The Malta Independent 22 January 2021, Friday

Tourism Minister says profitable airlines have been 'rationalising' their fleets for several years

Tuesday, 2 June 2015, 20:57 Last update: about 7 years ago

Tourism Minister Edward Zammit Lewis said this evening that the fleet "rationalisation" exercise being carried out by Air Malta was not a big issue and profitable European airlines have been doing it for the past 15 years.

Answering a parliamentary question by PN MP Jason Azzopardi, who asked if the fleet downsizing would affect the number of arrivals, Dr Zammit Lewis noted that the national airline was leasing two aircraft which could not be fully utilized, at a cost of €1 million a year. The Minister insisted that the number of winter routes and seat capacity would actually increase.

Replying to a supplementary question by PL MP Anthony Agius Decelis, Dr Zammit Lewis said Air Malta was currently the main player in Malta’s tourism responsible for 43 per cent of arrivals but the government was forging ahead with diversification of source markets. Such diversification, including operations by legacy airlines, was ensuring that Malta did not become dependent on low-cost airlines.

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