Confusion reigns at airport with new ground handling company

Travellers planning their Christmas holidays will need to brace themselves for possible delays, confusion and lost baggage over the busy festive season because the company that has taken over Air Malta’s ground handling operations is having difficulty coping.

Several Air Malta customers have taken to social media to complain about the difficulties they have faced over the past two weeks. Some have had their luggage lost, while others have missed their connecting flights because of mistakes being made by the newly imported ground handling staff.

The Shift is informed that while Air Malta’s full-time ground handling staff were either transferred to other government departments or given generous golden handshakes as incentives to leave the company, the new operation that has replaced them – Aviation Services Handling Ltd – is severely short of staff.

The new employees, almost all of whom are foreign nationals, are not adequately trained and are far from up to the job.

One of the problems is that hardly any of the new recruits, primarily Italian, understand a word of English, let alone Maltese, and appear to be out of their depth when it comes to the standard airline operating procedures.

One 29-year-old regular Air Malta passenger told The Shift, “After waiting ages to check in my luggage, I had to point out to the individual handling my reservation that she needed to stick the identification barcode to my luggage before sending it to the conveyor belt. This is just basic, and thank God I noticed the mistake.”

Another woman who was travelling to the US to visit her parents for the holidays recounted how Air Malta ground handlers refused to connect her and her luggage with her next flight – a standard practice in aviation – since, they said, they did not yet know how to use the IT system.

“This is outrageous,” she said, explaining how she had to pick up her luggage mid-way through her trip, was made to check in again at the connecting airport and almost missed her next flight.

Others said their luggage was nowhere to be seen when they arrived at their destination, and they only received it at their hotel three days later.

Senior sources at Air Malta confirmed the new company is “still green” and “no real training has been given to the new staff” assigned to cut costs for the airline. But, they said, this is to be expected when experienced people are fired and a new company without trained employees is brought in to cut costs.

Finance Minister Clyde Caruana, who is managing the national airline’s latest restructuring exercise after the 2012 exercise veered far from its original objectives, has not commented on the mayhem.

Caruana is said to be directing company chairman David Curmi to shed as many Air Malta workers as possible and to start employing workers on lower remunerations.

At the same time, Air Malta continues to advertise vacancies for new staff without giving details about the poor conditions offered.

Registered just a few weeks ago, Aviation Services Handling Ltd is a new joint venture between Air Malta (40%) and Rome-based Aviation Services Spa (60%), which took over the ground services for all Air Malta flights and those of the few other airlines left using Air Malta for its ground handling  – namely Turkish Airlines and Alitalia’s successor ITA.

In the meantime, the government is still seeking a green light from the European Commission for it to be able to inject some €250 million in state funding into the airline to save it from complete failure.

The Shift has already revealed the government’s plans to wind down Air Malta and to start a new airline from scratch, with the government intending to blame the eventuality on Brussels having not approved its latest State Aid request.

                           
                           
                               
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r slater
r slater
1 month ago

Senior sources at Air Malta confirmed the new company is “still green” and “no real training has been given to the new staff” assigned to cut costs for the airline. But, they said, this is to be expected when experienced people are fired and a new company without trained employees is brought in to cut costs.

Translated from google for readers that may not be fluent in bluffandbull.

We know what we are doing, we are doing it on purpose, did you expect anything else?

makjavel
makjavel
1 month ago
Reply to  r slater

Senior management in this inverted company , are incompetent and is their intention to learn as they mess around. Caruana is proving himself that After the Mass Importation of Cheap Labour into Malta under his watch he learned nothing. The only other reson is that he is simply a YES MAN to Abela.

Josephine Attard
Josephine Attard
1 month ago
Reply to  r slater

If you can’t do a job don’t do it Minster

F.S.F N
F.S.F N
1 month ago
Reply to  r slater

Get red of the Roy Kinner , he is the Crow of Air Malta, he made a lot fun and bad comment on Maltese mentality and the way they run the company, he never show respect to Maltese

Bamboccu
Bamboccu
1 month ago

Prosit Clyde Caruana
Prosit tassew.
Int haqqek unur.. ta’ kemm int kattiv u t’intern hazin mal haddiem specjalment tal Airmalta.
Int taf ben tajjeb li bil mod ta’ kif imxejt ddiskriminajt mal haddiema li kien traduti minn siehbek Konrad Mizzi.
Idejn Alla KBAR.

Jbd
Jbd
1 month ago
Reply to  Bamboccu

Hekk hu siehbi dahal nies f engineering section bi paga hafna iktar mili kellhom dawk li telqu €45000-€50000

KSE
KSE
1 month ago
Reply to  Jbd

Llum dawk l pagi fl’ avjazjoni Huma normali, l enginiera li telqu kellom l beneficji tad dinja kollha ma l-Air Malta !! Li hemm ISSA familja u listaess studju bhal li kien hemm studjaw , tahsibx li course fuq ajruplan jiswa 500 euro biss hux , dawk courses jekk ma tkunx mghazul mil kumpanija libjkollna Budget, min butek trid tghamlux u mhux bxejn!!!

John C.
John C.
1 month ago

True. I experienced this myself. All items in the language were broken. They also took the hand luggage from us by force. Shameful behaviour for an airline. A total disgrace. Will never use air malta again in my life. Their service is disgusting.

AC.s
AC.s
1 month ago

Not only did the ex Air Malta employees rob the company and drained all the funds by gifting themselves Golden handshakes and employment with the Government.
They must be happy to hear about this news because they did not have the decency to train the new crew out of spite!

Svetlana
Svetlana
1 month ago
Reply to  AC.s

Shame on you!! How can they train them if they showed up for only a few days and standing with their hands across instead of them doing a proper trial. You wouldn’t say all of this if you were one of those employees.

viv
viv
1 month ago

The last time they tried to finish Malta by air, the incompetent Italians ended up having to call the Germans.
It seems the traitorous, saboteur government has entirely missed this painful irony.

Annie
Annie
1 month ago

Let’s hope that the pilots in the new company know how to fly .. .

Josephine Attard
Josephine Attard
1 month ago

My son just a week ago by Air Malta flight after giving his luggage on the way back home when he arrived to Malta the Luggage never turned up so he went to report the lost Luggage and came home empty handed he been phoning telling him that if they find it they will phone him it’s a disgrace i will never fly Air Malta again

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