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Air Malta ZRH-MLA-ZRH  
User currently offlinestandby87 From Switzerland, joined Jul 2001, 536 posts, RR: 3
Posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 10548 times:

Mr and Mrs S87 wanted a short break from the children - it would be our first weekend away for 3+ years without them  
We flew in Mother-in-Law Number 1, left her enough money to order a few pizzas and Happy Meals   and off we went.

We booked a Flight+Hotel package to Malta via ebookers.ch for 800 CHF for the weekend.
Only Air Malta fly Zurich-Valletta. This was good news.
Between us, we have 1300+ flight sectors and a few million miles, but Air Malta would be our first new Airline since Emirates in 2009, first new Country since Saudi Arabia in 2002 and first new “Country + Airline Combo” since Icelandair to Reykjavik back in Year 2000.

Flight schedules were good, and meant the kids would still be awake ( "What have you got for me?") when we got back. The weather leaving Zürich was not. It was pure Manchester - if you've never been to Manchester, that means rain, rain and more cold rain.

Mrs S87 arrived separately and checked-in ca.1620hrs in Check-in 2 Zurich.
I'd sorted out seats in advance and we were in Row 5 near the front of Economy.

I came on the next bus and we met up and passed Boarding Pass Control - there is no Passport Control on flights to Malta as both Switzerland and Malta are now in the Schengen Area.

Next stop: DFs (Duty Free) for the Weekend and then a 10 minute wait at Security - longer than usual, it was peak time on a Friday - before grabbing a coffee. I'd seen on the computer the inbound aircraft was delayed, but by 1710, some 20 minutes late, it had arrived on stand. The ground staff did a good job and we were boarding soon afterwards, well insulated from the elements.



We normally fly Swiss - they do help pay the Mortgage - and I was a bit surprised to see non-Recaro manufactured "old-style" seats and a very tight seat-pitch. Air Malta A319 config was 16C /117Y vs. equivalent LX config 16C/114Y - they squeeze in an extra half-row 23ABC at the back, but it's those thicker seats that make it feel tight.



KM0491 9H-AEJ A319-111
STD 1740 ATD 1750 ABN 1805 TDN 1943

Pushback just 10 minutes late was an achievement in the rainy conditions and we rolled out to Runway 28 behind a long queue of departing aircraft. We lurched through the lower clouds and Switzerland disappeared, the last view being that of the traffic heading in and out of Zurich via the Gubrist Tunnel.

Flying Air Malta was a bit like going back to the good old days of free food and alcohol - it was great, we were both impressed:




The time went quickly and we started descent before reaching Sicily. Something suddenly caught my eye - there seemed to be a rapid red flash, surely that wasn't Etna sending off a bit of lava? No idea. A smooth landing and a short walk into the quiet clean Valletta Terminal and within 15 minutes we had our suitcase and at the Taxi stand.

The rest of the weekend we spent on a photographic tour and a different kind of tour in Paceville where we ended up disgracing ourselves as the "oldest swingers in town" at El Fuego Disco Bar. Trust me, you don't want to see the photographs of that and they'd probably get me banned from a.net for life anyway.

Sunday lunchtime.

A massive buffet breakfast sorted out any Hangover.
Back home.
In the day, Valletta Airport was equally pleasant, clean and quiet and we had no snags at check-in before getting some fast-food in a downstairs restaurant area before clearing security and going airside.



I found Valletta a very easy airport to use, but of course it helps flying off-season.

KM0490 9H-AEH A319-111
STD 1425 ATD 1430 ABN 1440 TDN 1646



Smooth departure and big right-hand turn off Runway 14 and the entire width of the island could be seen:




Then it was time to enjoy another pleasant meal and drink, catch up with the Maltese news in the free newspaper provided and before long it was The Alps, a long winded tour dipping around the German border, smooth R/W 14 ZRH touchdown and we pulled on stand perfectly on-time.



Would we go to Malta again?
Yes
Would we fly Air Malta again?
Yes, but I need to get down the gym in the New Year to be a tad more comfortable with the seat pitch.

So, if you think you can handle children, let us know and come and do the babysitting next year whist we go back - let's hope they've fixed the broken floor in that Paceville Club...  

10 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinezalemam From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 168 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 10104 times:

That was a nice simple TR, good job.


