Valetta, Malta - The Maltese national airline Air Malta took delivery of its second A320neo last week and wants to completely replace its current fleet in five years.
The fleet of Air Malta consists of seven Airbus A320 and one A319, in addition to the two A320neo jets. The older A320ceos will be phased out by 2023.
The first aircraft will leave the fleet in October. It is the only A319 model in the Maltese flag carrier's fleet.
The airline has one more Airbus A320neo in its order book waiting to be delivered. The third A320neo will join the Malteses carrier's fleet within a few weeks.
In addition to a more modern and spacious cabin, the A320neo distinguishes itself in particular with its up to 20% lower fuel consumption thanks to its new generation engines and improved aerodynamics.
With the removal of classic A320s from the fleet, the carrier expects to save hundreds of tons of fuel per year.
Malta is a popular destination for European travelers, especially during the summertime. But Air Malta is not benefiting this enough due to the severe competition by European low-cost operators such as Ryanair and easyJet.
Last year, the company changed its business strategy. The airline is now planning to increase its revenues to provide sustainable growth and acquire more efficient jets to better compete with budget operators.
Air Malta hopes to get more than a dozen Airbus A320neo family jets over the next five years, including the LR (long-range) and newly launched XLR (extra-long-range) variants.
With the addition of the LRs and XLRs, the carrier plans to add India and the eastern coast of the United States to its route network.
We are studying if we can go up to 14 aircraft over the next five years,” the chief executive told me. “All the existing ones will be replaced with brand new neos. So, over five years, we will have a brand new fleet,
said chief executive Clifford Chetcuti during an interview with Forbes' Martin River in February.
Leasing and direct purchase options are both considered said the company during the presentation of its quarterly figures.