Air Malta announced that on 24 March 2023 it received delivery of its fifth Airbus A320neo. The new aircraft, which will bear registration 9H-NEE, will replace the A320ceo 9H-AEQ which will exit the Air Malta fleet. The delivery flight from the Airbus plant in Toulouse to Malta International Airport was powered by a blend of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) and commanded by Capt. Patrick Calleja, and First Officer Mark Attard. This was Capt. Calleja’s last flight with Air Malta after a career spanning more than 31 years of service for Air Malta.
The new 9H-NEE has been delivered with a new modern livery designed in collaboration with Airbus SA. This more cost-effective livery picks up from the colours and elements of the Maltese flag making it instantly recognisable as the national airline of the Maltese Islands.
The addition of the new Airbus 320neo 9H-NEE is another step in the airline’s fleet renewal project. The airline currently operates a fleet of seven Airbus, four A320neo and three A320ceo aircraft. Air Malta started the renewal of its fleet in 2018, moving from old A320ceo to the greener A320neo and plans that its entire fleet will consist of a single-type aircraft the A320neo. The transition of the fleet means that the airline will significantly reduce fuel consumption, CO2 emissions and noise footprint and will therefore be well- placed to be a leader in the reduction of human-induced climate change and in meeting its sustainability targets.
The new aircraft is equipped with CFM International LEAP-1A engines, accommodating 180 passengers in a two-cabin configuration. As the quietest aircraft of its size, the A320neo will result in 20% lower fuel burn and CO2 emissions along with lower maintenance costs compared to previous-generation Airbus aircraft. The aircraft is equipped with added approach and landing capabilities and the latest data communication systems for short-range aircraft. The A320neo also features a cabin air refresh rate of 2 minutes and includes ozone converters to further purify the cabin air from external fumes too.
With its enhanced specifications, this A320neo is part of the A320 Family, known as the world’s most comfortable short-to-medium-haul aircraft, and hailed as the most successful commercial aircraft of all time. Air Malta’s fifth Airbus A320neo 9H-NEE is equipped with a Blueview digital system, this in-flight entertainment experience offers passengers videos, audio, moving maps, games, and much more.