Air Malta Ceases Flights After 5 Decades Of Service

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  • Air Malta ceased operations, with its last flight landing on Easter Sunday, ending over 50 years of service.
  • KM Malta Airlines will be the new national airline, with a new business model inspired by easyJet.
  • Other European airlines like ITA Airways have also reemerged after struggling, indicating hope for KM Malta Airlines.

Air Malta ceased operations on Saturday, 30 March. The last flight was KM 103, which left London’s Heathrow Airport at 20:30 and touched down at Malta’s Luqa Airport for the last time at 00:40 on Easter Sunday, ending over 50 years of services to the Island nation. Tailwinds and blue skies, Air Malta!

If you’re wondering what flying with Air Malta is like, check out this video.

A new airline on Easter Sunday.

Coincidentally, the announcement comes on Easter Sunday, which some readers may be aware of as a symbol of new beginnings for Christians. Air Malta is indeed gone, but the country will get a new national airline, which will be called KM Malta Airlines. The name is a nod to its predecessor, IATA booking code “KM”. According to the Times of Malta, the new airline emerged after the European Commission refused to accept a government request for fresh state funding for Air Malta. Their new calling will be “Skynight.”

Let’s briefly skim over some of the most critical aspects of the airline’s new business model. First, the airline is set to follow in the footsteps of one of Europe’s most popular leisure airlines: easyJet. With the reduced entry-level ticket fare Economy Basic, passengers won’t be able to travel with larger cabin luggage. This is a popular fare class already offered by US airlines, such as Delta. Unlike easyJet, however, the new Maltese flag carrier will only permit these bags to weigh a maximum of 2 kg.

km malta economy basic

Photo: KM Malta Airlines

One step above “Basic” is “Economy Value,” which lets the flying customer bring a small bag and a checked bag of up to 10 kg. While this is more practical, it will not let them get a bigger (and heavier) cabin bag. This is only possible in Economy Plus and Economy Flex, which allow cabin baggage (up to 10 kg) and 20 kg of checked baggage. Of course, the small bag will still be included.


New KM Malta Airlines Plans easyJet-Style Low-Cost Strategy

Bundled fares and no more cabin baggage for the lowest-tier economy tickets.

So farewell to Air Malta, and hello, Skynight. Let’s remain hopeful for Europe’s quirkiest flag carrier as they take off into a new, revamped future, and hopefully, they will grace the sky for as many decades as their predecessors did.

Other airline revivals in Europe: The case of ITA Airways.

ITA Airways Airbus A330-200

Photo: Vincenzo Pace | Simple Flying

The past few years have been interesting for the aviation industry. Some readers will read this article and immediately think of Alitalia. They were Italy’s flag carrier for many decades. However, they need more funding for much of the twenty-first century. This led to the airline closing up shop in 2021 when it was taken over by the new state-funded Italia Transport Aero (ITA Airways). It is currently destined to change hands and go to Lufthansa Group. It is now critically acclaimed for its ground experience in Rome and state-of-the-art A330neos and A350s. Hopefully, the new ownership will help stabilize the airline and ensure it represents Italy with pride for decades.

Bottom line

While KM Malta Airlines and ITA have inherited from struggling predecessors, one must remain hopeful for their future. Besides, it is always thrilling to hear about and eventually try out new airlines and what they offer.

Have you heard of the new Maltese flag carrier? What do you think of the new business model? Do you know of other airlines which have restarted operations under a different name? Let us know in the comments below.

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