The air was blue the other day when Airline Business went for an exclusive interview with the senior management team from Air Malta. One minute we were discussing the airline's restructuring efforts and their culture of change. The next minute we ventured the question, how has the price of fuel affected Air Malta?
"Don't mention the F-word!" said Joe Cappello (right), chief operating officer and Manchester United football enthusiast. Although joking, the question obviously rankles. Now two years into their turnaround programme and the airline would be starting to edge towards the black - if not for the Lm3 million ($8.5 million) rise in its fuel bill.
"If it wasn't for fuel costs we would be laughing all the way to the bank," says chairman Lawrence Zammit (left).
"Well, at least smiling," corrects Cappello.