The Malta Independent 20 January 2022, Thursday

Air Malta denies airline axed Frankfurt route to appease Alitalia

Monday, 12 December 2016, 10:42 Last update: about 6 years ago

Air Malta’s Board of Directors today strongly and categorically denied a report on the Times of Malta that the airline has axed its Frankfurt route to appease Alitalia.

The article quotes sources stating that through this decision Air Malta is diverting interconnecting traffic that used to go to Frankfurt to its network in Rome and Milan and is thus taking steps “to ‘please’ Alitalia and lure it to conclude negotiations on buying a stake in the Maltese airline.”

In a statement, Air Malta’s Board of Directors rubbished such allegations stating that the report does not make sense particularly since the airline will be increasing frequencies next summer on other key non-Italian connecting hubs of Munich, Amsterdam, Brussels, Vienna and Zurich.

 The board strongly condemned such sensational reports stating that route and frequency changes are solely based on commercial considerations and Air Malta deploys its capacity on routes that provide the best possible return on investment.

The board added that aircraft capacity is a finite resource and flight schedules are changed and tweaked every season to take advantage of new opportunities, maximise resources and increase efficiency. Network decisions for the summer 2017 flight schedule were taken independently of any strategic partnership discussions with Alitalia. The board added that it is a known fact that the Frankfurt route was not performing that well.

Frequencies on this route had already been reduced from daily to four weekly last summer, well before any negotiations with Alitalia had started. Over the past years other airport hubs including Munich, on which coincidentally Air Malta is increasing frequencies from July 2017 with up to double daily, have increased their connectivity network.

Air Malta’s summer 2017 schedule will see the airline increase frequencies on a number of key popular routes including Munich, Brussels, Amsterdam, Vienna, Zurich, Rome, Catania, Lyon, Palermo, Prague and Moscow. The airline will operate with up to double daily flights in peak summer to Munich, Rome and Catania.

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