Finance Minister says PN Air Malta retirement plans tying airline down

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 November, 2022 at 3:29 pm by Andre Camilleri

Finance Minister Clyde Caruana on Monday said Nationalist governments burdened Air Malta with early retirement schemes that brought it close to bankruptcy and would cost €100 million to remove.

Speaking in parliament, the minister tabled collective agreements signed in 2009 between the airline and cabin crew and in 2012 with pilots, which he said were a millstone around the airline’s neck.

The airline cannot move forward unless they are removed, but commitments had to be honoured, and removing those clauses would end up costing the country €100 million. 

One clause stipulates that pilots who retire from the airline at 55 after a number of years in service, will continue to receive two-thirds of their salary until they reach the national pensionable age.

“The airline cannot continue to make such losses and we want to liquidate these clauses, but taxes have to make up for them and it will cost us some €100 million,” he said.

The other option, of going to court, could end up damaging not just the airline, but a major sector of the economy, he said. 

The minister said he wanted to assure everyone that he was working hard, in talks with the European Commission, to ensure that the country would continue to have its flag carrier, moving forward.

Government is implementing a restructuring process at the national airline to ensure it remains financially viable, he said.

- Advertisement -