LONDON – The newly-formed Valletta Airlines, created by the Air Valletta Group, aims to bring Malta onto the world stage in global chartering.
As well as a focus on ACMI markets too, Valletta Airlines aims to start serving the following markets in early 2023:
- North & South Americas
- Middle East
- Far East Asia
The Planned Setup…
The carrier is currently working on getting its Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) approved and will begin operations with one Airbus A320-200 initially.
From there, they plan to expand rapidly with the addition of two A330-200 aircraft and another two A320-200 by the end of next year.
This is what the group had to say regarding the choice to start up this airline:
“The ACMI and Charter markets are rebounding and pushing demand for new aircraft as more and more airlines try to provide expanded capacity for the snowballing numbers of passengers.”
“Valletta Airlines is expected to capture the current market situation and provide services for the airlines and tour operators to increase capacity without incurring financial burdens.”
Tough Competition Ahead?
The carrier does have tough competition ahead, with the following carriers operating such charter services out of the country already:
- Air Charter Scotland Europe
- Air CM Global
- Air Malta
- Air Horizont
- Air X Charter
- Comlux Aviation Malta
- Corendon Airlines Europe
- Freebird Airlines Europe
- Galistair Trading Limited
- Hi Fly Malta
- Malta Medair
- Malta Medair
- SkyFirst LTD
- SmartLynx Airlines Malta
That is quite a substantial list to compete with. Yes, some of them operate business jets only, but there are still a lot of carriers for Valletta Airlines to do well against.
Uniqueness: Global Destination Offerings?
The important question to ask from this is, will their global destination offerings in the future be unique enough and fill the gaps that the other competitors aren’t filling?
Well, with the carrier being a charter and ACMI firm, their world is effectively their oyster, and it all depends on who contracts them to operate such services.
With Malta being a popular holiday destination as well, this could also play well into the carrier’s hands, especially if they offer cheaper rates than some of their competitors like Hi Fly.
Ultimately, we have to sit back and wait to see what sort of clients and destinations Valletta Airlines can get its hands on before we can make a further judgment on that.
It is evident that chartering and ACMI firms are flourishing in Malta, which is exactly why Valletta Airlines has been formed. It does appear that based on the limited announcements, Valletta Airlines wishes to bring Malta closer to the global stage.
Such a global stage is related to the overall airline industry in itself. Its long-haul A330 aircraft will be paramount to that with the A320s for destinations closer to the island.
All eyes will be on the carrier to see whether they get their AOC approved by the relevant authorities as well as which clients they can snap up in the first few months of operations.