KM Malta Airlines grounds pilot after The Shift’s revelations

Danica Theuma, a KM Malta Airlines pilot caught flying UK-based Virgin Airways planes while on the books of Malta’s national carrier, has been grounded and removed from the pilot’s flying roster after revelations by The Shift News last week.

The Shift revealed that First Officer Danica Theuma, employed with the new government-owned airline, was caught flying Virgin Atlantic planes in the UK while also working as a pilot for KM Malta Airlines.

While the national carrier, headed by government-appointed Chairman David Curmi, kept the situation under wraps and continued to ignore questions by The Shift, KM pilots, colleagues of Theuma, confirmed that the airline made its decision just a few days ago, immediately after this website revealed news about Theuma’s alleged gross misconduct.

The Shift understands that Theuma was directly told by the top echelons of KM Malta Airlines that she will be removed from the flying roster and not allowed to continue flying the company’s planes for the time being.

So far, Theuma has not been sacked.

Danica Theuma – KM Malta Airlines pilot.

However, according to her colleagues, Theuma is now expected to face a disciplinary process over claims that she breached her employment contract.

“The top officials of KM Malta have known about this serious incident for weeks and decided to do nothing. Against the wishes of the airline’s Head of Flight Operations, who wanted to sack Theuma, he was ordered to stay put as a politician intervened to stop any disciplinary action,” a veteran pilot told The Shift.

“Now that they have been outed by The Shift, top officials are panicking and have grounded Theuma as they should have done weeks ago,” another pilot said.

In May, Virgin Atlantic caught Theuma breaching safety and contractual rules by flying Km Malta planes without authorisation. She was fired on the spot by Virgin.

However, although the top echelons of KM Malta were informed, no action was taken against the First Officer, and she was left to continue flying KM Malta planes without any form of sanctioning.

Confirming The Shift’s revelations, MAviO News – a specialised boutique aviation-oriented website – said Theuma had been irregularly two-timing the two airline companies since December 2023 when she was employed by the now defunct Air Malta.

She was employed again by the new airline KM Malta last March while continuing to fly Virgin Atlantic transatlantic long-haul flights irregularly until May when Virgin Atlantic managers saw her in a picture on social media wearing the KM Malta uniform.

While Theuma’s alleged actions severely breach her contract as a pilot with KM Malta Airlines, her two jobs possibly also go against EU aviation safety regulations, to which pilots must adhere.

These include strict flying time and obligatory rest periods to ensure that whoever is flying a plane is fully rested and concentrated on the job for safety reasons.

Pilots cannot work for competitors or other airlines to ensure they are fully committed to their jobs.

Local aviation sources also said that the civil aviation authorities, led by political appointee Charles Pace, a former Air Malta captain, have not yet started an investigation on the matter.

This report was brought to you with the support of the Daphne Caruana Galizia Foundation.

                           

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Steve Borg
Steve Borg
27 days ago

With this kind of attitude by the management, one should be really cautious before flying KM Malta, this is not primarily about a breach of contract, this is about a breach of EASA strict safety regulations which stipulate flight crew, flight duty periods and rest periods.

Carmelo borg
27 days ago

Din ta gewwa DAVID CURMI????
KONT NAGHMLEK IZJED SERJU
IMMA MORT IL BAHAR.
VERU QED JIDAHAL L ELUF IMMA LI TITLEF L IRGULIJA SIRT QISEK GUDA

Stephen Forster
Stephen Forster
27 days ago

She should have been fired directly.

Paul Berman
Paul Berman
27 days ago

Need to ban political appointees totally

Bamboccu
Bamboccu
27 days ago

La ma tkeccitx bla dubju tilbes qliezet ta’ taht HOMOR….mhux hekk Clyde?

Charles
Charles
27 days ago

This greedy crook should be sacked and her licence revoked! But is she has connections , there’s not much chance of this happening. Perhaps IATA can insist that her licence be revoked.

Kelinu Taghna
Kelinu Taghna
27 days ago

She’s reckless to jeopardize the lives of so many people and her career out of greed. The KM Malta managers are even more irresponsible for not taking immediate action, revealing how little they care for their customers’ lives and their own reputation.

Noel Ciantar
Noel Ciantar
27 days ago

After Air Malta was bankrupted on his watch, Clyde Caruana, the Minister responsible for financing the set up of KM Malta Airlines had solemnly promised the nation that KM Malta Airlines will be run on a strictly commercial basis.

If Virgin Atlantic – a successful private commercial enterprise without any doubt – sacked Danica Theuma on the spot, what is David Curmi’s KM Malta Airlines waiting for to take similar action?

Last edited 27 days ago by Noel Ciantar
Robert pace bonello is
Robert pace bonello is
27 days ago

KM doesn’t care about the safety of its passenget if it allows this pilot to stay on its books. Another one pigging out

Marjo
Marjo
27 days ago

Se nibdew bl-indhil politiku? Imma kif qatt ma nitghallmu!

Raymond Farrugia
Raymond Farrugia
26 days ago

Perhaps an apology to Robert might remedy her situation.

southlondonphil
southlondonphil
26 days ago

Revoke her licence – this woman should never be allowed near an aircraft again.

But, …. Malta Business = Political Corruption. Same as always.

Robert pace bonello is
Robert pace bonello is
26 days ago

Why wasn’t she sacked immediately as Virgin did? Was KM certain that she was fully tested before flying? Is KM so careless about the safety if it’s passengers? What guarantees do KM passengers have that SAFETY IS PARAMOUNT?

Adrian Callan
Adrian Callan
26 days ago

Good Evening, how should one feel about this latest catastrophe. Going on a nice break away from a hard weeks work to ‘chill’,unwind and relax. Brilliant, then find out the person you have put your trust in( pilot ) has been ‘moon- lighting ‘.
No, No problem, politicians step in again and try to cover up….
Absolutely Un- believable.
Top marks to Virginia Airlines with an immediate dismissal.
Once Again NOT Malta ,
When and where is this whole saga going to end. How many more lives will it take before corruption Ends.

Gary H
Gary H
26 days ago

Firstly, well done to Virgin for taking such prompt, and in my opinion the correct course of action with an instant dismissal. But that’s followed by huge disappointment of the top brass at KM and the local CAA authorities brushing the revelation under the carpet and taking no immediate action at all .
Prior to the launch of KM earlier in the year I was reading with interest the constant publicity releases and statements ,where there was huge emphasis was made on how KM Malta Airlines would be operated as and become a successful commercial enterprise with none of the corruption, scandals and dubious financial mismanagement of its predecessor, Air Malta.
This series of events has me doubting the sincerity of those statements.
The other point I’ll make is that as a past airside employee at London Heathrow, I’m fully aware of just how complicated, in depth , all seeing and all knowing,the security application process is for each and every airside employee in order to gain the blue access security pass , an absolute necessitaty for, in Heathrows case, all 34,000 (airside) employees to gain airside access.
In my application interview they even wanted to know that since my father’s passing in 2012, was my mother in a new relationship, or remarried ( she’s 89 !!) and if so, what nationality was he…
So WHY oh WHY didn’t both Virgin, KM , and the security pass issuing authorities pick up on the fact that this pilot was working for both airlines, and probably breaking every safety protocol in the book.
Theuma was very obviously in the wrong here, but KM, VS and both the UK and Maltese security authorities also have a lot to answer to in this matter

joe tedesco
joe tedesco
24 days ago

EVERYTHING UPSIDE DOWN AS WILLED BY
AN EXTREMELY UNTRUSTWORTHY PL GOVERNMENT.

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