Days after the announcement was made that Maltese government and low-cost airline Ryanair are coming together to start a new airline – Malta Air, the unions representing employees of the national carrier, are now seeking direct talks with the government.
According to Times of Malta, the Air Mata employees have been pressurizing their unions to raise the issue with the government and also ask for written assurance that the airline will continue to function.
However, Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi and Prime Minister Joseph Muscat have already assured that Air Malta will not be impacted by this new arrangement.
Times of Malta quotes senior officials of the unions as saying:
“Basically, employees are very concerned about their future following the announcement on Malta Air. Despite the assurances, employees want to get guarantees in writing that their future is still safeguarded in the eventuality that Air Malta flounders.”
“The writing is on the wall. Air Malta is being wrongly managed and it’s a crisis every day. Although the government will never admit that Air Malta is on a downhill slide, the latest deal with Ryanair will surely mean another blow, and this time it may be fatal.”
According to reports, the chairman of Air Malta, Charles Mangion, met the employees to listen to their complaints and dissipate their fears. However, the employees weren’t satisfied after they got to know that the chairman was also informed about the deal only 24 hours prior to the official announcement by the government.
The members of the Air Malta management questioned the various steps taken by the government as they anticipate that it will harm the business of the airline. On the other hand, the national carrier is also facing a shortage of staff after a 30 per cent increase in its schedule this year.
While the launch of Malta Air has been announced, the government is yet to disclose all the nitty-gritty of the deal. Meanwhile, the employees of Air Malta are unhappy with the fact that the new airline has been given a name similar to the existing one.