Unfounded reports on Air Malta engineering

Air Malta is focused on a company-wide due diligence review and already auditors have assessed the Engineering department in a positive light

7 June 2016, 2:09pm
The Association of Airline Engineers was surprised to read the articles of the Times of Malta (24 May 2016) and the Sunday Times’ unfounded media reports which state that “Air Malta is planning to hive off some of its non-core operations” and that the engineering department was earmarked as one of “the first areas to be hived off once the deal was done” and that “it has already been agreed that certain non-core operations of the airline, particularly ground handling and engineering, will be outsourced”.

The articles are very badly timed because in the coming weeks, Air Malta is focused on a company-wide due diligence review and already auditors have assessed the Engineering department in a positive light. 

The AAE was informed by Air Malta management, and confirmed by the Minister of Tourism Edward Zammit Lewis, that at present there are no plans to hive off its Engineering section. Air Malta engineering is confident that its excellent track record in aircraft safety and work efficiency throughout the years, which are fully recognised by the Air Malta management and the government as its stakeholder, will also be acknowledged by any potential investors even before any deal is made.

Engineering has proved to possess excellent safety and economic track records through countless internal and external audits and assessments. Appraisals by independent international bodies such as Airbus and Ernst & Young serve as certificates to its ongoing efforts. During past rescue-pact agreements and restructuring plans, AAE was repeatedly named as a model union to negotiate with, able to understand quickly the company’s objectives while maintaining focus on the needs of its members without much ado. This resulted in signing collective agreements in record time during those critical periods to preserve stability.

The engineering department merged Line and Base maintenance sections into one for increased efficiency, streamlined its pay structure, introduced flexibility in shift patterns and continue to do more work without replacing retired engineers. 

Engineers negotiate maintenance contracts on engines, airframes and components which save millions each year as their expertise cannot be disputed. One needs to mention that Air Malta engineering has been servicing Alitalia aircraft in Malta on an ad hoc basis for many years and our relationship is excellent.

Also Air Malta engineering was instrumental in assisting Etihad to introduce the Airbus A319/320 family to its fleet and on its AOC.

Charles Azzopardi

AAE President