Air Malta gearing up to celebrate its 40th anniversary

Date: Friday, 28th March 2014
Ref: 010-2014

Air Malta is gearing up to celebrate the 40th anniversary since its inaugural flight. The airline’s first flight, from Malta to London Heathrow, took off on April 1st 1974. 

The passengers onboard the Boeing 720B aircraft were mostly journalists and travel agents flying to meet their British counterparts for a six-hour reception in London.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Dr A. Buttigieg, addressing guests present at the inauguration of Air Malta on the 31st March 1974. Looking on from left to right are Albert Mizzi, Chairman of Air Malta, Sir Anthony Mamo, Governor General, Mgr Gonzi, Archbishop of Malta, and Air Marshal Nur Khan, Chairman of PIA.

To mark the occasion, Air Malta is planning a number of activities and initiatives including a special April edition of its in-flight magazine, ‘Il-Bizzilla’. 

Incoming Chief Executive Louis Giordimaina highlighted the fact that the airline’s anniversary comes during a very important year for Malta when it will celebrate key historical milestones. “These milestones have had a significant impact on the Maltese, making us who we are today. Air Malta in the past 40 years has been instrumental in opening new tourism markets and connecting us more than ever before to the rest of the world, thus contributing to the island’s social and economic development,” emphasised Mr Giordimaina.

The crew of Air Malta’s First Flight from left MarioGenovese, PIA pilot, Carmen Fenech Vander Weerden, PIA pilot, RoseMarie Zammit, PIA Pilot, Dorothy Dalli Ulenhaut, PIA pilot, Reggie DeBono and Norman Falzon.

In its first year of operation, Air Malta carried 53,459 passengers. This annual figure has now grown to 1.7 million, with almost 50 million passengers carried over the past 40 years. 

This year, the aviation community is also marking the 100th anniversary of the start of commercial aviation. The first scheduled commercial airline flight took place on January 1st, 1914 in Florida, from St Petersburg to Tampa. 

The passengers of Air Malta’s first flight to London Heathrow.


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