17 April 2014
Date: Wednesday, 16 April 2014
Air Malta this evening kicked off its 40th anniversary celebrations with the arrival of an aircraft freshly repainted with the airline’s original 1970s livery.
Prior to landing, the aircraft performed two low flypasts on runway 31 and flew over the Grand Harbour, Sliema, the northern coastline of Malta, Mosta, Qrendi and Birzebbugia.
The aircraft 9H-AEI operated flight KM 40, appropriately selected for the occasion, and arrived in Malta after being repainted in Ostrava (Czech Republic). It was previously being used in Mexico on a long-term lease to Interjet.
The aircraft was welcomed at Malta International Airport during an event hosted attended by Deputy Prime Minister Louis Grech, Tourism Minister Edward Zammit Lewis and Air Malta CEO Louis Giordimaina. The aircraft was then blessed by the airport chaplain, Fr. Donald Bellizzi.
Present for this inauguration were ambassadors of the countries where Air Malta started flights in 1974 and the cabin crew of the first two inaugural flights. Also in attendance were various personalities who helped the airline in its first years, ex-Air Malta chairman, current Air Malta staff and other VIPs from the local aviation community.
Following a number of speeches to mark the occasion, guests were invited to a reception at the airline’s maintenance hangar, where a photographic exhibition of Air Malta’s formative years was set up that also included TV footage of the inauguration of KM 40 years ago.
A number of staff members also wore different uniforms used throughout the past four decades by the airline.
Air Malta’s first flight was held on April 1, 1974 when a Boeing 720B flew from Luqa to London Heathrow.