Transport Minister Ian Borg said that the Civil Aviation Directorate within Transport Malta wanted to increase the number of aircraft flying the Maltese flag to 400 from 315 by the end of 2019.
Speaking at the Transport Malta offices where he presented SmartLynx with its Air Operator Certificate, Dr Borg said that Malta’s aviation sector had 315 aircraft, 35 Air Operator Certificates (AOC), nine aircraft maintenance organisations and seven aircraft maintenance training and examination organisations, five cabin crew training organisations and another five for the training of pilots – but this was not enough.
“We continue seeing growth in the aviation sector, another pillar of the economy which employs 3,200 people and contributes to 2.5 per cent of our country’s GDP. The numbers I mentioned are achievements. But our vision spreads wider than this. We want to turn the 315 aircraft to 400 this year, and the 35 AOCs to 40.”
Dr Borg said that a lot of work was underway on the aspect of connectivity, which was one of the most important aspects for a state with an island economy. He stated that recently, the authority reached a number of agreements with Japan, South Korea, Ghana and the Ivory Coast.
Dr Borg added that work was also currently underway towards agreements with South America as well and the strengthening of relationships with several countries in this sector, including Brazil.