The Malta Independent 18 July 2024, Thursday
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Air Malta says fleet renewal plan saved airline €8.2 million in 2016

Wednesday, 25 January 2017, 13:25 Last update: about 8 years ago

Air Malta today strongly and categorically denied a report in the Times of Malta today, saying the report was full of incorrect and misleading information intended to damage the reputation of the national airline.

In a statement, Air Malta "vehemently denied" the wet leasing of aircraft on 14 occasions during the Christmas period. In actual fact, this only happened during the course of the whole year. These wet leases cost a total of €280,000.

“Air Malta strongly condemned such sensational reports stating that additionally these trip leases saved millions of euros in denied boarding compensation payments which the airline would have to pay to passengers for delayed or cancelled flights. Air Malta has maintained its commitment not to cancel any flights due to any operational or weather disruptions”, said Joe Galea, Acting CEO Air Malta.

Aircraft utilisation is a key performance indicator in the aviation industry and Air Malta is making sure to maximise its resources. It does not make sense to leave such expensive assets idle in winter for more than half of the time as was customary. The airline was in a situation where its fleet caters generously for the summer period but was losing all its profits in winter when it does not need a large fleet.

Air Malta’s competitors excel in fleet utilisation, with its main competitors flying their aircrafts between 15 and 16 hours at peak. Air Malta’s is raising its peak flight utilisation to 14 hours per day per aircraft, while continuing to fly the same number of passengers, and potentially even more. The airline’s current model creates an optimal fleet that covers most of the year, with potential to add capacity as necessary. This is saving money without negatively impacting any other aspects of the operation.

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