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Air Malta signs new collective agreement with engineering department
From:Xinhua  |  2017-11-25 01:35

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VALLETTA, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- Malta's national airline, Air Malta, on Friday signed a collective agreement with its engineering staff over their working conditions over the next five years.

The agreement comes after months of negotiations between the airline and its staff, including ground handlers, cabin crew and pilots, over new collective agreements the airline hopes to have in place by the end of 2017.

Air Malta has been facing financial difficulties, with the Maltese government having made it clear that a strategic partner for the airline was being sought.

Addressing a press conference before the signing of the agreement, Malta's Minister for Tourism Konrad Mizzi said that the agreement would offer stability over the next five years and allow the section to focus on its operations.

He said that aircraft line maintenance would remain a part of the airline's operations, allowing Air Malta to keep up its punctuality record.

The airline was now looking to the coming year as one that could provide the necessary growth, the minister said.

"Growth means our fixed costs can be spread over more plans, lowering the cost per flight," said Mizzi, adding that it had been decided that Air Malta would add 1,400 flights to it's schedule in 2018.

He said the airline would be adding a new A320 aircraft by April, and was also studying the possibility of utilising smaller aircraft to service shorter routes.

Mizzi insisted that once all collective agreements were signed, the airline would have the flexibility to remain solvent, and works towards becoming profitable.