Abela says Malta secured the best deal from European Commission on Air Malta

Opposition Leader Bernard Grech lambasted the Prime Minister for blaming Air Malta's woes on Nationalist administrations

The Prime Minister and Opposition Leader were addressing an urgent parliamentary debate
The Prime Minister and Opposition Leader were addressing an urgent parliamentary debate

Malta has succeeded in securing her most vital interests regarding Air Malta, Prime Minister Robert Abela said while addressing an urgent debate in parliament.

The debate followed a heated exchange between government and the Opposition, followed by the Speaker's ruling stating that there is no urgency to debate the national airline at the moment. Despite this, Abela said that he had no problems with debating the issue on Monday.

Opening the debate, Abela highlighted it is in Malta's best interest to keep her national airline. This, Abela said, was one of Malta's main interests during discussions with the European Commission, along with the need for the new airline to keep the same number of planes. Retaining the same number of staff was also one of Malta's major concerns, the Prime Minister noted.

READ ALSO: What will happen to your Air Malta bookings?

Abela stated that during its 50 years of existence, Air Malta suffered major blows due to blunders during the PN administrations. The purchasing of four planes was one of these blunders, Abela said, while concluding that his government will ensure a seamless transition in the months to come. 

Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Bernard Grech lambasted Abela for once again claiming that before 2013, everything was in ruin and avoiding responsibility. "This government will be remembered as the government that failed Air Malta," he said.

Grech noted that in 2020, minister Silvio Schembri had stated that Air Malta was on track with its restructuring plan. Grech questions, "How can the Prime Minister ensure that this new airline will Malta the service it requires?"

The PN leader also questioned how government intends to guarantee a smooth transition after it admitted to failing Air Malta.

"The people need facts," Grech said, while noting that Air Malta's clients and staff, as well as the country as a whole require a reliable national airline.