Speaking at the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association’s National Tourism Forum 2021– Reflections: People, Planet and Prosperity last Friday, David Curmi, Executive Chairman Air Malta, called for an end to the discussion on whether the Maltese Islands should have a national airline, maintaining that “the Maltese Islands must have a national airline, but our national airline should be sustainable in the long term, and to make it sustainable a number of very bold decisions need to be taken.”
Forming part of a panel discussion alongside Ron Mizzi, Johann Buttigieg, Prof. Charmaine Gauci and Ahmet Aras Mayor of Bodrum, the Executive Chairman went on to make a number of salient points, which he further highlighted on social media.
“Air Malta has been the national flag carrier of the Republic of Malta since 1974, playing a vital role in supporting the national economic, social and cultural development by ensuring stable and regular connectivity within Europe and beyond,” he wrote in a post detailing his thoughts this morning, also affirming that “Air Malta contributes 30 per cent of traffic and ensures year-round operations.”
Other points he drew attention to include the fact that Air Malta maintains more than 50 per cent capacity in the winter months while LCCs typically reduce capacity by 70 per cent to 80 per cent, as well as the fact that Air Mata was the only airline that operated from and to Malta during the pandemic.
“Around 50 per cent of Malta’s GDP consists of sectors that are highly dependent on air connectivity,” he continued, adding that “air connectivity enables Malta’s tourism, as 98 per cent of tourists reach the country by air.”
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