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Malta’s dynamic economy continues to flourish in an unprecedented manner. The results achieved over the past years led to a healthy economy, zero unemployment, and growth in foreign direct investment. The key to Malta’s economic success lies in the country’s ability to diversify thus creating a strong balanced economy while avoiding dependency on any specific sector. Market diversification has led to successful inroads into key niche markets including the financial services, the iGaming industry, and the maritime sector. Over the past decade the country sought to emulate its successful recipe to touch other sectors. Indeed, over the past decade, Malta adopted it's successful story in the maritime sector to penetrate the aviation industry. The country’s geostrategic location combined with a steady economy, a highly skilled labour force, an attractive legislative framework and a tailor-made logistical setup played a pivotal role in attracting leading companies operating in the aviation sector. The impact of such growth in the aviation sector had a positive impact on local economy thus generating growth to companies directly or indirectly connected to the industry. Notwithstanding such growth the country has not yet developed a fully fledged aviation cluster and is still not exploiting its potential in such a sector. Moreover, the country’s international recognition in the industry is still weak. A recent report published by the Malta Institute of Management clearly shows Malta’s weak presence on key markets. The 10th edition of the Executive Traveler seeks to provide a holistic picture of the aviation industry in Malta. The 10th edition discusses the Malta Institute of Management report on the local aviation industry and highlights the key findings. This edition also discusses the industry with the major exponents including ministers, representatives of key institutions, financial advisors and representatives of foreign entities operating in Malta. The edition does not seek to provide conclusions yet to instigate discussion on the subject matter and serve as a guideline to the local industry so as to develop further. We trust the publication will be of interest and wish you all a pleasant read. Andrea Trapani Editor and Publisher / Omar Vella Editor
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Executive Traveller Magazine is distributed for free to top hotels and venues, and is available at local and international business aviation conventions The publication is also available online at: www.aviapros.com/ETM
Disclaimer: Particular attention has been given to ensure that all the content of this magazine is correct and up to date as on date of issue. The views expressed in the articles and technical papers are those of the authors and are not necessarily endorsed by the publisher. While every care has been taken during production, the publisher does not accept any liability for errors that may have occurred. Copyright© 2017.
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"MALTA HAS AN EXTENSIVE NUMBER OF DOUBLE TAXATION AGREEMENTS WITH SEVERAL COUNTRIES, MAKING SURE AIRCRAFT OWNERS DON’T END UP PAYING DOUBLE THEIR DUES, AND OFFERS COMPETITIVE MINIMUM DEPRECIATION PERIODS FOR AIRCRAFT."
EXPLOITING THE COUNTRY’S POTENTIAL THE MALTA INSTITUTE OF MANAGEMENT SURVEY ON MALTA’S AVIATION INDUSTRY
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Malta has played a very active role in recent years to develop into a fully-fledged aviation center of excellence. In line with such ambitions, the country took several legislative, infrastructural and operational decisions to ensure its attractiveness in the aviation industry. The enactment of a robust and attractive legislative framework, further investment in the Malta Aviation Park and the government’s support to diverse sectors in the industry are proof of the government’s will to excel in such a fast growing industry. The setting up of such an attractive platform has ensured Malta’s attractiveness thus encouraging major operators in the aviation industry, such as Lufthansa Technik, SR Technics Group, Rolls Royce, MCM, Aviation Cosmetics and VistaJet to relocate their operations on the island. Notwithstanding the achievements registered, the country is still not exploiting its full potential in the aviation sector. A recent research conducted by the Malta Institute of Management highlighted a weak visibility on specific markets. The aim of such report was to better understand cross border investment trends of companies operating in the aviation sector as well as Malta’s visibility in countries which are generally associated with the aviation industry. The research was conducted among companies operating in three major European countries namely, Russia, Spain and Britain. 33% of respondents were from Russia, 27% from Spain, and 40% from Britain. The research noted that a staggering 73% of all respondents do not invest cross border, while the remaining 27% did not answer. In view of such a result, participants were asked what would attract their investment. The results obtained showed that the most prominent answer seemed to be employment with 33% of the votes. This was followed by 20% contributing to market exposure or competition, 13% for both Tax Regulation and Access to Capital, 7% to both Legislation and Low Bureaucracy. Government Costs were not voted for but the remaining 7% did not answer. The research also sought to determine Malta’s reputation and attractiveness on the international plane. The feedback provided has clearly highlighted Malta’s weak presence on such markets. Indeed, 67% of the participants have no knowledge about Malta. The report went a step ahead and also sought to determine what incentives would participants consider as key to invest in another country. The report focused on Malta’s major advantages namely human resources, fiscal incentives, facilities and other incentives. Participants were asked whether the availability of good human resources would attract them to another country. Surprisingly, 20% of the participants replied that this would not be enough to attract their investment and the remaining 80% answered that it would not encourage them at all. The research also addressed Malta's fiscal regime that includes minimum depreciation periods for aircraft airframes, engine and associated overhaul. These are
