As Air Malta bids farewell after 50 years of service, the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association (MHRA) has paid homage to its “profound impact” on Malta’s tourism industry and broader economy.

“Since its inception, Air Malta has been a cornerstone of economic growth and social progress, facilitating vital connectivity for the island nation,” said the MHRA in a statement released on Tuesday (today).

Tony Zahra
Tony Zahra, Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association President

Tony Zahra, president of the MHRA, reflected on Air Malta’s journey, expressing both pride and regret: “MHRA has been privileged to witness Air Malta’s pivotal role in shaping Malta’s economic and social landscape,” he remarked. “However, it saddens us that Air Malta, once cherished as a national asset, was at times exploited for short-term gain, ultimately leading to its unfortunate closure.”

Despite the challenges faced in closing down Air Malta, Zahra commended all those involved in the transition for orchestrating a seamless transition to KM Malta Airlines. “The birth of KM Malta Airlines marks a new chapter in Malta’s aviation history,” he said. “MHRA extends its gratitude to everyone involved for navigating the complex transition process with commendable professionalism.”

Looking ahead, Zahra emphasised the MHRA’s steadfast support for Malta’s new national carrier.

“As we embrace the future with KM Malta Airlines, MHRA reaffirms its commitment to safeguarding our national airline,” he asserts. “While other airlines play a vital role in our tourism sector, the national airline remains our lifeline, ensuring connectivity and resilience in the face of economic uncertainties and challenges, as exemplified during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

MHRA said it looks forward to collaborating closely with KM Malta Airlines and stakeholders to ensure its continued success and contribution to Malta’s prosperity.

On his part, KM Malta Airlines director David Curmi said the new airline “is looking forward to working closely with the MHRA,” describing it as “an important stakeholder in Malta’s hospitality and tourism sector.”

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