12th.  (9-Mar-2018)

M.I.A. plc releases traffic results for Feb18

Ending with a total of 349,430 passenger movements, last month was Malta Int'l Airport's busiest February to date.  Traffic for the month grew by a significant 18% over the previous year, peaking on the Feb 18th when the airport handled 15,189 pax.  Whilst all winter months so far have registered double-digit growth, February's increase was the strongest.

This was observed in parallel with an increase in both aircraft movements and seat capacity, which grew by 14% and 15.5%, respectively.  Despite a significant addition in the number of available seats on flights to and from the airport, seat load factor (SLF) gained 1.6% to reach 78.5%.

The top contributors to February’s traffic were the U.K. (+16%), Italy (+14%), Germany (+7%), Belgium (-2%), and France (+19%), cumulatively accounting for 71% of the total passenger movements recorded.  These markets, except for Belgium, registered varying levels of growth, stemming from a winter flight schedule offering better connections.  

The increase in passenger numbers from the U.K. and Italy can be mainly attributed to the launch of the Belfast, London-Southend, Naples and Comiso routes.  On the other hand, traffic from Germany and France was boosted by better flight frequencies on the Munich and Paris-Orly routes, respectively.

Malta IAP is now looking ahead to unveiling a new flight schedule boasting more than 100 destinations towards the end of March to coincide with the start of summer for the aviation industry. (Source:, 8-Mar-2018)

Air Malta to resume services to Berlin-Tegel as from the end of this October

Air Malta will resume services to Berlin-Tegel as from the end of this October with up to two weekly scheduled frequencies every Wednesday and Sunday.  This was announced today by Minister for Tourism Dr. Konrad Mizzi at this year's ITB fair in Berlin.

P. Sies, Air Malta’s CCO, explained: "The airline had operated this route mostly to facilitate tour operator traffic but stopped it last year due to weak demand.  After an evaluation and with the enhanced sales power we gained with the introduction of the Go-Light product, our hand luggage only fares, and the new sales teams we appointed in Germany, the airline now sees an opportunity to go back to Berlin as a full scheduled operator.  After getting more support from tour operators and giving them the opportunity to buy seats on the service, we are confident that we can successfully relaunch this service."  (Source:, 8-Mar-2018)

Ryanair launches Malta W18 schedule with eight new routes from Malta

Ryanair has launched its Malta winter 18 schedule with eight new routes to Barcelona and Seville (Spain), Bratislava (Slovakia), Budapest (Hungary), Paris-Beauvais (France), Porto (Portugal), Pescara (Italy), and Tallin (Estonia).  According to the carrier, with these new additions, Ryanair will have 48 routes that will fly an estimated 2.5 million customers through Malta IAP next year.

The Barcelona route is expected to be operated with a four-time a week frequency; Bratislava, Budapest, Porto, Pescara, and Seville will have flights two weekly fights; Paris Beauvais will serve a three-time a week flight and Tallinn with a weekly service. (Source:, 8-Mar-2018)

Thursday, March 8, 2018

MATS chooses Leonardo patented data link solution for ATC communication

Leonardo has signed a contract with Malta Air Traffic Services Ltd. (MATS), the Maltese Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP), to supply an integrated Data Link solution for air traffic management applications.  The contract covers the provision, installation and commissioning of a VHF DataLink Mode-2 (VDL2) network infrastructure based onto Leonardo's patented 'dual language' technology and the upgrade of Controller Pilot Data Link Communication (CPDLC) functionality at the MATS air traffic management centre.  The MATS ATM centre, which was previously provided by Leonardo, is currently in operation. 

The advanced Data Link solution can carry both Air Traffic Control Services (ATS) and Airline Operational Communications (AOC) on the same network infrastructure.  This means that the system can convey communications between pilot and tower on a single, high-performance network that is easy to install. The system satisfies the requirements of all major air traffic control stakeholders (ANSPs, ICAO, EASA and SESAR Deployment Manager).  

The integrated Data Link solution will also improve the safety and efficiency of air traffic management via a CPDLC function that enables the exchange of digital text messages between controllers and pilots in addition to traditional voice communications.  Moreover, the Data Link is a prerequisite for providing aircraft flight path information (Initial 4D-trajectory information sharing) and other data from an aircraft to an ATM system, allowing for flexible airspace management and Free Route capabilities. 

Leonardo's solution will allow MATS to implement the new SESAR Data Link requirements (Model C with multifrequency) and to be fully compliant with the new European Commission implementation regulations, which outline the requirements for the introduction of Data Link services for the Single European Sky initiative.  It will also avoid frequency congestion, bringing Malta very close to the SESAR European Target Solution on data links (namely Model D Data Link Network), which is to be reached by 2022. (Source: Leonardo, 7-Mar-2018)

Qatar Airways to initiate flights to and from Malta

As from this year, Qatar Airways is to offer its services for direct flights to and from Malta.  This was confirmed by the airline's CEO Akbar Al Baker during the annual tourism fair at Berlin.  He said that Qatar Airways is increasing the frequency of its flights and will be extending its operations in Luxembourg, Lisbon and Malta.  He also announced that flights to Barcelona, Madrid, Vietnam and the Philippines are also to become more frequent. (Source:, 7-Mar-2018)