written off for tax purposes over a period greater or equal to 6 years. Would this be enough for investors? The results showed that only 13% said yes, 60% answered no, whereas 27% answered that they were undecided. Malta is known to grant tax incentives to companies that are involved in Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul dealing with aircrafts in the form of tax credit. From the results obtained, 47% answered that this would be a good incentive for them to invest, 33% answered negatively and the remaining 20% answered that they were undecided. Malta's tax incentive offers a tax refund on distributed profits where the shareholders are entitled of a refund of 6/7ths of the tax paid on said profits. This seems to be the most popular factor, having 73% participants stating that this would highly affect their investment decision. On benefits offered by Malta, participants ranked that the most important factor (33%) is the ease of import/export. This was followed by an aviation park to provide better infrastructure, geo-strategically and diplomatically positioned along with excellent accessibility to European capitals obtained the same result. Also, a pro-business government and well developed and highly efficient MRO segment. When asked what would be the most unappealing factor when deciding about an investment in aviation, the respondents stated this would be political instability. This is followed by high costs, compliance costs and superior competition, respectively. Knowledge of the existence of Malta Enterprise, the government agency that provides services to foreign investors as well as acts as a trading hub for companies in Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, is unfortunately negligible, with only 27% of the participants responding yes. However, when the participants were asked whether they would use such an organisation if they had to invest in Malta, the outcome resulted in an equal percentage for all available answers namely, yes, no, and undecided. The research conducted by the Malta Institute of Management reaffirms the country’s potential for growth in the aviation sector and commends the efforts made over the past decades by the country to offer an attractive platform to potential foreign investors in the aviation sector. However, the research clearly calls for a stronger presence by Malta in key markets to strengthen its recognition as an attractive hub for aviation companies. Thus, Malta’s unique geostrategic location, highly skilled labour force, and excellent facilities combined with its attractive legislative framework need to be better accentuated in key markets and platforms. Moreover, the research clearly spells out the need for all stakeholders in the local aviation industry to work closer so as to ensure a stronger presence in fairs, conferences and other key platforms which offer unique windows to expose Malta’s edge in the aviation sector.
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REACHING NEW HEIGHTS INTERVIEW WITH THE MINISTER FOR THE ECONOMY, INVESTMENT AND SMALL BUSINESSES DR. CHRIS CARDONA Over recent years, Malta has witnessed growth in the aviation industry, attracting internationally renowned entities to set up operations in Malta. Indeed, the aviation sector in Malta has become a significant player in the local economy experiencing in 2017 an increase of 6.4% in employment levels. The industry’s success in Malta is attributed to a number of factors namely; the total and constant support by the country’s political representatives, both in principle and in fact; the will to allocate sufficient resources and to ensure adequate infrastructure; and the significant investment in education and training of interested parties in respect of all fields which add value to the sector, from engineering to accountancy and audit to the provision of legal services. In its second mandate, the government has confirmed its commitment to ensure Malta develops into a centre of excellence in the aviation sector. The Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Businesses, Dr. Chris Cardona, shared with us his views on the aviation industry and the governments objectives for the years to come. What role does the aviation industry play in Malta's economy? The importance of this industry to Malta’s economy, can be portrayed through some simple figures. In 2017, the sector experienced an increase of 6.4% in employment levels, while recent figures also show that aviation contributed 7.3% of all full-time employment in the manufacturing industry. In fact, at the end of August 2017, the aviation cluster employed more than 1,300 individuals. Exports related to this sector during the period January-July 2017 amounted to €67 million. →
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A FLEXIBLE, COMPETITIVE LEGAL STRUCTURE HAS ALSO LED TO A FAST GROWING AIRCRAFT REGISTRY. OVER THE PAST THREE YEARS, THE AVIATION REGISTRY HAS EXPERIENCED A GROWTH OF ALMOST 70%, WITH OVER 240 AIRCRAFT BEING REGISTERED UNDER THE MALTESE FLAG.
