Air Malta


Malta’s national airline Air Malta was founded in 1973. The airline has its headquarters at Luqa, Malta and operates flights to 36 destinations in Europe and North America. The airline is currently under the ownership of the Government of Malta (98%) and private investors (2%). Air Malta employs 1380 people.


Following the Second World War, many small private airlines were formed in Malta. The Malta Instone Airline, BAS (Malta) Ltd and Malta Airlines were amongst these airlines. In 1947, Air Malta Ltd was formed when the former two companies merged. In 1951, the operation of Air Malta Ltd was absorbed by Malta Airlines through an agreement with BEA until 1973. Air Malta Ltd owners formed a ground handling company, Malta Aviation Services (MAS).

During the early 1970s the Government of Malta made a call for an international airline partner for support in forming an airline. A new airline was formed on 31 March 1973 with the help of Pakistan’s PIA. The Government took over both Malta Airlines and Malta Aviation Services and gave private owners a shareholding in Air Malta Co. Ltd.

Air Malta operated two leased Boeing 720Bs to Rome, Tripoli, London, Manchester, Frankfurt and Paris from Malta’s airport. The airline later bought three more Boeing 720Bs and also the leased aircrafts.

The three leased aircrafts were successful in 1981. So, three newly owned aircrafts were delivered in 1983 and again in 1986. In 1987, the airlines ordered for its first Airbus A320. Air Malta ordered for another A320 and three more Boeing 737-200s in 1992. In the same year, Air Malta ordered for four Avro RJ70s to operate to Catania and Palermo and to new destinations Tunis and Monastir.

In 1992, Air Malta created CargoSystems after the opening of Malta International Airport. Air Malta also inaugurated a cargo center at the airport in 1994. Codeshare agreement with Trans World Airlines began in the same year.

From 2002, Air Malta focused on changing all aircraft to airbuses. The idea was to change the average age of the fleet to around 2.5 years. On 22 March 2007, the last aircraft A320 9H-AEQ was delivered.

The airline has about 190 interline ticketing agreements with other IATA airlines. Air Malta has a codeshare agreement with Qantas Airlines in the following routes: Sydney-Singapore-Heathrow-Malta, Sydney-Bangkok-Heathrow-Malta and Melbourne-Singapore-Heathrow-Malta.

The Association of European Airlines has reviewed in May 2006 Air Malta as the airline that loses the least amount of passenger baggage.

To maximize earning, the airline often leases out aircrafts in winter. In 2007, Air Malta leased two aircrafts to Etihad Airways and offered operational support on another Airbus A320 aircraft leased by Etihad Airways. Air Malta leased A320 9H-AEF to Sky Airline of Chile in January and February 2009.


Flypass is Air Malta’s frequent flyer programme.

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