Two Russian Federation naval vessels RFS Altay - an Ingul Class (Project 1453) Salvage Tug - and RFS Severomorsk (619) - an Udaloy I Class (Project 1155) Destroyer - have sailed into Valletta Port (the Grand Harbour) this morning on a courtesy visit.
RFS Altay and RFS Severomorsk (with two Ka-27 helicopters on board) are presently berthing alongside at Pinto-1/2 wharf, and they are expected to sail from the Grand Harbour on Wednesday, May 1, at 1000lt.
Transavia.com France launched today its new route between Paris-Orly and Malta International Airport.
This first flight – operated with a Boeing B737-800, registration F-GZHE – touched down at Malta IAP around 1815lt and it was greeted by a water arch by Malta IAP's fire engines on the taxiway leading to apron-9.
Transavia.com France will be operating two weekly flights between Paris-Orly and Malta IAP this summer season, on Mondays and Thursdays.
Air Malta is to lease an Airbus A319-100 to Atlantic Airways of the Faroe Islands for 41 months. The leased aircraft will be based at Vágar Airport and will operate to airports in Denmark, U.K., Spain, Norway and Iceland.
The dry lease (meaning aircraft without pilots) will start in early
May. The aircraft (9H-AEJ) will be de-registered from the Maltese
aircraft register and will be given the new registration of OY-RCH.
As a result, Air Malta will be operating a ten-aircraft fleet,
meeting the required capacity under the terms of its Restructuring Plan
approved by the European Commission. (Source: timesofmalta.com, 25-Apr-2013)
An Alitalia Airbus A320-200 (EI-DSJ), performing flight AZA868 from Rome-Fiumicino (Italy) to Tripoli-International (Libya), had to divert to Malta International Airport this afternoon due to low visibility at Tripoli airport because of a sand storm. The aircraft continued with its flight to Tripoli after one-hour technical stop. (24-Apr-2013)
Tourism Minister K. Vella said at the opening of the AMITEX travel fair this evening that Air Malta's losses in the year which ended in March were €25 million - €10 million more than the operational losses revealed last week. He said the airline was not out of the woods yet and hard work still had to be done, although he was confident in the airline's future.
When questioned by reporters, outgoing chairman L. Farrugia was non-committal and said he still had to await the review of the new board. Mr Farrugia said the airline was half-way through its restructuring process. The airline had managed to make significant progress, reducing its spending and raising its revenue, he said, while the government had pumped €230 million in the company, including €128 million in share capital. (Source: timesofmalta.com, 18-Apr-2013)
An Air Malta Airbus A320-200 (9H-AEN), performing flight KM454 from Malta IAP to Lyon-St Exupery (France), was climbing out RWY 23 when the crew reported to Malta ATC of a possible bird strike to an engine on departure. The crew stopped the climb and returned to Malta IAP for a safe landing about 30 minutes after departure. A spokesman for Air Malta said the aircraft returned to Malta as a precautionary measure. After the aircraft by inspected by Air Malta engineers, it was certified safe and resumed the flight to Lyon after 1-hr. (11-Apr-2013)
A Ryanair B737-800 (EI-DWP), performing flight FR3883 from Malta IAP to Luton (U.K.), departed Luqa airport's RWY 13 when upon rotation for take-off the crew received indication the tail of the aircraft had contacted the runway surface. The crew stopped the climb at 5000 feet and returned to Malta for a safe landing on RWY 13 about 35 minutes after departure. The flight to Luton will be operated by another Ryanair aircraft. (9-Apr-2013)
Passenger traffic at Malta IAP for the first quarter of 2013 registered an increase of 8.6% when compared to the same period in 2012. This increase is equivalent to 47,721 passenger movements.
The seat capacity in the first three months of 2013 increased by 4.1% (from 806,899 to 839,683). The average seat load factor for the quarter was more than that achieved in the same period last year and grew by 3% (from 69.1% to 72.1%). Cargo and mail for the first three months were marginally higher than the first quarter of 2012, with an increase of 1.8%, whilst the maximum take-off weight increased by 3.1%. A look at the airport’s core markets reveals that the U.K. had a considerable increase of 9.9% over 2012. Italy also fared very well with an increase of 16.7%, whereas Germany is in third place with a negligible increase of 0.3%. France also registered a huge increase of 22.8%, whilst Libya enjoyed a staggering increase of 52.5% on the passenger traffic achieved between January and March of 2012. March 2012: Passenger movements at Malta IAP in March 2013 reached 249,360. The increase in passenger movements, when compared to the same month last year, is equivalent to 12.3%. Seat capacity for the month was 4.3% more than last year, whilst the average seat load factor increased by 5.6% over March 2012. When analysing March results, one must take into consideration the fact that it includes some travel related to the Easter period and which last year occurred in April. (Source: maltairport.com, 5-Apr-2013)
Latvian airline airBaltic will launch a weekly Malta-Riga service on May 12, continuing up to mid-October. The service was formally launched this morning in the presence of Tourism Minister and senior airline officials.
The airline's vice-president, J. Vanangs, described airBaltic as a mid-range airline, and said that while it was a gateway to Latvia, it also offered excellent connections to other destinations in Scandinavia and Russia.
Mr. Vanangs said initial bookings were very positive. The airline in connection with the Malta Tourism Authority has brought over several Latvian journalists who are being shown around Malta. (Source: timesofmalta.com, 4-Apr-2013)
An Air Malta Airbus A319-100 (9H-AEJ), performing flight KM328 from Malta International Airport to Frankfurt Am Main International (Germany) had to divert to Catania-Fontanrossa (Sicily, Italy) this afternoon, when being ten minutes north of the sicilian coast, after smoke was detected in an oven in the rear galley. All passengers and crew disiembarked the aircraft normally. After the aircraft was inspected, it was later declared serviceable and resumed the flight to Frankfurt after a four-hour stop. (2-Apr-2013)