Air Malta no longer accepts bookings it can’t fulfill following The Shift’s report

Bookings for ghost flights are finally closed.

 

The Air Malta website no longer accepts travel bookings past its official closing date following The Shift’s report last Thursday and questions sent to Finance Minister Clyde Caruana on when customers who bought flights could expect refunds.

In August 2022, The Shift exclusively revealed the government’s backup plan for Air Malta, making it clear that the closure of the national airline was imminent. The closure was formally announced earlier this month, but despite the last flight being scheduled for 30 March 2024, the website still took bookings and payments for flights after that date.

Last Thursday, The Shift reported that none of the newly-booked flights can be transferred to the new, unbranded airline. The government said any flights booked after 31 March 2024 would be refunded to customers, but there was no word on when this would happen.

Last week, Air Malta was still taking payments for flights it could not fulfil (above), following The Shift’s report, it stopped (below)

Questions sent to Finance Minister Clyde Caruana asking when customers can expect to receive refunds for unfulfillable flights were not answered, but as of Monday, the site was no longer taking bookings.

He also did not reply to questions on how much was owed to customers for flights that will never take off.

Caruana and Prime Minister Robert Abela announced on 2 October a ‘seamless’ transition between the airlines, although so far, there seem to be several potential hurdles to be overcome.

KM Malta Airlines plc., the government company set to replace Air Malta plc. as the national carrier, is expected to bid for the ‘Air Malta’ branding and livery in an upcoming public tendering process.

The branding currently belongs to another government company, IP Holding, as it was sold off in 2019 as part of a creative accounting exercise by disgraced former tourism minister Konrad Mizzi in an attempt to show Air Malta as profitable.

The European Commission prohibited the direct transfer of Air Malta plc.’s assets in its state-aid negotiations with the government, and has been clear that the two airlines must be different entities.

Asked for more details on the tendering process, including information on the criteria and any assurances the government has that the new national airline will win the tender and bear the same branding, Caruana did not reply.

                           

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7 Comments
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Pony Express
Pony Express
4 months ago

If managed by the same management, KM Malta Airlines plc will live shorter than Air Malta.

Simona Mamo
Simona Mamo
4 months ago

Perhaps new branding might be preferable, to disassociate the new Airline with the problems of the old airline. A fresh start.

Rose Scicluna
Rose Scicluna
4 months ago
Reply to  Simona Mamo

A🌹 by any other name is still a 🌹. Same goes for 💩. 🤷🏽‍♀️

Vanni
Vanni
4 months ago

Not exactly auspicious when the new airline shares the same initials as the architect of it’s downfall, who, whilst promising us not only a turnaround in it’s fortunes, but an expansion, only delivered bullshit by the planeload, and virtual bankruptcy!

George Mangion
George Mangion
4 months ago
Reply to  Vanni

It is clear now that for past 2years David Curni ( ceo) was engaged to charm The Commussion to support as to accept State Aid as was the case with Electrogas ( when a large State bank guarantee was approved) .Government cannot afford a huge capital injection to replace and increase the fleet.So disguished under the bankruptcy mirage , there is a partial privatisation sub plot .Shares most probably taken by loyalists.This is a golden opportunity for the national airline to dilute political control and reduce salaries and allowances to old staff.Will MTA continue to subsidise Ryanair next year?

Vanni
Vanni
4 months ago
Reply to  George Mangion

Only an idiot would buy shares in the new airline unless they are guaranteed by the state.

Mr Michael M McKinnon
Mr Michael M McKinnon
4 months ago
Reply to  Vanni

They would be even bigger idiots if they bought them guaranteed by the state

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