Assembly has started on Malta Air’s first Boeing 737 Max which will be the first aircraft to fly Malta Air colours.
Malta Air was established in 2019 as a result of an agreement between the Ministry for Tourism and Ryanair.
As part of the agreement, Ryanair would seek to “increase its Malta-based fleet to 10 aircraft within three years and create over 350 jobs”, and “brand its Malta-based fleet in Malta Air colours for summer 2020”
The built was spotted by an aircraft enthusiast, who posted the progress onto Twitter:
Boeing’s 737 Max has been maligned by controversy after being involved in two crashes, in October 2018 and March 2019, causing 346 deaths. Boeing 737 MAX aircraft were grounded for several months following these incidents, pending investigation, and certification by regulators.
In November, the European Union Aviation Safety Agency cleared the way for the Boeing 737 Max to retake to the skies by issuing a Proposed Airworthiness Directive, which suggests the aircraft is safe to fly, but is subject to review and consultation. The Agency’s final Airworthiness Directive is due to be published mid-January, and will allow airlines to fly the aircraft, providing they meet the standards of the Directive.
Malta Air’s continued investment is in contrast to some of their competitors, who, as reported by CNBC, collectively cancelled more than 600 orders for Boeing aircraft.
It’s a reflection on Malta Air’s forecast for the future that they are continuing with their investments in new aircraft especially considering that, in January, its parent company Ryanair reported that December passenger traffic was down 83 per cent on the same period in 2019.
Main photo: Ryanair/ Malta Air
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