Finance Minister Clyde Caruana is refusing to make public the financial package he gave David Curmi to act as Executive Chairman of Air Malta.
As the government is in its final stages of winding down the national airline, as soon as the busy summer season ends, Minister Caruana shot down requests in parliament to make public Curmi’s hefty financial package.
While the airline continued to register millions in losses, and all its remaining staff will soon be made redundant, Caruana told PN MP Rebekah Borg that he wouldn’t divulge his handpicked chairman’s financial package.
Instead of answering the question and making a copy of Curmi’s contract available, Caruana attempted to divert his reply to another parliamentary question, asked on the same subject and which remained unanswered during the last legislature.
Soon after Curmi was appointed Air Malta Executive Chairman in 2020, then MP Jason Azzopardi asked Caruana to confirm whether Curmi’s remuneration amounted to over €220,000 a year.
Even then, Caruana chose not to reply.
Instead, he told Parliament, “David Curmi’s remuneration is less than that of the previous Chairman and CEO added together.”
Caruana was given the job, specifically to restructure and ‘save’ Air Malta from bankruptcy.
Instead of appointing a new Chairman to replace former Labour Minister Charles Mangion and CEO Clifford Chetcuti, Caruana selected David Curmi for the post and made him Executive Chairman.
Still, Curmi’s efforts failed. Despite hundreds of millions of euros in state funds given out on lucrative voluntary redundancy schemes shedding more than half the airline’s staff, the national airline is still on its knees, with the only option now being to close it down by the end of the year and create a new, leaner airline.
While both Caruana and the Prime Minister have kept their plans secret, Curmi confirmed The Shift’s revelations a few weeks ago that Air Malta will no longer exist by the end of the year.
In the meantime, Air Malta keeps dishing out millions in direct orders to consultants, such as paying former Etihad bosses €2.4 million.
Curmi, 64 and a former Chamber of Commerce president, ‘jumped’ on Labour’s bandwagon soon after it swept to power. Shortly after the end of his term at the Chamber, he was appointed by disgraced former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to head the fund of proceeds from the selling of Maltese passports.
Apart from his hefty remuneration at Air Malta, Curmi sits on several other boards, mostly private companies, including Corinthia Group company, QPM Ltd, which also receives a number of direct orders from the government.
Apart from Air Malta and its subsidiaries, Curmi is also a board director of Aviation Online Ltd, BPO Services Ltd, Centrecom Ltd, Sqmeterz Ltd, World Aviation Group Ltd, World Aviation Services Ltd and the Valletta 2018 Foundation.