The Malta Independent 27 May 2024, Monday
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Air Malta Announces first quarter results

Malta Independent Sunday, 15 May 2005, 00:00 Last update: about 12 years ago

Last week Air Malta announced the traffic results for the first quarter of 2005 covering the period January to March.

The results show that Air Malta carried 15 per cent more passengers on all its flights when compared to the same period last year. Traffic on scheduled services decreased by one per cent to 241,863 passengers while charter traffic on Air Malta services to/from Malta increased by 56 per cent reaching 30,900 passengers. In addition the airline carried a further 52,000 passengers on its UK based charter operations and 4,000 passengers on its intra-European flights. The airline has also improved its punctuality by three per cent over the same period last year.

Commenting on these results Ernst Funk, CEO of Air Malta, remarked that although the increase was mainly driven by charter traffic, the new opportunities which Air Malta is exploiting, like the UK bases and intra-European flights, have helped the airline to sustain growth in the airline’s activities which is vital to improve its revenue streams.

“These results confirm that Air Malta is moving ahead to meet the objectives of the Rescue Plan. Air Malta will continue to put all its abilities and resources to retain its primary position in the air transport scene in Malta. Having achieved substantial improvements in revenue streams and cost containment Air Malta, like the rest of the aviation industry, is facing unprecedented costs for its jet fuel. We still have some hedges in place for this summer but further hikes in the cost of fuel will have negative effects and hinder the results achieved so far.”

The airline is facing strong competition from new competitors both in its air transportation as well as in aircraft ground handling activities at its main base in Malta. “We are facing competition head on; we depend to a very large extent on the success of Malta’s ability to increase tourist numbers to Malta. Therefore, it is for this reason that we are very active in the main tourist markets promoting Malta first along with our services. We remain committed to promote Malta and to support our community in Malta” the CEO maintained.

The airline is the biggest ground handling provider at MIA with another company having recently set up a competitive operation. The ground handling activities of Air Malta is a labour intensive operation with some 700 staff directly involved in providing passenger, cargo and aircraft handling services for the airline’s own operations and to a number of airline customers.

“We have to accept the reality of the market resulting in substantial reduction in income streams from this activity. We have a social commitment to try and maintain the status quo in terms of staff resources which we are trying to sustain. We are trying to avoid having to reopen the Rescue Plan that we have with the unions. However, we have to look at solutions which do not harm the overall performance of the airline.

“We need to achieve higher productivity, more efficiency and better quality and less restrictive work practices which do not make sense in today’s realities. We want to work with the unions to see real changes so that together we can look for solutions which can safeguard the future of most of the people engaged in this activity and avoid dragging the rest of the airline’s activity to uneconomic levels” Mr Funk concluded.

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