UPDATED: Air Malta Buys Historic Fighter Jet Aircraft (April Fool's 2013)

Air Malta has bought a 1950s privately owned two-seater Hawker Hunter  fighter jet. The historic airworthy military aircraft will be painted in Air  Malta’s new livery and will be used to generate new revenue streams for the airline. The aircraft will also be used to promote Air Malta and the Maltese Islands abroad by participating in a number of air shows around the world.

Plans have already been made by the airline for a soon-to-be-launched novel product ‘Jet Fighter Adventure Flights’ - an adrenalin rushing thrill seeking fighter aircraft experience that has become very popular in several countries around the world. These flights-of-a-lifetime will be available for purchase on the airline’s website www.airmalta.com.

With its sleek design, brilliant handling and manoeuvrability, the Hawker Hunter aircraft will offer customers the opportunity to experience a historic flying adventure. The classic Hunter was one of the best transonic jet fighter aircraft and formed the backbone of the Royal Air Force’s jet fighter squadron in the late 1950s. The aircraft was withdrawn from active service in 1995. During the 1960s and 1970s Hawker Hunter aircraft were a common sight at Malta’s Luqa airfield.

Following Air Malta’s successful participation after a number of years at Malta’s International Airshow with the historic flypass of an Airbus A320 together with the mighty Spitfire, coupled with the positive press coverage it received in Malta and abroad, the Maltese Airline looked for opportunities to purchase a historic military aircraft that could be used for such activities.

This purchase was coordinated by Air Malta’s Chief Executive Peter Davies and Chief Officer Flight Operations, Captain Mark Micallef Eynaud, a former commissioned Royal Air Force fighter pilot and instructor. The airline’s Chief Executive, who is also a pilot, and Capt Micallef Eynaud are expected to showcase the exceptional performance of this aircraft at this year’s edition of the Malta International Airshow. The airline is also planning to fly this aircraft at various other international airshows around the world.

Commenting on this initiative Capt Micallef Eynaud said, “I am thrilled at having the opportunity to showcase the versatility of this aircraft. We are planning to offer a myriad list of acrobatic sorties from loops, rolls, barrel rolls, inverted flight, vertical manoeuvres and a host of exercises all in a safe fun-filled atmosphere of adventure.”

Peter Davies added, “A relatively new development on the adventure tourism scene, aerobatic action flights are a moderate to extreme adventure for thrill seekers. To become a Top Gun Pilot for a Day is something many of us aspire to and to fly your very own Jet Fighter Adventure is an experience of a lifetime.”

Update: Never forget it’s 1st April!

Air Malta’s announcement that it has bought a 1950s privately owned two-seater Hawker Hunter fighter jet is just an April Fool’s Day joke. The airline showed its sense of humour today by announcing that to generate new revenue streams it has bought the historic airworthy military aircraft.

The airline explained that it will paint the aircraft in Air Malta’s new livery and start organising Jet Fighter Adventure Flights’ - an adrenalin rushing thrill seeking fighter aircraft experience that has become very popular in several countries around the world.

The airline commented that such jokes are very popular in the travel industry especially within the airline community. Popular pranks included Air New Zealand’s, ‘Pay what you Weigh’ program, Southwest Airlines’, ‘Time Travel Airline Prototype’, British Airways’ announcement that it will carry portraits of the Royal Family on Airplane Tails to celebrate the Royal wedding and WestJet’s statement that it will add Helium gas to aircraft ventilation systems to lighten loads and save money.

The airline would like to thank the general public who have called and written to the airline to inquire more information and to the local media who have showed interest and carried the story.

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