Air Malta’s revenues ‘under pressure’, says airline’s CEO

Air Malta appoints new deputy chief commercial officer • international call for chief commercial officer issued

Air Malta deputy chief commercial officer Joseph Galea
Air Malta deputy chief commercial officer Joseph Galea

Air Malta’s revenues are once again under pressure, Air Malta CEO Louis Giordimaina has warned.

“Air Malta once again finds itself at a crucial juncture. Revenues are under pressure due to increased competition and the suspension of Libya, one of our profitable routes,” Giordimaina said in a statement.

Air Malta has begun a drive to rebuild its management team, starting with the appointment of Joseph Galea as Deputy Chief Commercial Officer.

The airline has also issued an international call to assume the post of Chief Commercial Officer, formerly held by Philip Saunders.

“The Chief Commercial Officer and his deputy will be immediately tasked with finding ways to develop a top revenue line which is healthy and sustainable, two things which continue to evade the airline despite the ongoing implementation of the restructuring plan,” Giordimaina said.

Saunders, who resigned from Air Malta in June having opted for a new opportunity in the aviation industry, was head-hunted to carve up the national airline into a smaller, profit-making outfit as part of the airline’s restructuring plan.

Air Malta is now once again looking for a foreign expert to head the airline’s commercial aspects.

According to the airline’s chairwoman, Maria Micallef, it is “extremely difficult” to find Maltese candidates who have the necessary experience.

“It is clear that Air Malta’s management team must enjoy a deep love and understanding of the product they are selling. However, it is extremely difficult to find Maltese candidates who also have the necessary commercial airline experience for such a role,” Micallef said.

“Through these appointments, we will be using international expertise to develop Maltese talent. This type of succession planning, which has been absent from the airline in recent years, ensures continuity for years to come.”

Galea, 50, has worked for Malta’s tourism sector for the past 23 years, most recently as the International Marketing Director for Malta Tourism Authority. He has served as International Marketing Director of MTA since November 2006 and was directly responsible for positioning the Maltese islands in various overseas markets.

Galea will succeed the selected Chief Commercial Officer after a definite three-year period, during which he will gain sufficient airline experience to steer the commercial department.

Galea has spent years developing relationships with key international stakeholders, including tour operators and conference/event organisers. The airline said that he will be in an ideal position to enhance and create new revenue streams for the airline.

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