Diċembru 4, 2023
Ref: 28 - 2023 EN
Date: 4 th December 2023
WEATHER DISRUPTION TO MUNICH FLIGHTS
Following the severe snowfall and freezing temperatures which resulted in Munich Airport closing down on the evening of Friday 01st December, Air Malta recognise and empathise with the disruption and frustration which this has caused to its customers and crew.
Since the situation started developing on Friday evening, resulting in the KM309 being snowbound in Munich airport, there have been nine Air Malta flights which have not been possible to operate. The airport closure, affecting all airlines, resulted in chaos for the airport, with all hotels quickly becoming booked up, airport shops running out of food and supplies and thousands of passengers and airline crew stranded at the airport. The speed of events overtook everyone resulting in passengers being confined to the airport building and Air Malta pilots and crew stranded in their aircraft overnight.
The nine cancelled Air Malta flights resulted in 528 passengers being unable to fly out of Munich and 690 passengers unable to fly from Malta to Munich.
Whilst Munich Airport hoped to return to operation, the weather situation over the forthcoming days did not improve, with the airport advising flight cancellations on the planned day of departure. This obviously was an extremely frustrating period for customers with many hoping to travel on the next day, only for the airline to be advised that the airport remains closed.
As the situation marginally improved, and Munich Airport opened up for limited operations, disrupted air traffic control and operating capacity restrictions resulted in Air Malta continuing to not receive permission to operate any short haul flights. Limited capabilities to provide aircraft deicing, disruption to planned work personnel, challenging ground handling circumstances and limitations on the ability to offer safe operations as well as low visibility and strong winds, were all understandable contributing factors to the slow opening of the airport. In addition, airlines and their operating personnel will have been unable to carry out the required engineering checks on aircraft which underpins the number one priority of safety for all travelling.
Meantime, Air Malta understand the difficulties many customers have faced during these exceptional weather driven circumstances and stands ready to re-commence operations to and from Munich as soon as Munich Airport can resume full operation and look forward to re-connecting those affected passengers with their planned destination.