MHRA president says Air Malta needs strategic investor

‘New business model should be considered’ says Paul Bugeja over future of Air Malta

The Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association has insisted that national airline Air Malta remain “fully Maltese-owned” but with a private, strategic investor assisting the government in running the airline.

“A new business model should be considered,” MHRA president Paul Bugeja said in a statement outlining hoteliers’ policy on the airline, which recently underwent a €230 million restructuring programme to downsize and become profitable by 2016.

“The Bank of Valletta model is one that can be emulated for Air Malta, where the absolute majority of its shareholding will be floated to the Maltese general public and the government retains a strategic substantial share. In the meantime, global and regional strategic marketing alliances must be strengthened to develop more effective processes and expand into new markets,” Bugeja said.

The MHRA president said calls for change at Air Malta were made several years before the airline faced bankruptcy and needing state aid.

“It is clear that market conditions for Air Malta have now changed drastically, so it is equally critical to adapt to change and also change the Air Malta business model as necessary. No one disputes Air Malta’s indispensability to the tourism industry and indeed the economy, but this calls for the implementation of specific measures,” Bugeja said.

More in Business News