The third brand new 180-seater Airbus A320neo joined Air Malta’s fleet this week. The aircraft has been registered on the Maltese aircraft register as 9H-NEC and was flown directly from the Airbus’ facility in Hamburg. The aircraft entered immediately into service last Thursday with flight KM 328/9 to Frankfurt.
The aircraft is the second one to be configured according to Air Malta’sspecifications and requirements. The cabin interior has been selected to offer 18-inch-wide seats where passengers can enjoy more personal space, comfort and leg room. Apart from enhanced facilities including a more modern look and feel of the cabin, led lightning and larger luggage storage, the aircraft offers reduced operational costs for Air Malta especially with its improved fuel efficiency of around 20%. Due to its lower fuel burn rate, the aircraft is capable of longer-range flights of about 10-15%. The aircraft is equipped with CFM International LEAP-1A engines.
Speaking at a press conference in front of the aircraft Air Malta’sChairman Dr Charles Mangion said, “This aircraft is a welcome addition and another important step forward to continue reducing ourfleet’s average age and improve aspects of customer experience,environmental commitment and airline reliability and efficiency. Itshows commitment to Air Malta’s growth strategy and a big investment in the airline.”
Minister for Tourism Konrad Mizzi added, “Air Malta is undergoing atransformation process which includes the shift to brand-new state-of- the-art Airbus Neo aircraft, growing a route network that now includes over 40 destinations and improving its inflight services in both economy and business class. The Maltese Government is committed to support the growth strategy adopted by Air Malta and the investmentin the airline in the months and years to come.”
Last year Air Malta embarked on a five-year fleet replacement project that will see the airline operate a brand-new Airbus A320neo fleet by the year 2022. The next batch of brand-new aircraft are expected to join the airline’s fleet next year.
The Airbus A320neo is a development of the A320 family and offers state of the art aerodynamics, and with its new generation engines, the NEO offers unbeatable efficiency, environmental performance and lower noise levels of up to 50%. For every new Airbus A320neo thatjoins Air Malta’s fleet, the airline is saving hundreds of tons of fuel per year and seeing a 24% reduction of CO2 emissions.
This type of aircraft fits perfectly with the airline’s current older fleet of Airbus A320ceos and delivers seamless operational integration and also costs savings in terms of training of engineers, pilots and other staff members.