The MHRA is encouraged to see that a concerted effort to restructure Air Malta and put it back on its feet is finally underway, the association said in a statement on Monday.
It said that this is the worst time for it to engage or react to certain assertions made regarding Low Cost Airlines and the MHRA, as this is not conducive to the current delicate process affecting the airline.
What Air Malta now requires is all the support and solidarity by all those concerned for a long term solution to the airline’s problems. The tourism industry has a lot to thank Air Malta for, the association said, as it was pivotal to the growth of tourism to what it is today.
However, the statement said, the world is changing, particularly post the economic recession, and only those that embrace the necessary change will survive and thrive. One of the areas which have seen a massive change has been in the way people decide where to go for their holidays. This was driven by the advent of the Low Cost Carriers which challenged the charters and coupled with on line hotel bookings offered a very competitive alternative to the traditional inclusive tour on a charter.
This presented a huge challenge, not only to airlines, but to all the players of the tourism industry, all of whom had to struggle to cope with changing trends, tougher competition and rising costs, which called for a restructuring of the entire tourism industry.
In this process, the MHRA said, all players will have to find ways to best survive and safeguard the huge investment put in collectively by all the stakeholders over the years. There is also the national economy at stake here, as it is in the foremost interest of the national economy that tourist arrivals increase.
According to the statement, the MHRA believes that immediate changes have to be made for Air Malta for it to regain its health and start thriving again. The island needs Air Malta as it is an indispensable partner of the industry.
The MHRA believes that given good will from all sides, these changes can be managed with the least possible harm to those concerned and the industry at large. Without these changes the future of Air Malta and Malta’s tourism industry can only be described as difficult, at best.
MHRA augurs that the necessary decisions are taken in the shortest possible time to eliminate the doubts and anxiety of the airline employees and all those directly involved, and the uncertainty which is felt in the market place. The MHRA will continue to pledge its support to the change process in the interest of tourism and indeed the economy.
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