Air Malta returns to profitability

Lauren Eldershaw
By Lauren Eldershaw March 25, 2019 13:05

Air Malta returns to profitability

Air Malta has reported an operating profit of €1.2 million for the year ended March 2018 compared to an operating loss of €10.8 million in the previous period. When non-recurring items are taken into account (including the payment of the early retirement schemes and the gain on the disposal of landing rights), the airline registered a profit of €15.7 million compared to a loss of €13.1 million in the year before.

During the year under review, Air Malta’s operating revenue increased by €5.3 million to €197.5 million mainly driven by 11% more passengers (2018: 1.7 million passengers, 2017: 1.5 million passengers), 8.5% more flights (2018: 14,126, 2017: 13,024) and a 2.8% improvement in seat load factor (2018: 77.6%, 2017: 74.8%). Total operating costs decreased by €6.5 million mainly attributed to a decrease in fuel, aircraft leases and maintenance costs.

During a press briefing announcing the results, Air Malta’s Chief Financial Officer, Omar Bonello attributed these positive performance to better aircraft utilisation, the implementation of a new sales strategy, the investments in IT technology, the signing of the all collective agreements aimed to give a strong base for increased productivity, flexibility and industrial peace stability, and the negotiation of more favourable terms with the airline’s suppliers.

Air Malta’s Chairman Dr Charles Mangion added that in spite of these positive results, Air Malta cannot rest on our laurels. “A lot more needs to be done to get the Company out of the woods and on firm sustainable ground. Our growth strategy is underway and is being executed in an extremely competitive environment and a continually changing aviation scenario. The main challenge remains for Air Malta is on how fast it can adapt successfully to change.”

Paul Sies, Air Malta’s Chief Commercial Officer added, “During this financial year we increased capacity by 20%, achieving a growth of 11% more passengers. The new routes generated a +€12 million increase in revenue.” He said that during this financial year the airline implemented a new Revenue Management, new unbundled pricing with the launch of the Go Light, new sales strategies and developed and launched the new buy on board product. During the conference he announced that as from next month, Air Malta will be launching its new Business class service.

During the conference, Sies announced the highlights of the airline’s schedule for this summer which include increased frequencies to/from Paris Charles De Gaulle, Hamburg, Kiev, London Heathrow, Lyon, Munich and Tunis. He also announced that after an absence of 12 years Air Malta is planning to resume flights to Egypt’s capital, Cairo and for the first time the airline will also offer scheduled services to/from Warsaw.

During the conference presentations were also given by Chief Information Officer, Alan Talbot, who spoke about the digital transformation at Air Malta, and Charlene Camilleri, who spoke about the ancillary revenue unit and how this unit is assisting the airline to increase revenue.

Lauren Eldershaw
By Lauren Eldershaw March 25, 2019 13:05