Air Malta has announced that it has finalised discussions with interested parties in the aviation industry to lease out its 12th aircraft on long term lease. This process was initiated months ago following long discussions with the lessee, the airline said in a statement on Monday.
However, the airline has denied that it is in discussion with any other party for the long term lease out of its 11th aircraft. In the statement, Air Malta pointed out that it was only in 2009/10 and summer 2010 during which period Europe experienced an economic downturn, that the airline operated a 12 aircraft fleet.
This conscious decision was taken in order to ensure that Malta has adequate connectivity and seat capacity to and from mainland Europe following the capacity withdrawal by other operating carriers on the Malta route. This was done for the benefit of the local tourism industry.
It is to be noted, the airline said, that Air Malta has always leased out an aircraft during the winter months. In 2008 Air Malta has indeed leased out two of its aircraft in the winter season to Etihad and Sky Services of Chile.
At the moment, Air Malta is not in discussions about an additional lease of aircraft, however, should the occasion for a short term lease arises, the airline would evaluate this opportunity. the statement said.
Air Malta is currently finalising its restructuring plan whereby it is evaluating various scenarios of its network and fleet. This process is expected to take another few weeks.
Any reports published prior the official presentation of its final restructuring plan will all be based on speculations and could be harmful to the company, its employees and its clients, Air Malta said in the statement.
The statement ended by an appeal from Air Malta to the media to ensure accuracy and reliability of its sources before quoting anonymous contributors.
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