Sort out Air Malta’s prob­lems now, PD de­mands

Malta Independent - - NEWS -

Par­tit Demokratiku (PD) yes­ter­day de­manded that the gov­ern­ment sorts out Air Malta’s prob­lems im­me­di­ately as the car­rier “is not only our na­tional air­line, it is also a re­flec­tion of the ef­fi­ciency of the coun­try whose name it bears.

“By not get­ting things right and by let­ting its cus­tomers down we are im­ply­ing that Malta is not ca­pa­ble of do­ing busi­ness prop­erly.”

PD pointed to the re­cent sched­ul­ing prob­lems the air­line has been ex­pe­ri­enc­ing, which have re­sulted in de­lays and the can­cel­la­tion of flights on prime routes.

PD also noted, how­ever, that the re­cent ex­pan­sion in routes and the re­ver­sal of the slow, steady decline of the air­line could be a good thing “but only if things are han­dled well.”

It added: “While Air Malta and Min­is­ter Kon­rad Mizzi keep blam­ing late de­liv­ery of the new Air­bus NEO for the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion, any per­son with a min­i­mum of knowl­edge of the air­line in­dus­try would have known of the de­lays in de­liv­ery of this air­craft as they have been well re­ported.”

While the de­lay in de­liv­ery is not the fault of the air­line or the min­is­ter, PD ac­knowl­edged, “the lack of fore­sight when ex­pand­ing Air Malta’s routes with this knowl­edge and the han­dling the sit­u­a­tion cer­tainly is.”

PD also ex­pressed con­cern on the con­tract for the new planes, ask­ing: “Why is it dif­fer­ent from the orig­i­nal con­tract with Aer­cap which pro­vided the orig­i­nal air­craft? Was it done by di­rect or­der, or was there a call for ten­ders and a bid­ding process?”

PD sug­gested fol­low­ing mea­sures to mit­i­gate the sit­u­a­tion un­til the air­craft is de­liv­ered and the sit­u­a­tion is im­proved:

1. Get the firm dates of when all air­craft on which sum­mer sched­ule was planned are go­ing to be avail­able;

2. Cal­cu­late the time gap and start putting pas­sen­gers on other air­lines from now, ad­vis­ing them days in ad­vance and giv­ing them a choice;

3. Be­gin a mam­moth cus­tomer care ef­fort to smooth out things for the pas­sen­gers.

PD added: “Air Malta and the tourism min­is­ter need to get their act to­gether. Be­sides the fi­nan­cial cost of com­pen­sa­tion for de­lays and can­cel­la­tions, there is an un­quan­tifi­able cost to our na­tional air­line’s and coun­try’s rep­u­ta­tion which took years to build and can take only weeks to de­stroy.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malta

© PressReader. All rights reserved.