Seven Windjet planes are stranded in Malta for maintenance by Lufthansa Technik. From Sunday midnight all flights operated by low-cost carrier Windjet have been stopped as it had problems buying fuel for its planes. Windjet's website, before ti was put offline, used to say that it operated flights out of Malta to Catania and Rome together with Air Malta. It is not known yet how many passengers flying in and out of Malta are affected by this development and what losses have been incurred by Air Malta in its joint flights with Windjet. Air Malta told maltastar.com that it has absolutely no relationship with the Italian low cost carrier, Windjet.
There are at least 300,000 passengers who have booked flights with Windjet till October 2012 and now steps are being taken to see how other airlines will take up those booked trips.
A day of intensive meetings and negotiations was not enough to solve the huge problems faced by Windjet. Some of the planes flown by Windjet have already been returned to the Irish company leasing them.
Last Friday Italy's civil aviation authority Enac threatened to revoke Sicilian low-cost carrier Windjet's operating licence on Monday in the absence of improvements to services.
Recently the near-bankrupt airline has been forced to cancel numerous flights while many others have been subject to long delays.
On Friday Enac called on Windjet to "implement with immediate effect an emergency plan to ensure the full efficiency and punctuality of flights" and to make the payments owed to management companies, baggage handlers and other service providers on pain of seeing its planes grounded from Monday onward. Enac also invited the company to suspend ticket sales until normal services have resumed.
Windjet is in negotiations with national flag carrier Alitalia for a takeover. On Friday Alitalia said it was still open to completing a deal provided the low-cost company furnished missing guarantees.
The airline also said it was prepared to bring the closing date forward to August 20 from the scheduled date of August 31.