The last day of the Malta International Airshow welcomed as many visitors as it had in previous years despite the fact that public transport between Valletta and the event was stopped due to industrial action.

Joe Ciliberti, president of the Malta Aviation Society, which organises the yearly weekend airshow, said it had its own transport arrangements from the capital city and was never banking on Arriva.

The General Workers’ Union said its industrial action was due to the company’s “intransigence”, calling on Arriva to continue discussions to find a solution so it would not have to resort to further action. It apologised for any inconvenience caused to the public, while thanking the workers for their solidarity and for following its directive.

Meanwhile, cars streamed to the airshow, where visitors could enjoy a wide variety of aircraft, including helicopters, business jets and a World War II vintage Dakota DC-3. The static display at Malta International Airport included anything from diminutive microlights to Hercules transport behemoths.

But one of the main attractions remained the Libyan participation, with its air force’s Mirage F1, flown to Malta by a defecting pilot in February, the BAe 146 and Antonov 26 – civilian aircraft that played crucial, behind-the-scenes, military roles during the Libya uprising.

The 19th edition also saw several firsts, including the aerobatic teams from not one, but two countries.

Next year’s air show celebrates its 20th anniversary, as well as the 70th of the end of Malta’s involvement in World War II, so it is intended to be a special event.