Air Malta signs UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism

Air Malta has signed the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism. This code is the fundamental frame of reference for responsible and sustainable tourism and represents a strong commitment by the airline to follow comprehensive set of principles designed to guide key-players in tourism development. It charters a roadmap for sustainable tourism development endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2001.

The code aims to help maximise the sector’s benefits while minimising its potentially negative impact on the environment, cultural heritage and societies. The Maltese airline was the 515th organisation worldwide to sign this code, whilst Malta was the 70th country endorsing this initiative.

Air Malta was one of the first Maltese organisations to share and drive these concepts amongst the community. Since its inception it has driven several Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives and has assisted various organizations and individuals in diverse fields including humanitarian, medical and social cases, environmental causes, heritage protection, philanthropic activities as well as cultural and sport related initiatives.

Air Malta continues to show its commitment and support towards the Maltese and Gozitan communities. As the islands’ national airline, Air Malta carries its responsibility to continue to support the local community, sometimes even at a considerable cost to itself.  No other airline operating to Malta provides continued support to voluntary and non-governmental organisations like Air Malta.

One main area where the airline is very active is in assisting Maltese and Gozitans in travelling abroad for treatment. Last year (2016) Air Malta carried 21 stretcher cases and 15 incubator cases. The airline has taken it upon itself to designed and certified a housing for the incubator to be carried on-board flights. This housing had to be approved by EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) to ensure that the structural attachments to an aircraft cabin can withstand all required loads, including those during emergencies.

Air Malta is also regularly in contact with heath authorities to carry medicines and other urgent medical material to and from Malta, sometimes even adjusting flight operations to accommodate this. Some of this material includes time-sensitive radioactive substances need for around 40 cancer patients every week. The material is transported three times a week on Air Malta’s Rome flight and arrangements have been made so that it is quickly transported to Mater Dei hospital where this treatment is administered.

Apart from assisting in these cases Air Malta and its staff members assists various organisations and individuals in diverse fields including humanitarian, philanthropic, cultural and heritage protection, sports and environmental initiatives. Various donation campaigns are also organised on board the airline’s aircraft to assists national causes like Puttinu,  Hospice (Malta), Breast Care Support Group, Inspire and the Community Chest Fund.

Over the years Air Malta has also intensified its environmental initiates that apart from reducing, reusing and recycling material generated by its activities has sponsored a number of tree planting activities that saw amongst others the active participation of its employees. The airline has planted hundreds of tress as part of the Tree 4U campaign at Ta’Qali, Salini and in the Sports Complex of Luqa St. Andrews. It has also donated 350 olive trees to the Koperattiva Rurali Manikata.

The airline’s staff also significantly contribute to the airline’s CSR activities. Recent events include blood donation, fund raising for Puttinu Cares and donation of interactive electronic games to Rainbow Ward, charity bike rides, and philanthropic flights to Lourdes. Air Malta staff have also organised events abroad to help international organisations that assist local communities in the philanthropic and humanitarian areas.

Picture shows Minister for Tourism Edward Zammit Lewis (1st left) together with Joseph Galea Acting CEO Air Malta (centre) after the signing ceremony of the UNWTO’s global code of ethics for tourism at Fort St Angelo, Birgu in the presence of the UNWTO Secretary General Taleb Rifai.

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