The Malta Independent 12 December 2018, Wednesday

Air Malta wins CAPA Turnaround Airline of the Year award

Wednesday, 28 November 2018, 10:36 Last update: about 14 days ago

Air Malta has scooped the 2018 ‘Turnaround Airline of the Year’ at the prestigious CAPA World Aviation Outlook summit held in Berlin.

The Maltese Airline was chosen amongst the world’s airlines for its ‘innovative strategic changes and/or a restructuring exercise’.

CAPA's Aviation Awards for Excellence are regarded as the pre-eminent awards for strategic excellence in aviation. This year’s winners in various categories include Qantas Group, WOW air, CityJet, LEVEL and Jozsef Varadi, Wizz Air’s Chief Executive.

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Dr Charles Mangion, Air Malta’s Chairman, was presented with the award during the CAPA Aviation Awards ceremony. Air Malta was selected for its successful transformation, from a heavy loss-making entity to a break-even result for the fiscal year ended March 2018.

In the statement announcing the winners CAPA said that Air Malta had been unprofitable for nearly 20 years as it struggled to overcome multiple challenges, including increasing competition from LCCs, outdated work practices and tensions in the North Africa market, which impacted its traditionally strongest routes.

It added that the flag carrier had accumulated operating losses of more than USD300 million over the 10 years ended Mar-2017. Air Malta has rebuilt its operations with a financially viable business model and a hybrid product that now allows it to compete with LCCs. The transformation included a cost control mind-set, increased aircraft utilisation, improved staff productivity and the move to a hybrid business model to serve today’s increasingly price-driven industry.

After a period of consolidation, in 2018 the Airline increased significantly its routes, fleet and passengers to continue supporting the Maltese economy. Air Malta is planning further expansion in 2019, while renewing its current fleet with modern A320 neo aircraft and leveraging its new cost efficient hybrid model, while it supports the continued emergence of Malta as one of Europe’s fastest growing holiday destinations, added CAPA.

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