Air Malta is currently using only three of its 10 aircraft, passenger bookings at 63%

Sources revealed that the national airline is struggling to fill seats, with passenger bookings for July standing at 63%

Air Malta is flying with three aircraft this summer
Air Malta is flying with three aircraft this summer

Air Malta is currently only using three of its 10 aircraft to service 22 destinations this summer. 

In comments given to BusinessToday, a source told the paper that the national airline was struggling to fill seats, with passenger bookings standing at around 63% in July. 

Sources within the company said that bookings for August seat capacity stood at 45%, with 29% of seat capacity in September already booked. 

However, currently, the airline is only using three of its 10 aircraft, filling just 16% of seats when compared to summer 2019. 

In June, Air Malta laid off 69 pilots after talks with the pilots’ union on measures to avoid redundancies in order to safeguard the company’s ongoing sustainability and viability, failed.

The move came after a protracted standoff between the airline’s management and pilots after the latter refused to accept a social wage of €1,200 per month in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.

READ MORE: Air Malta makes 69 pilots redundant after talks with union fail

After the redundancies were confirmed, economy minister Silvio Schembri had told MaltaToday that the airline would focus on servicing its core routes.

But even those plans to operate five aircraft have had to be revised as low passenger booking numbers would make operating more than three aircraft economically unsound.

The source said the company did not envision returning to the heights of 2019 levels of passengers anytime before summer 2022. 

Air Malta operates a fleet of ten Airbus A320 family aircraft: one A319-112, six A320-214 and three A320-251N ‘Neo’ aircraft.

Aviation industry sources told the business paper that the airline was probably using the three Neo versions, since these provided exceedingly higher fuel savings over the standard A320s, although the A319 could possibly be in operation on the shorter routes.

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