The Malta Independent 4 June 2020, Thursday

Watch: Repatriation flight from Rome lands in Malta

Albert Galea Monday, 16 March 2020, 15:18 Last update: about 4 months ago

An Air Malta flight from Rome, the latest repatriation flight from across Europe, landed at the Malta International Airport late on Monday morning.

Air Malta organised two flights today, Monday, with one departing Malta to Rome’s Fiumicino Airport at 7:55am, and the second scheduled to depart from Rome at 10:10am. 

In actual fact, the latter flight ran somewhat late, and arrived in Malta at 11:55am as opposed to 11:35am.

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One one passenger was transported to Italy, while five passengers were brought back to Malta. Critical medical supplies were also transported.  Upon disembarkation, the passengers returning to Malta were checked by staff wearing protective gear.

The Malta International Airport presented a different, and surreal scene to its usual self on Monday morning.  Instead of the bustling departures hall, the theming arrivals area and the taxi-filled roads outside the terminal, one could find a much quieter spectacle, with some outlets shuttered and the Airport generally suffering from the effects of many cancelled flights to the European mainland as a result of the virus.

Cordons laid out around the booths within the terminal drove the point home, with these cordons making sure that customers and those seeking information are within a metre from those within the respective booths. 

Air Malta has organised a number of repatriation flights to bring back Maltese residents from overseas as the situation with regards to the outbreak of Covid-19 across Europe continues to develop.

In the past week, the airline has organised flights to and from Madrid, Zurich, Paris, and Frankfurt along with today’s flight to Rome.

Another flight is being organised, this time to Jordan, in order to pick up 14 Maltese ITU nurses who are stranded in the country.

Under government-imposed restrictions, all those arriving in the country – both on these Air Malta flights and on any other flight – must quarantine themselves for 14 days.  Those breaking the quarantine rules are liable to a €1,000 fine.

As the repatriation flight landed, Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci provided her daily update – this time revealing that Malta had registered nine new cases of the virus, bringing the total up to 30 and seeing the first cases of local transmission.

Video: Alenka Falzon

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