12 FEBRUARY 2003

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Air Malta jet for New Zealand

Maltese expatriates in New Zealand will be surprised to see a jet flying the Air Malta livery between now and April.

But the Air Malta jet’s appearance in the Kiwi skies is not a case of poor navigation - Air Malta has temporarily leased the aircraft to Air New Zealand, which required a replacement for one of its own aircraft grounded by engine failure in Brisbane last December.

The leased Boeing 737-300 will continue to fly with Air Malta livery on services between Auckland and Christchurch. The plane will be flown by Air Malta pilots.

The lease term runs from 26 January to 10 April, when the grounded jet is expected to return to service.

The delivery of the aircraft was a long trip of approximately 36 hours and went straight through with on fuel stops Malta-Dubai; Dubai-Calcutta; Calcutta-Kuala Lumpur; Kuala Lumpur Darwin, Darwin Brisbane, Brisbane-Auckland.

The aircraft arrived in Auckland nearly three hours ahead of schedule and started to operate on behalf of Air New Zealand last Monday. Cabin crew were trained by chief purser George Meli and the flight operations were being taken care of by Boeing chief pilot Captain Norman Damato and seven other pilots.

A spokesman for Air Malta said that the complex operation was put together in less than two weeks, thus showing the great flexibility of all those involved.


Copyright © Newsworks Ltd. Malta.
Editor: Saviour Balzan
The Business Times, Newsworks Ltd, 2 Cali House, Vjal ir-Rihan, San Gwann SGN 02, Malta
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