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Amitex travel fair opens

Air Malta chairman Lawrence Zammit speaking at the opening of Amitex this morning.

Air Malta chairman Lawrence Zammit speaking at the opening of Amitex this morning.

The 16th edition of the Air Malta International Travel Exhibition (AMITEX) was inaugurated this morning, with 30 exhibitors vying for travellers in difficult economic times.

The fair is being held at the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre at Ta' Qali.

Exhibitors include travel agents, tour operators and hotels, many of them promoting special offers.

Finance Minister Tonio Fenech congratulated Air Malta for its 35 years of service to the country, saying the airline had withstood the test of time.

He said the national airline was not immune to the international financial crisis. On Monday Air Malta announced that over the winter it carried 484,418 passengers, a drop of 26,415 - almost five per cent - when compared to the winter months of 2007. But Mr Fenech said that this five percent drop was little when one considered that 2007 was a record year and, last year the airline faced the challenges of spiralling fuel prices and the decline in the value of the Pound Sterling.

Last year Air Malta had to fork out an extra €30 million for fuel and lost around €10 million because of the weak Pound.

The fair will be open this evening, tomorrow and on Saturday from 6 p.m. until 10 p.m. while on Sunday its doors will be open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Entrance costs €2 for adults while children get in for free.

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