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​PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR TOURISM

Reference Number: PR192442en, Press Release Issue Date: Nov 13, 2019
 
Minister for Tourism Konrad Mizzi meets with European and Malta-based airlines in Brussels to discuss reduction in emissions

Minister for Tourism Konrad Mizzi met with several European and Maltese-based airlines, including Air Malta, Malta Air and Med Air, and participated in an Industry Roundtable Meeting with Airlines for Europe (A4E), where several climate-friendly measures were discussed. This meeting was also attended by a number of Airline for Europe representatives, Boeing and the representatives from the European Travel Commission.

Minister Konrad Mizzi, also present for this meeting, stressed about the importance of airlines to switch to modern aircraft which emit fewer emissions in the air. During his intervention, Minister Mizzi mentioned that the Maltese National Carrier, Air Malta, is undergoing a fleet replacement programme to replace its Airbus A320 ceos to A320 neos, which are more modern and less polluting, and therefore, more efficient aircraft. Malta Air, Ryanair’s Malta-based company, will be replacing its whole fleet with more efficient aircraft over the coming years. “We consider these as important measures, given that Malta had registered an increase of 74% in air traffic when compared to 2012, as flight connectivity increased exponentially year on year.”

Minister Mizzi also noted that such measures related to the aviation sector are considered very important to an island state like Malta, as the country is heavily dependent on air connectivity. Due to this, Malta needs to ensure the airline sector’s sustainability, in order not to risk Malta’s economic growth.

During this meeting, the airlines expressed concerns about an Aviation Carbon Tax Proposal being proposed by nine different countries, including France, the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg and Bulgaria, as a measure to combat environmental damages of aviation. Minister Mizzi explained that there are other methods which do not include the introduction of taxes, such as including more coordination between air traffic control agencies and the usage of environmentally-friendly fuel in aviation.

During his intervention, Minister Mizzi also spoke about the number of measures being adopted by Malta on climate friendly travel. With SunX, Malta is working with key stakeholders in the tourism and travel industry to propose and implement new initiatives to tackle climate change. This will enable the travel and tourism industry to be more proactive and come up with practical solutions to reduce their overall carbon footprint. 

Concurrently, the Ministry for Tourism and SunX are working on a blockchain technology-enabled dynamic repository where global companies and local organisations will measure their travel carbon footprint.

These measures relate to the European Union’s efforts and priority to tackle climate change.

Minister for Tourism Konrad Mizzi was accompanied by Permanent Secretary of the Ministry for Tourism Ronald Mizzi, as well as Ministry Official Alex Cutajar.​
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