[WATCH] Air Malta to undergo restructuring program before talks with strategic partners

Newly sworn in tourism minister Konrad Mizzi said this would place the airline in a better position to negotiate a deal

Tourism minister Konrad Mizzi has said his first priority for Air Malta would be a restructuring process to bring the airline back onto its feet
Tourism minister Konrad Mizzi has said his first priority for Air Malta would be a restructuring process to bring the airline back onto its feet

Tourism minister Konrad Mizzi has said that his first priority as minister in charge of Air Malta will be an extensive restructuring of the airline.

“The plan will be clear and will involve the restructuring of the airline as the first phase,” said Mizzi.  “Before talking about a strategic partner, we need to ensure that the airline is back on its feet, with a good cash-flow position and the ability to service its current routes once this is ready we can talk about other things.”

Mizzi was giving comments to journalists following the swearing in of cabinet for the next legislature. He insisted that while a strategic partner for the airline was still the government’s plan, it first wanted to ensure that the airline was in a good enough position to negotiate a favourable agreement.

 “There is interest from a number of companies, however my priority will be to have a strong Air Malta. This will put us in a better negotiating position, with a clear plan for where we want to arrive.

He said the aim would be to have the restructuring process completed in the first 12 months of the legislature, adding that he believed Air Malta had a bright future ahead of it if all stakeholders, including unions, worked together.  

Asked whether he envisaged job losses as part of the restructuring process, Mizzi said that no employees would be made redundant.

“As part of the restructuring process we will be discussing the program with all unions and we will see what changes need to made on the whole, however employees’ jobs will be guaranteed,” he added. 

 

Fearne to decide on deputy leadership bid in the coming days

Health minister Chris Fearne will be discussing a potential bid for Labour Party deputy leader with his family in the coming days before making his decision known to the public.

“I have just been sworn in as a minister,” said Fearne. “In the coming days I will discussing the matter with my family and colleagues and will be announcing my decision.”

 

Cabinet under different circumstances - Muscat

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said that the cabinet that was sworn in today had been sworn in under very different circumstances to those four years ago.

“We had a situation where we had slow economic growth, rising unemployment and circumstance like the emergency with water and electricity bills,” he said.

In contrast, he said that the country was now going through an economic boom, adding that the rate Malta’s economic growth was the highest in the Eurozone.

“We will have problems. We have problems with social housing and a number of bureaucratic bottlenecks,” added Muscat who insisted that in addition to a new cabinet, he had also learnt from the experience of the past four years. 

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