Negotiations on new shareholding could only start once the airline had been restructured and returned to profitability, Air Malta chairman Charles Mangion told the Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry.

In an interview, Dr Mangion said: “Change is inevitable, and it’s a way of a life in every organisation if it wants to survive. This is especially so in the aviation industry, where airlines compete aggressively for each and every passenger. Restructuring must be ongoing and we will continue to restructure the airline in order to render it competitive, efficient, economic and more consumer-oriented.”

Dr Mangion said Air Malta had managed to significantly cut down its losses over the past years although profitability was “elusive”.

“We believe that Air Malta has a future if it grows. That’s why one of our first decisions was to re-introduce the Frankfurt route, and increase the number of aircraft to nine.”

Dr Mangion also assured that the jobs of airline staff would be protected. “Turning around the airline will ensure the tenure of the employment of all personnel.

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