Air Malta was instrumental in saving up to €5.5 million in cargo costs, as it assisted the Government of Malta for delivery of some 800 tonnes of medical supplies to Mater Dei Hospital frontline workers at the height of the Covid-19 emergency, the airline said in a statement.
Air Malta was in fact crucial in engaging its commercial partners in securing substantial cost-saving on the delivery of this exceptional cargo. Following Mater Dei Hospital Logistics Department request for assistance, Air Malta Chief Executive Clifford Chetcuti intervened to find a better solution to a proposal submitted by a Hong Kong based logistics operator.
As the National Airline attempted to respond to the request made by Government, it transpired that carrying some 800,000kgs of cargo would be logistically impossible, given that Air Malta would have had to operate some 100 flights to and from China.
Another daunting challenge would have seen Air Malta crews be segregated into quarantine both in China and upon return to Malta. Analysing government’s request regarding this exceptional load, it only made sense that a specific dedicated ‘freighter aircraft’ be chartered to transport the supplies. Air Malta does not have this capacity.
Air Malta CEO Clifford Chetcuti, assisted by staff at the Airline’s Cargo Section, engaged with various international logistics operators. It was through Air Malta’s excellent commercial relations with Qatar Airways, that a viable and far less costly solution was found to transport such an exceptional load to Malta.
After negotiating, it was agreed that the cargo would be brought to Malta using eight special flights operated by Qatar Airways Boeing 777 Freighter. Minister for Economy and Investment Silvio Schembri praised the work done by Air Malta, whose intervention was ‘crucial not only in ensuring the record time arrival of the medical cargo, but also resulted in financial savings of some €5.5 million in transport costs for the country.’ Through such extraordinary savings, government was able to acquire more medical supplies in the form of PPE’s and masks for the front liners in our hospitals.
‘Moreover, this also shows the tenacity and diligence by management at Air Malta, who ensure in engaging with the right strategic commercial partners, who when the need arises, these same partners are there to support our National Airline,’ Minister Schembri said. Air Malta remains committed towards its social obligation to the people of Malta and Gozo.
Original article found on The Malta Independent