Maltese flag-carrier Air Malta confirmed its intention to add service to New York and India with its incoming Airbus A321XLR.
Air Malta chairman Charles Mangion told ATW:
“An India connection is important if the local economy is to continue to grow.”
He also added that he wants to add service to New York to capture a growing tourist market.
This confirms a story I wrote precisely one year ago in which Malta’s Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi said:
“It is important for Air Malta to focus on the main airports in Europe, Scandinavia, Cairo and the Middle East and in three to four years’ time we should have flights to New York and Toronto.”
Air Malta will take delivery of two Airbus A321XLR in 2024, a small addition to its current fleet of 10 aircraft. It sounds like New York and Mumbai will take priority over Toronto, at least initially.
Can Air Malta Make It To 2024?
Air Malta is another troubled flag carrier. Though the carrier made a small profit this year (after years of loss), it faces fierce and intensifying competition from Malta Air, a Ryanair subsidiary with a fleet double the size of Air Malta.
There are real questions as to whether Air Malta can survive if Ryanair continues its expansion. But with the government a 100% owner, Air Malta has a powerful backer…
It is too early to tell whether the economics of a nonstop flight to New York or India make sense for Air Malta. But even talk of a nonstop route is an exciting development made possible by new aircraft like the A321XLR. Imagine potential transatlantic service from the likes of Aegean, Air Malta, and Luxair. It’s all within the realm of possibility in a much more realistic way than before.
image: Mark Harkin / Flickr