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Air Malta: Small Airline from Beautiful Islands
Air Malta is the flag carrier airline of the Maltese Islands. Malta is a tiny country located in the middle of Mediterranean Sea in the South of Europe. The airline's hub is located in Malta International Airport, the only airport of the Maltese island. While its headquarter is located in a small town called Luqa.
We would not categorize Air Malta as a low-cost airline but its service level does not really differ from them. The cheapest tickets include only the flight and all other services must be paid separately. However, there are better ticket classes available where more services are included.
Keeping in mind that the airline currently has only 9 planes, it has many destinations especially in Southern and Central Europe. There are also a few destination outside the EU, for example Turkey, Morocco and United Arab Emirates. Almost all routes are from/to Malta, but the airline offers also a few routes outside Maltese Islands.
Air Malta has a large code share network and together with its partners, the route network is wide in Europe.
Safety of Air Malta
Air Malta was founded in 1973 and luckily there have not been any fatal accidents with them since then. It is always difficult to evaluate if an airline is safe or not but we can estimate the safety level by simply checking the statistics pertaining to airline's safety record. Airlineratings rates Air Malta's safety to the level 6.5/7 which is an excellent rating.
It must be remembered that small airlines have usually less incidents than airlines with extensive networks because they are flying much less. However, Air Malta is already 46 years old so it has flown a lot. Based on these information, we are trusting that the airline has been operating safely and the safety of Air Malta is at an acceptable level.
Review: Our Flight with Air Malta
We flew from Vienna to Malta in the summer of 2018 and this Air Malta review is based on our own experiences. The distance between Vienna and Maltese Islands is not long but the plane made a stopover at Catania in Sicily. Sicily which belongs to Italy is considered to be the biggest island in the Mediterranean Sea and located north of the Maltese islands. The stopover was scheduled so we were expecting for it. The airline does not have many planes and by combining routes, it can fly to more destinations.
The stopover wasn't an issue for us at all. We regarded it as adventurous trip instead. It was nice to see Catania Airport even though we had to sit the whole stop inside the plane. The break was almost 2 hours so our flight was not the fastest way to travel from Vienna to Malta.
Booking the Flight
We booked the flight via Air Malta's web page. The booking process was smooth.
It is always good remember to compare prices with Skycanner* like we did also this time. We found that there were a few cheap connections from Vienna to Malta and we ended up booking Air Malta's flight because it had departure in the evening. We were also curious to fly with this airline. Skyscanner directed us to Air Malta's own web page where we made the booking.
The fare was really low and it didn't include checked baggage. Luckily, we are used to travel only with the hand baggage to save time and money.
Air Malta, like all modern airlines, has an on-line check-in procedure. We used it without any issues. Because we didn't have any checked baggage, we were able to proceed to the security right away upon arrival at Vienna Airport. We were there early enough that we find time to visit a lounge.
Flying with Air Malta
Flying with Air Malta is quite similar on every of their routes because Air Malta has only 9 planes and all of them are Airbus A319 or A320 models. These types are meant for short-haul routes and they have about 150 seats.
Airbus A320 series' planes are comfortable but our plane seemed to be quite old. It didn't have any in-flight entertainment system and the cabin was really basic. But because we were not expecting much from our low-fare ticket, we were happy with the cabin quality.
The cabin crew were extremely friendly.
Air Malta was offering a complimentary sandwich and a free bottle of water. That is much more than many other European airlines serve. It was also possible to purchase more food items.
Our Rating of Air Malta
Customer Service and Professional Skills
Everything starting from the booking to the landing went extremely smooth. Crew on the plane were friendly. We felt Air Malta is serving its customers well.
Cabin of the Plane
The economy cabin of the plane was really basic and a little worn. Of course, a newer plane would have been nicer but the cabin was good enough for a short flight. There were magazines available but no in-flight entertainment system.
Our ticket price was extremely cheap. It seems Air Malta is offering inexpensive tickets but not as cheap as Ryanair tickets are. But why should you fly with Ryanair if there is a better option available almost for the same price.
Price to Quality Ratio
The price of Air Malta flight ticket was cheap and the quality of the flight experience was good enough. It means that the price-to-quality ratio was very good.
Air Malta kept its promised perfectly. However, they could offer more services as long as they are not categorized as a low-cost airline.
You are most likely going to fly with Air Malta if you are heading to the Maltese Islands. Because the airline has only 9 planes, it is probably that you are ending up to a code-share flight that is operated by another airline.
If you are lucky enough you will fly with Air Malta's own plane and enjoy Maltese friendly services. Based on our own experience, flying with Air Malta was a wise choice.
How would you review Air Malta, please comment below.