Traffic gridlock ruins travel plans for 45, flights delayed

Two Air Malta flights delayed after airline crew get stuck in morning traffic 

45 unlucky passengers who were caught up in this morning’s heavy traffic gridlock missed their flights, an Air Malta spokesperson confirmed with MaltaToday.

The passengers concerned were due to depart on two Air Malta morning flights to Munich and Budapest.

Separately, the national airline was forced to delay two flights because airline crew officials were stuck in the traffic. A flight to London Gatwick was delayed by 45 minutes, while a flight to Rome Fiumicino was delayed by an hour.

Another Air Malta flight to Amsterdam was also delayed by an hour, but due to foggy conditions in the Netherlands. 

Education Minister Evarist Bartolo on Facebook
Education Minister Evarist Bartolo on Facebook

Education Minister Evarist Bartolo, who felt sorry for the kids who got drenched by the rain, said schools were still half empty by 9.30am.

“It’s true that it was pouring heavily but the country can’t keep coming to a standstill every time it rains,” he said, noting that traffic was already a problem when the sun is shining.

In his comments after a press conference, Bartolo said that he had in fact got caught up in traffic himself on his way to University to give a lecture. 

“It took me an hour to get to university, which meant I arrived around a half hour late for the lecture itself,” Bartolo said.

Bartolo said that he had also received many complaints from parents who said that young students had also got soaked waiting for their school vans.

Education minister Evarist Bartolo on traffic and schools

The minister added that next Monday will see the closing of the public consultation on the white paper on school hours and traffic congestion.

“We will be taking all the criticism and proposals on the matter, and the education and transport ministries would take proposals related to school transport in hand,” Bartolo said.

“However, I am certain that there are various other factors that cause traffic problems, so the discussion needs to be discussed more broadly,” he said, using the use (or lack thereof) of public transport as another example.

Bartolo explained that issues like public transport, heavy vehicles and road works were among the many causes of congestion, and that a serious and concrete plan was needed in various sectors to tackle the issue.

Asked for suggestions about how traffic issues could be dealt with, Bartolo said that there were various options and suggestions at hand and that there was no one solution to the issue.

“There are various measures that are needed and we need to see how we can integrate them to find suitable solutions.”

More in National