Air Malta Scraps is planning to fly to New York and is focusing on long weekend breaks
Air Malta has officially abandoned plans to launch long-haul flights to destinations as far as New York, Mumbai, Toronto and Ghana due to cash flow problems.
The national airline’s chief executive officer, David Curmi, told Lovin Malta in an interview that this strategy has been stopped and that Air Malta will now focus on connecting passengers to European airports that offer long-haul flights.
“It doesn’t make sense for Air Malta to fly to New York when you can catch a New York flight from Alpensa,” he said. “We’ll get you to these airports at the right time, but long haul requires an investment and Air Malta does not currently have the money.”
Long-haul flights were proposed two years ago by former Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi, who argued that Malta needed better connections to boost its economic growth.
However, Treasury Secretary Clyde Caruana, who is in charge of Air Malta, said last December that he disagreed that this should be the way to go and now Curmi has confirmed that the plan has been abandoned entirely.
Air Malta now plans to strategize its network in anticipation of an upcoming demand for frequent weekend trips overseas once the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided.
This means that travelers on Thursday or Friday can take a flight with a return ticket from the same destination on Sunday or Monday.
Meanwhile, Air Malta has cut ten unprofitable destinations including Malaga, Venice, Ibiza, Bucharest and St. Petersburg, and intends to increase the frequency for airports in France, Italy, the UK, Germany and Madrid.
“From the information we have received from various international bodies, it is clear that there is clearly a great demand for travel,” said Curmi. “People want to travel and our information suggests that people are likely to travel closer to home for shorter periods of time, so Air Malta can play an important role here.”
“I think this is how travel will develop – less business travel, but more pleasure travel to countries closer to home and for shorter periods of time.”