Air Malta has presented its Annual Report and Consolidated Financial Statements for year ended March 2018 during which it reported an operatingprofit of €1.2 million(2017: Loss €10.8 million). When non-recurring items are taken into account (including the payment of the early retirement schemes and the gain on the disposal of landing rights), the airline registered aprofit of €15.7 million(2017: Loss €13.1million).
These results were announced last week during Air Malta’s Annual General Meeting. During the meeting the airline gave an overview of its financial figures for the year ended in March 2018 and an outlook for the coming year. During the year under review Air Malta’s operating revenue increased by €5.3million to €197.5 million mainly driven by 11% more passengers(2018: 1.7 millionpassengers, 2017: 1.5 millionpassengers), 8.5% more flights (2018: 14,126, 2017: 13,024) and a 2.8% improvement in seat load factor (2018: 77.6%, 2017: 74.8%). Total operating costs decreased by €6.5million mainly attributed to a decrease in fuel, aircraft leases and maintenance costs.
During a press briefing announcing the results, Air Malta’s Chief Financial Officer, Omar Bonello attributed these positive performance to better aircraft utilisation, the implementation of a new sales strategy, the investments in IT technology, the signing of the all collective agreements aimed to give a strong base for increased productivity, flexibility and industrial peace stability, and the negotiation of more favourable terms with the airline’s suppliers. Speaking at the briefing Minister for Tourism Konrad Mizzi noted the fact that the airline had registered a significant profit after 18 years demonstrating a story of perseverance, determination and commitment. He noted the positive achievements at Air Malta, such as the addition of 21 new routes, the increase in passenger numbers and revenue, and the increase in fleet. He congratulated all the team at Air Malta for their efforts whilst adding that this success is also attributed to all the employees working day to day at the airline.
Air Malta’s Chairman Dr Charles Mangion added that in spite of these positive results, Air Malta cannot rest on our laurels. “A lot more needs to be done to get the Company out of the woods and on firm sustainable ground. Our growth strategy is underway and is being executed in an extremely competitive environment and a continually changing aviation scenario.The main challenge remains for Air Malta is on how fast it can adapt successfully to change.”
Whilst addressing the conference CEO Capt. Clifford Chetcuti said, “We are seeing the results of the transition to a strategy of growth and credit must be given to all the efforts afforded by the whole team at Air Malta.Aviation is a highly competitive industry dictated by thin margins, high fixed costs and large capital investments. Despite all these business pressures, Air Malta has managed to face these challenges resulting in its being awarded the CAPA turn around airline of the year in 2018.”
The airline’s CEO added, “This is not the time though to become complacent.
Whilst there are challenges with fluctuating fuel prices and increased competitive pressures, we have shown that growth is still achievable.”Paul Sies, Air Malta’s Chief Commercial Officer added, “During this financial year we increased capacity by 20%, achieving a growth of 11% more passengers. The new routes generated a +€12 million increase in revenue.” He said that duringthis financial year the airlineimplemented a new Revenue Management, new unbundled pricing with the launch of the Go Light, new sales strategies anddeveloped and launched the new buy on board product.During the conference he announced that as from next month, Air Malta will be launching its new Business class service where passengers will be offered new gourmet menus presented in traditional Maltese ceramic crockery that showcase the islands’ heritage. During the conference Mr Sies announced the highlights of the airline’s schedule for this summer which include increased frequencies to/from Paris Charles De Gaulle, Hamburg, Kiev, London Heathrow, Lyon, Munich and Tunis.
He also announced that after an absence of 12 years Air Malta is planning to resume flights to Egypt’s capital, Cairo and for the first time the airline will also offer scheduled services to/from Warsaw. During the conference presentations were also given by Chief Information Officer,Alan Talbot,who spoke about the digital transformation at Air Malta,and Charlene Camilleri,who spoke about the Ancillary Revenue unit and how this unit is assisting the airline to increase revenue.