The Malta Independent 11 December 2017, Monday

Watch: Konrad Mizzi convinced agreements on Air Malta will be reached by end of year

Gabriel Schembri Thursday, 30 November 2017, 08:49 Last update: about 10 days ago

Minister for Tourism Konrad Mizzi yesterday told this newspaper that he is positive that the stakeholders and Air Malta employees will agree on the collective agreements proposed by the government. Speaking to The Malta Independent, Minister Mizzi said that he is convinced that the agreements will be concluded by end of this year.

Mizzi recently announced that the national airline will have all the agreements in place by end of this year. When speaking during a ‘Gvern li Jisma’ event on Monday, the Minister said that through cooperation, the financial situation of the airline can be turned around.

ADVERTISEMENT

“The truth is that for the year that ended in March 2017 Air Malta lost money. Things have to change and we want 2018 to be a turnaround year for our national airline,” he added.

Mizzi said the new target is for Air Malta to break even in the financial year ending in March 2018.

“I am convinced we can do this. We have already started to implement certain changes such as adding new routes.”

The minister had said that a meeting with the General Workers Union was held on Tuesday. A meeting was then held yesterday (Wednesday) with the cabin crew . The minister met with the staff in three meetings to give a detailed presentation on the proposals and the packages on offer.

"It's important we all realise the importance of this agreement. If we want things to improve, we will need to have certain changes," he had said. A vote by the cabin crew will be taken today (Thursday) to see if the agreement will be given the green light or not.

He explained that the agreement will see that the number of staff on the plane will be reduced from five per each plane to four, which is the required minimum. Mizzi said that the discussions with pilots are ongoing, hoping that agreements will be concluded by end of year so that the airline can then focus on breaking even and eventually have revenue.  

He announced that the airline will be adding an aircraft in March and each aircraft would be used for 12 hours a day, up from the current seven. This will result in 1,500 more flights as of next year.

Minister Mizzi had already announced that the national airline would now be flying to St Petersburg, Casablanca and Lisbon. Other destinations are being considered. He had also mentioned the potential changes in the frequency of flights to Sicily and further changes in catering and cargo services. 

  • don't miss