The Malta Independent 24 January 2022, Monday

Air Malta: ‘Employees forced to pay the price for 9 years of Labour’s incompetence’ - PN

Giuseppe Attard Friday, 14 January 2022, 18:13 Last update: about 9 days ago

The Nationalist Party has accused the government of tarnishing Malta's reputation with the European Commission while forcing Air Malta employees to suffer the consequences.

PN spokesperson on Air Malta Mario de Marco took aim at the government, stating that is was only due to the Labour government's incompetence that Air Malta finds itself in this situation. "If the government moved forward with the restructuring plans approved by the European Commission in 2012, Air Malta would be facing a different future,"

Shifting focus to 2019, de Marco reminded that in 2019, then Minister Konrad Mizzi had boasted about the profitability margins Air Malta was achieving. "This contrasts harshly when Clyde Caruana stated that Air Malta is hemorrhaging €170,000 a day," de Marco said.

De Marco then further accused the government of misguiding the public and losing all credibility with the European Commission. "Due to the usual Labour standard of empty promises, half of Air Malta's employees are going to be sacked and also half of our flying routes."

PN tourism spokesperson Robert Arrigo stated that since he started shadowing the industry, "five or six" different ministers have tried their luck with Air Malta. "All these Ministers had the option of listening to the opposition who not only had an approved restructuring plan but who warned of the difficulties within Air Malta. Instead they dreamt of buying bigger planes to take us to America and Asia."

The lack of leadership was further flagged by PN candidate Ivan Castillo who highlighted the years of stress the Air Malta employees had to go through only to be fired due to "Labour's empty promises."

"As the opposition, our only hope that the cost cutting is being done at all levels of the company not only the low income earners. We also hope that justice is made with those workers," Castillo said.

Closing off the press conference, Arrigo stated that the Nationalist Party is in constant communication with stakeholders and unions "in order to seriously provide the government the people deserve."

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