Air Malta registers more than a million in profits after 18 years

Air Malta reverses loss-making trend with an increase in revenue to €197 million and 11% increase in passengers

Tourism minister Konrad Mizzi announces Air Malta's profits
Tourism minister Konrad Mizzi announces Air Malta's profits

Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi has announced that Air Malta made a profit of €1.2 million, after a loss of €10.8 million in 2017. 

“It is a proud moment that after years of Air Malta losing money year after year, it finally registered a hefty profit,” he said, adding that this profit did not include the buying of slots but came from the sales of tickets and the “better control” of Air Malta’s operations. 

“Air Malta means a lot for the Maltese. The airline is the lifeline of our country. The reality is that pre-2013, the airline was facing big challenges, a situation we don’t want to go through again,” he said.

Mizzi was speaking at Air Malta’s AGM.

In 2018, Air Malta increased its revenue by €5.3 million to a total of €197.5 million mainly driven by an 11% increase in passengers. 

Air Malta’s Chief Financial Officer Omar Bonello atrributed this positive performance to better aircraft utilisation and the implementation of a new sales strategy, the investments in IT technology, the signing of all four collective agreements with unions aimed to give a strong base for increase productivity, flexibility and industrial peace stability and the negotiation of more “favourable” terms with the airline’s suppliers.

Mizzi said that it was a question of “having a vision, strong leadership, perseverance and determination.

“This is a tribute to the employees. As a country, we don’t have any oil or gas but we have a pool of talented people who strive for success.”

Air Malta CEO Clifford Chetcuti said that Air Malta had been awarded the CAPA turnaround airline of the year in 2018, adding that, “this is not the time to be complacent. Whilst there are challenges with fluctuating fuel prices and increases competitive pressures, we have shown that growth is still achievable.” 

Air Malta increase its capacity by 20% in 2018, with Paul Sies, the airline’s Chief Commercial Officer, saying that new routes generated an increase of €12 million in revenue. 

“During this financial year, the airline implemented a new Revenue Management, new unbundled pricing with the launch of the Go Light, new sales strategies and developed the new buy-on-board product,” he said.

During the conference, he announced that as from next month, Air Malta will be launching its new business class service where passengers will be offered new gourmet menus presented in traditional Maltese crockery. 

The highlights of the airline’s summer schedule will be the increased frequency flights to Paris, Hamburg, Kiev, London, Heathrow, Lyon, Munich and Tunis. “After an absence of 12 years, Air Malta is planning to resume flights to Egypt’s capital, Cairo, and for the first time the airline will also offer scheduled services to and from Warsaw,” Sies added.

Air Malta Chairman Charles Mangion said, “Air Malta has been here for 45 years and I assume that we all wish Air Malta will be here, stronger and better, 45 years from now.”

Mizzi concluded by saying that he dreamed of seeing Air Malta flights landing in JFK airport in New York, in Dubai, and other countries near and far. “I dream of seeing passengers being taxied from their flight in vehicles sporting the Maltese cross,” he said.