Air Malta - Malta Aviation Guide (9)

Following a turbulent Easter weekend wrought with several flight delays, Air Malta has issued a statement explaining that the delays were caused by a lack of available aircraft.

The airline explained that their 2023 summer schedule was designed to operate with eight aircraft units, all of which are fully crewed with the required number of pilots and cabin crew.

However, one of the airline’s aircraft is undergoing heavy maintenance until the middle of May 2023.

The airline has also planned to take delivery of two A320neo aircraft in early 2023. During this transition period of aircraft moving in and out of its fleet, it has been necessary to wet-lease two alternative aircraft to cover the scheduled flights.

However, one of these wet-leased aircraft experienced a technical issue on Easter Sunday 9th April, which resulted in it being withdrawn from service. Due to it being the peak Easter weekend, the airline explained that it was not possible to source a replacement aircraft from elsewhere, at such short notice.

“This shortage of one aircraft in the flying program unfortunately resulted in significant delays to the Zurich service on Sunday 9th April and also the Rome and Brussels services on Monday 10th April as well as the London Gatwick service on Tuesday 11th April,” read the airline’s statement.

The airline also apologised for the inconveniences caused, and said that it was working to rectify the situation.

Since the statement was issued, a 7am flight from Malta to Vienna meant to take place on Wednesday (today) was delayed until 11pm. Thus far the airline has not given an explanation for the delay.

The airline has had a challenging start to the year, having previously been affected by a glitch which made flights appear cancelled, and having been affected by two bird strikes in January alone.

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