[WATCH] Air Malta to get tenth aircraft, new flights to London Southend and Cagliari

The new aircraft will be needed for the national airline to operate new routes, including those announced this morning that will connect Malta to London Southend and Cagliari

Air Malta announced the launch of four new routes connecting Malta to London Southend and Cagliari, as well as Catania and Cagliari to London Southend
Air Malta announced the launch of four new routes connecting Malta to London Southend and Cagliari, as well as Catania and Cagliari to London Southend

Air Malta will be leasing its 10th aircraft later this year to cater for increased demand from new routes the company will operate.

Company chairperson Charles Mangion said the 9th aircraft would be coming into service over the next two months.

The 10th aircraft will initially be needed for the summer months, starting in May.

Mangion was speaking at a press conference during which the airline announced new routes to Cagliari airport in Sardinia and London Southend.

Air Malta will operate flights to these airports from Malta, while also connecting Cagliari and Catania airports to London Southend.

Mangion said this formed part of Air Malta’s growth strategy to become the airline of the Mediterranean.

“This is a milestone in our journey towards growth,” Mangion said.

London Southend is a relatively new airport built for the London olympics in 2012, situated 45 minutes away from the centre.

Air Malta will retain its slots at Gatwick and Heathrow.

Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi said the government’s strategy was to ensure Malta was well connected with mainland Europe, as well as other countries in the Mediterranean.

He said the choice of Southend represented an experiment with the “low cost dimension”, in an airport that was still establishing itself.

Mizzi said Air Malta was inching very slowly to register break even by the end of March, having registered a 30% increase in revenue in February. The positive outlook was also being reflected in financial institutions’ and leasing companies’ attitude towards the airline, Mizzi said.

“The future for the airline looks bright,” he said, the new collective agreements have given the airline increased efficiency.

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