Air Malta making 'good progress' with restructuring: CEO

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Air Malta is making good progress in its restructuring process, with announcements on the way forward due in the next few weeks, according to the airline.

In an internal communication to staff, chief executive Peter Davies said negotiations were progressing with several staff unions on a variety of measures, including the planned voluntary redundancy scheme designed to cut the carrier's costs. However, no agreements had yet been reached.

The Mediterranean island's flag carrier hopes to slash its 1,250 workforce by as many as 500 as it seeks to overcome persistent non-profitability.

Davies added that as part of the airline's restructuring process more than 150 improvement projects were to be implemented. Among the most important measures were the renegotiation of a series of contracts with suppliers, including Malta International Airport, caterers and ICT providers.

Davies said that the airline was also looking at several initiatives to exploit cargo carriage and reviewing the airline's ground handling costs. It has previously said it hopes to cut its operating expenses by €30 million ($42.8 million) and increase revenues by a similar amount.

Also in train was the planning of schedules for both the coming winter and summer 2012, which he said would be critical in providing the foundations for the restructuring plan.