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SEVERAL FACTORS HAVE PLAYED A CRUCIAL ROLE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE AVIATION INDUSTRY IN MALTA NAMELY; THE COUNTRY’S IDEAL GEOGRAPHICAL LOCATION, THE ECONOMIC, POLITICAL AND SOCIAL STABILITY, A HIGHLY SKILLED ENGLISH-SPEAKING WORKFORCE, A BUSINESS-FRIENDLY GOVERNMENT AND A CLEAR AND COMPETITIVE TAX REGIME. Over the past few years, we have been witnessing this economic sector establish itself as one of the emerging industries of the Maltese economy. The aviation pillar has grown rapidly, attracted several foreign investors and diversified to include a number of niches. Today, we find leading industry players based in Malta with operations varying from maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO, for both fixed wing and rotary aircraft), flight training including flight simulation, component manufacture, R&D and innovation on unmanned aerial vehicles and ICT for the aviation industry. A flexible, competitive legal structure has also led to a fast growing aircraft registry. Over the past three years, the aviation registry has experienced a growth of almost 70%, with over 240 aircraft being registered under the Maltese flag. Accompanying this, is the increasing number of companies that are seeking an air operator certificate or other licensing types in Malta. This level of activity has culminated in the setting up of a vibrant and prominent cluster
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with companies such as Lufthansa Technik, SR Technics, Medavia, Aeromaritime, DC Aviation, Air X, Aviation Cosmetics, Comlux, Gulf Helicopters and Simliner Malta Aviation Centre calling Malta home. The ‘Research and Innovation Strategy for Malta 2020’ has identified thematic areas of ‘Smart Specialization’ that also includes Aviation and Aerospace. What is the government’s plan to ensure further growth for the island's aviation sector? At a national level, Malta is being proactive in order to adequately prepare and adapt to the challenges that lie ahead. With our national finances in order including the first registered surplus in thirty-five years, this Government is in a unique position to not only cater for immediate needs, but also to set the structure to cater for the revolutionary times ahead. The Government’s clear aspiration is to transform Malta into a fully-fledged aviation centre that effectively supports all aviationrelated services. The policy vision can be outlined in four main objectives. Firstly, Malta is doing its utmost to become a more attractive jurisdiction for institutions. To that end, there is also an effort in urging
commercial banks to be part of this success story by further delving into the opportunities offered by the aviation industry and actively support its growth. Secondly, there is a direct effort to attract companies that operate in the leasing environment and market. The other main objectives are to attract new workers to this sector and incentivize experienced ones to further widen their knowledge and skills, while also further improving the infrastructure required by companies to expand or establish their operations locally. Over recent years, Malta has witnessed growth in the aviation industry, attracting internationally renowned entities to set up operations in Malta. What makes Malta stand out of the crowd in such a niche sector? Several factors have played a crucial role in the development of the aviation industry in Malta namely; the country’s ideal geographical location, the economic, political and social stability, a highly skilled English-speaking workforce, a business-friendly Government
WITH OUR NATIONAL FINANCES IN ORDER INCLUDING THE FIRST REGISTERED SURPLUS IN THIRTY-FIVE YEARS, THIS GOVERNMENT IS IN A UNIQUE POSITION TO NOT ONLY CATER FOR IMMEDIATE NEEDS, BUT ALSO TO SET THE STRUCTURE TO CATER FOR THE REVOLUTIONARY TIMES AHEAD.
and a clear and competitive tax regime. In addition, being a member of the EU and the Eurozone, has also generated an excellent quality of life paired with, Malta’s reputation as a country with a very low-crime rate makes it easier for people to relocate. The direct access to numerous national institutions and regulators, particularly the Ministry for the Economy, Investment and Small Businesses, Malta Enterprise, Malta Industrial Parks and the Civil Aviation Directorate within Transport Malta, were also clear determining factors. The Government was also a step ahead with regards to legislation, as it kept insisting for reforms in the law to regulate preferential taxation for highly qualified employees in the sector of aircraft registration. The commitment to the industry was also backed by direct infrastructural investment, mostly centred on specialised industrial areas, which are designed to provide secure airside facilities for the industry, particularly within the MRO sector. One such area is the Safi Aviation Park (SAP), a 240,000sqm facility designed and dedicated to bringing the aviation cluster closer together, thus providing better operative infrastructure to its tenants. The park stands alongside other areas within the perimeter of the Malta International Airport where land remains available for
new industrial operations that require direct access to the general airport infrastructure and its runways. The airside infrastructure and the facilities have also been developed so as to accommodate the larger aircraft currently in service, such as the Airbus A380. The cumulative effect of these actions has translated into clear wins for the aviation eco-system in Malta. For example, a major development in relation to this cluster, is the notable maintenance contract recently entered into by a major European airline, EasyJet, with the Malta-based facilities of Lufthansa Technik and SR Technics respectively for the next five years. Moreover VistaJet, a leading business aviation player, has relocated its headquarters to Malta and has plans to continue expanding its operations in line with its growth ambitions and objectives. One should also highlight the wave of €12 million investment being carried out by the Malta International Airport which includes substantial terminal upgrades, not to mention the extensions to their commercial office space blocks and the addition of an airport hotel. How is the government supporting the diverse sectors in the aviation industry? The aviation industry has been a mainstay priority for consecutive administrations over the last decade - a positive affirmation that
