Efly to launch daily Catania flights next month
Italo-Maltese airline Efly will kickstart its daily operation to Catania on September 12 after aviation licensing procedures are completed in the coming days, sources close to the “luxury low-cost” carrier told The Times Business.
Efly will operate four flights a day between Malta and Sicily. Under a launch offer, Efly is making 3,000 seats available on the route for €39.95. The one-way fare includes taxes and a generous baggage allowance of 25 kilos.
Travellers are able to book seats at www.efly.it from today as an advertising campaign begins.
Sources said the airline was also planning to launch services to major European airports. Last month, Efly’s former chief executive officer Luigi Crispino said the airline had applied to operate the London Gatwick route following British Airways’s planned departure from the island in October.
The 40-minute flight to Catania departs Malta at 6.50 a.m. The return flight leaves Catania at 8.15 a.m. The evening service departs Malta at 6.15 and Catania at 7.40.
Efly will operate a BAE 146-300 on the route which has been decked in the company’s crimson and white livery and is parked close to the Medavia hangar at Luqa.
A second aircraft, currently in Exeter, is expected to be added to the service shortly.
The aircraft can accommodate 112 passengers. Efly will boast multi-national personnel with Italian and British pilots and cabin crew hailing from Malta, Italy, Ireland, Spain and the Faroe Islands.
Sources said Efly was working to organise package deals with Maltese hotels to incentivise traffic flow between the islands. The airline was also seeking to work with local travel agents and tour operators to spur the route’s development.
Efly currently operates from San Ġwann offices but plans to move to premises closer to Malta International Airport. Operational checks on its systems were completed this week. Pilots underwent testing under the authorities’ supervision in the UK last week and final technical inspections on the aircraft will be carried out next week.
The Efly project will finally get off the ground after several weeks’ wrangling with local aviation authorities over licensing issues. At the height of tensions between the parties in July, Dr Crispino resigned as Efly’s CEO and transferred all his shares to another firm, Aircraft Leasing Management. ALM is the proprietor of the four aircraft, formerly operated by British low-cost carrier FlyBe, which will be leased to Efly.