Patience is Virtue
User currently offlineaflyingkiwi From New Zealand, joined Nov 2010, 514 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 9961 times:

Hi

Thank you for making this nice TR. It seems like Air Malta offer a pretty good service bar the seatpitch. May I ask in your next trip report to do a knee/legroom shot?

Quoting standby87 (Thread starter):
Flying Air Malta was a bit like going back to the good old days of free food and alcohol - it was great, we were both impressed:

There definitely is a lot of Air Malta branded stuff

Regards
aflyingkiwi


User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3003 posts, RR: 8
Reply 3, posted (3 years 8 months 2 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 9142 times:

Good report, thanks. I remember there not being a huge amount of room when I flew them a few years ago...
Air Malta LGW-MLA-LHR (by Signol May 15 2008 in Trip Reports)

We actually got a hot meal rather than a cold salad, but your photos of the salad make it look very nice!

Quoting standby87 (Thread starter):
oldest swingers in town

Be careful, "swingers" has a very specific meaning in British English!

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlinestandby87 From Switzerland, joined Jul 2001, 536 posts, RR: 3
Reply 4, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 8444 times:

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 2):
Thank you for making this nice TR. It seems like Air Malta offer a pretty good service bar the seatpitch. May I ask in your next trip report to do a knee/legroom shot?

Thanks - here you go:



The man on the left is me - 1 metre 75 cm tall and the nice woman on the right is still shorter than me even when she wears high-heels  
Quoting signol (Reply 3):
Be careful, "swingers" has a very specific meaning in British English!


Yes, I know what you mean - we'd best skip the off-trip photos from Paris CDG trip reports from the 1990s then!

[Edited 2010-12-19 09:46:54]

User currently offlinestandby87 From Switzerland, joined Jul 2001, 536 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (3 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 8423 times:

Quoting zalemam (Reply 1):
That was a nice simple TR, good job

Much appreciated - everybody else seems to have very exciting times on their Trip Reports.
We've had plenty of those in the past - go-arounds, emergency landings, return from airbourne, diversions, sleeping in the crew bunks, jumpseat for the entire journey etc.

But NOW - we just want to get there safely, on-time with Mrs S's make-up box delivered 20 minutes later from her check-in baggage  

"No drama" - that's our motto. We've had plenty in the past...


User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 15
Reply 6, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 7763 times:

Nice trip report, It is nice that KM still gives free meals on it's flights.


Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlineAJO From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 575 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 7717 times:

Do KM still require you to prepare for landing VERY very early? I flew them from MLA to ZRH last year, and remember that before even reaching TRN we had to buckle up and prepare for landing... And of course I remember the tight seat pitch.


Ryanair: never again!
User currently offlinestandby87 From Switzerland, joined Jul 2001, 536 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (3 years 7 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 7663 times:

Quoting AJO (Reply 7):
Do KM still require you to prepare for landing VERY very early? I flew them from MLA to ZRH last year, and remember that before even reaching TRN we had to buckle up and prepare for landing... And of course I remember the tight seat pitch.

Not for us, the return trip was very smooth.
IIRC we were nicely into the descent over the Alps before the sign went on.


User currently offlineknightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1814 posts, RR: 19
Reply 9, posted (3 years 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 5687 times:

Hi Standby87

I seem to have missed this one til now. In any case, just wanted to say thanks for posting a very entertaining report. Glad you liked both Malta and KM. So what did you eventually bring the kids back from Malta?

As for disgracing yourself at the El Fuego, I remember reading something in the Times of Malta at the time, I had no idea...


User currently offlinestandby87 From Switzerland, joined Jul 2001, 536 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (2 years 10 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 4485 times:

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 9):
Hi Standby87

I seem to have missed this one til now. In any case, just wanted to say thanks for posting a very entertaining report. Glad you liked both Malta and KM. So what did you eventually bring the kids back from Malta?

As for disgracing yourself at the El Fuego, I remember reading something in the Times of Malta at the time, I had no idea...

Much appreciated - that's a joke about the Times of Malta right?

Gifts for the kids:

A Maltese Bus. Which has now fallen apart and been meticuolously recycled according to Swiss standards splitting metal and plastic.

A football. Which has also fallen apart due to overuse. But that's good, it means Number 1 boy is keeping fit and healthy!

Cheers and all the best to you and a.net fans in Malta.


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