A group of Air Malta employees protested outside of the Office of the Prime Minister in Castille Square on Monday. Around 50 employees protested against the change in their work schedule, requesting a meeting with Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi.
In a statement, Partit Nazzjonalista’s employees branch, Solidarjetà Ħaddiema Partit Nazzjonalista, said that the recent announcement made by the Government which stated that a new airline company Malta Air Travel Limited also known as Malta Med Air has been established, raised legitimate concerns among the airline’s employees. The Party said that for many years Air Malta employees were unsure of their future with many employees choosing an alternative employment with the State. The SĦPN said that the employees were also concerned with the recent hiring of full-time employees with the national airline. According to the Party, the number of new employees is set to increase with the elections for the European Parliament and Local Councils around the corner.
In a reaction, the Government accused the Opposition of misleading the public. The Government argued that the airline finally registered profit after years of registering losses.
The Government clarified that Med Air will operate separately from Air Malta, while the Government is working on a separate plan on Gatwick and Heathrow landing rights. The Government stated that these slots were both in order to protect such assets.
The work schedules of the employees were recently announced, with the employees seemingly unhappy with the changes. A GWU’s representative was quoted saying that the schedules were not final and that the discussions were still on going.
In January 2018, a new company, Malta Air Travel Ltd, was set up which bought slots from Air Malta only to lease them back to the national airline. According to the company’s registry, the directors of the Malta Air Travel Ltd, are Paul Bugeja, Sandro Craus and Romina Lauri.