Air Malta has engaged a consultancy firm based in Abu Dhabi , paying them €200,000 per month, as the government transitions from closing down the airline, and launch ing a new national airline in its stead. Finance Minister Clyde Caruana tabled the contract with Knighthood Global in Parliament on Wednesday, in reply to a parliamentary question made by PN MP Paula Mifsud Bonnici, where she asked about the services the company is giving to Air Malta. Caruana said that Knighthood Global is a global consultancy firm specialised in aviation, and that it was engaged on a temporary contract to provide financial and strategic advice. The company is assisting the airline’s management in the implementation of the new business plan of the new airline and was also providing a person with experience in the aviation sector in a temporary role. The contract was signed in June 2022 by Knighthood Global executive chairman James Hogan and Air Malta chairman David Curmi. It was extended in January and signed by Knighthood’s CEO James Rigney. It expires at the end of 2023. Knighthood Global has been tasked with, according to the tabled contract, ensuring economic discontinuity between the old and new airline, supporting discussions with the European Commission, help with the formulation of a five-year business plan, supporting the development of a network and fleet plan, review the funding required by the new airline, developing a communications strategy, changing work practices to bring them in line with industry standards and configuring a finance accounting system. The news comes after government decided to shut down Air Malta in favour of a new national airline, after the company had been losing millions for decades. Discussions with the European Commission resulted with a refusal to accept a government request for fresh state aid for the carrier.

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