Air Malta, the national airline, is losing €170,000 a day and needs an “honest and credible” European Commission-backed plan to save it, Finance Minister Clyde Caruana has said.
Speaking on One TV this morning, Caruana said that Air Malta’s current trajectory is bleak, with the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbating an already troublesome situation.
He said that the government is currently in negotiations with the European Commission to introduce state aid for Air Malta.
Without it, Caruana said, Air Malta would run out of cash in a matter of weeks.
Caruana said that the Commission had been promised things in the past with regards to Air Malta that were never delivered, fostering mistrust from the Commission on the issue.
He said Malta needed to show it was “credible and honest” on its plans to save the airline.
Air Malta’s revenue streams have become practically negligible because of the pandemic, Caruana said. However, it was still operating certain flights at a significant loss.
The airline has been struggling for a number of years. It only recorded a profit once in the last 19 years. By the end of 2019, Air Malta allegedly recorded a loss of €30 million.
This year, the airline has axed a number of pilots following a wage dispute, which is currently being handled in the courts.
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