Air Malta fuel deal

Reference is made to the article ‘Air Malta accumulating millions in debt on fuel’ (August 23).

Air Malta categorically rebuts the allegation that it is not honouring its payments to Enemed, which is merely a fabrication. Air Malta only hopes the Times of Malta was misled into publishing this story, as opposed to being its conjecture.

A commercial agreement on the provision of fuel is in place between Air Malta and Enemed and the terms of that agreement are being respected in their entirety by both parties.

Air Malta also confirms that, despite the allegations and implications in the said article, it is honouring all commercial commitments with its business partners.

Editorial note: Prior to publishing the item in question, the Times of Malta communicated with the Tourism Ministry, which is politically responsible for the national air carrier, noting that the newspaper was informed that an agreement on payments due by Air Malta to Enemed for fuel was rescinded and that the airline accumulated substantial arrears to the State fuel company. The ministry was also asked two questions: is the agreement between Enemed and Air Malta on payments due still in place? What is the current fuel bill accumulated by Air Malta and due to Enemed?

The ministry directed the Times of Malta to “refer questions with commercial content directly to Air Malta”, which it did and the reply from the airline was: “Air Malta has an ongoing positive commercial relationship with Enemed. Commercial details, being of a sensitive nature, cannot be disclosed.”

At no point did Air Malta deny, as it is doing now in its ‘right of reply’, that that it is not honouring its payments to Enemed and that it is observing all commercial commitments with its business partners.

As to Air Malta hoping the Times of Malta was “misled into publishing this story” rather than being “its conjecture”, this newspaper can only remind readers that, for months on end, the previous Tourism Ministry and the airline itself had constantly denied as fabrications reports carried by this newspaper that discussions between Air Malta and Alitalia were leading nowhere, only to have to eventually admit that, indeed, the talks had failed.

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