Air Malta Awarded The CAPA Turnaround Airline Of The Year
The CAPA Turnaround Airline of the Year is awarded to an existing airline that has turned around through innovative strategic changes and/or a restructuring exercise.
Air Malta was selected for its successful transformation, resulting in transformation from a heavy loss-making to a break-even result for the fiscal year ending Mar-2018.
Air Malta had been unprofitable for nearly 20 years as it struggled to overcome multiple challenges, including increasing competition from LCCs, outdated work practices and tensions in the North Africa market, which impacted its traditionally strongest routes. The flag carrier accumulated operating losses of more than USD300 million over the 10 years ending Mar-2017.
The airline has rebuilt its operations with a financially viable business model and hybrid product that now allows it to compete with LCCs. The transformation included a cost control mindset, increased aircraft utilisation, improved staff productivity and the move to a hybrid business model to serve today’s increasingly price-driven industry.
After a period of consolidation, in 2018 the Airline increased significantly its routes, fleet and passengers to continue supporting the Maltese economy. Air Malta is planning further expansion in 2019, while renewing its current fleet with modern A320 neo aircraft and leveraging its new cost efficient hybrid model, while it supports the continued emergence of Malta as one of Europe’s fastest growing holiday destinations.
“Air Malta is a classic example of the need to remain relevant in the airline sector,” Mr Harbison said. “For a long time it had seemingly ignored the competition and accepted its own slow decline. But, with some brave decisions it has been reborn and is now profitably flying the flag for Malta. The higher fuel price and volatile currency rates are dark clouds, but Air Malta is now better positioned to weather these market forces.”