Air Malta in crisis, employees to be halved, routes will be removed
LA VALLETTA (MALTA) (ITALPRESS/MNA) – The Maltese national airline, Air Malta, will be halving its workforce as part of a restructuring plan to reduce the company’s costs. This was announced by the Minister of Finance Clyde Caruana.
The company currently has about 890 employees and has to go down to about 420 with the rest being offered another employment in the public sector. Most of the staff reduction, around 300, will come from ground handling operations, and the remaining 110 will be administrative staff. This will save the national airline around 15 million every year.
Minister Caruana explained that the ground handling services will not be part of the company, unprofitable routes will be removed and the airline will attempt to become a European airline carrier that could fly within other countries.
Last year, Airmalta saved 40million after slashing half of its operating routes from 40 to 20. Cagliari, Casablanca, Bucharest were among the 20 routes which were stopped. Last week, the Maltese national airline decided to cut the number of frequencies to all of its winter destinations but none of its routes.
Minister Caruana said that he was being cautious in saying that this could be the last chance to save Air Malta. The Maltese national airline is currently making a loss of 170,000 a day.
Ten years ago, Air Malta also underwent a restructuring and financial assistance plan as a result of a reduction in manpower, aircrafts and even routes.
Last April, the Maltese Government presented a five-year financing plan for Air Malta although it seems the European Commission has rejected Maltàs plan to provide Air Malta with 290 million in aid. Minister Caruana said that the Maltese government is not expecting unprecendended financial aid from the European Commission and declared that the government disagrees with the Commission’s preferred option to close Air Maltàs operations and to start a new airline company.