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The long-running drama surrounding Malta’s national airline is set to enter its final stages on Monday (today) afternoon, when Prime Minister Robert Abela and Minister for Finance Clyde Caruana address the nation on a matter of strategic, business and sentimental importance for the country.

The pair will be holding a press conference at 2.15pm.

Air Malta CEO David G. Curmi said in an interview back in April that Air Malta will be replaced by a new airline. Minister Caruana had downplayed the finality of the decision at the time, describing the comments as “premature”, but few held out any hope for the Maltese flag carrier’s survival in its current state.

The Times reports that the new company will be called KM Malta Airlines plc. The branding is expected to be changed, as is the frequent flyer programme.

However, the Prime Minister indicated that the new airline will not see a reduction in its fleet size.

The updates come after discussions between Malta and the European Commission on the permissibility of further state aid being pumped into Air Malta came to a conclusion in the last weeks.

The Commission ultimately rejected the Maltese Government’s proposal to inject €290 million into the airline, preferring a deal similar to the one that saw Italy’s Alitalia wind up and replaced by ITA Airways.

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