Government requests state aid for national airline

Formal state aid application filed by government to help Air Malta recover from COVID-19

Government has filed a formal state aid application with the European Commission in order to provide Air Malta with financial assistance.

Finance Minister Edward Scicluna said government will look at helping the airline to recover losses garnered during the pandemic.

He said throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Air Malta operated with a ‘life line schedule’ in order to ensure the country’s connectivity with the rest of Europe.

It was also crucial in repatriating Maltese caught outside the country when lockdowns were being deployed across the world.

In April, Air Malta forecasted €130 million in COVID-19 losses.

The scale of losses represents the greatest challenge the national airline will face, with government sources privy to the financial situation inside Air Malta saying they forecast a gradual return to business in 2021.

Some €30 million will be lost just in ticket refunds, while another €100 million will be direct losses from COVID-19 costs.