Malta is focusing its attention on the aviation sector. Investment in infrastructure has also been central in offering space and facilities to interested investors. However, a number of targeted incentives offered by Malta Enterprise have played, and shall continue to play, a substantial role. These schemes are available to enterprises upon the completion of a due diligence exercise on the applicant and the proposed project. The first scheme provides access to finance via soft loans granted by Malta Enterprise, usually amounting to 33% of the cost of plant, machinery and equipment at a reduced rate of interest. Loan subsidies and Loan guarantees may also be considered. A second scheme assists in qualifying companies via a tax credit based on an initial investment project. This is calculated as a percentage of either the expenditure in tangible and intangible assets or the wage cost for the first 24 months of the newly created jobs. Malta Industrial Parks can also assist with the provision of industrial space whereby qualifying companies may be allocated space within the airport perimeter if airside facilities are required. Space for component manufacture or related activities may also be made available within one of the industrial estates. Limited space is indeed an issue however this may generate the right opportunity to ensure that new operations are sieved through. On the other hand, our limitation in terms of space provides an opportunity to quality rationalise as well as reduce inefficiencies that may translate in less operational costs. At the same time, it is important that the main stakeholders unify and participate in consultation with the main objective of complementing rather than competing with each other. Human resources are a key component of Malta's attractiveness. What is the government's strategy to attract new workers to this sector and incentivize experienced ones to further widen their knowledge and skills? The skills and readiness of our workforce to take on new opportunities in such a developing and emerging sector is crucial. The initiative by national educational institutions, mainly the Malta College for Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST) to provide tailor-made courses was central in encouraging young people to enrol for courses which provide the necessary training in various areas related to aviation. Simultaneously, the Institute for Aerospace Technologies within the University of Malta is now offering the opportunity for students to specialise within the related fields of avionics, air traffic control, as well as aircraft maintenance. The Government is also working to create the appropriate environment to attract highly qualified aviation professionals to work in Malta via tailor-made taxation incentives. While satisfying the skills requirements of the companies based in Malta, this measure also aims to promote specialised knowledge and a transfer of skills within Malta’s aviation industry. executive traveller → issue 10
The Three Cities is a collective description of the three fortified cities of Birgu, Senglea and Cospicua in Malta. The oldest of the Three Cities is Birgu, which has existed since the Middle Ages. The other two cities, Senglea and Cospicua, were both founded by the Order of Saint John in the 16th and 17th centuries. The Three Cities are enclosed by the Cottonera Lines, along with several other fortifications. The term Cottonera is synonymous with the Three Cities, although it is sometimes taken to also include the nearby town of Kalkara. The Three Cities have a total population of 10,808 people as of March 2014.
The three cities, Malta .
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MALTA HAS AN EXTENSIVE NUMBER OF DOUBLE TAXATION AGREEMENTS WITH SEVERAL COUNTRIES, MAKING SURE AIRCRAFT OWNERS DON’T END UP PAYING DOUBLE THEIR DUES, AND OFFERS COMPETITIVE MINIMUM DEPRECIATION PERIODS FOR AIRCRAFT.
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EARNING A REPUTATION INTERVIEW WITH THE HON. DR. IAN BORG MINISTER FOR TRANSPORT, INFRASTRUCTURE AND CAPITAL PROJECTS
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MALTA’S AVIATION REGISTER IS RUN BY AN EFFICIENT, SKILLED AND COST EFFECTIVE MULTILINGUAL WORKFORCE AND BOASTS ADVANTAGES THAT RANGE FROM SOLID LEGAL FRAMEWORKS TO FINANCIAL INCENTIVES. Malta is fast developing into a major player in the aviation industry. Recently revamped rules and regulations have breathed new life in Malta’s aviation industry and seek to ensure the country will emulate the success achieved in its maritime strategy. Malta’s first aircraft register was established in the 1960s but it was only lately that the island decided to capitalize further on its aviation past. The primary aim of the recent enactment is to make Malta an attractive jurisdiction for both private and commercial aircraft registration within Europe, while also ensuring full adherence to the restrictions imposed by EU law on the registration and ownership of aircraft within the EU. In line with this new vision, the country has embarked on a new, ambitious project to establish one of the largest aircraft registers in the world. The
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government’s strategy and efforts are giving their fruit. As of mid-May 2017, Malta has 250 aircraft listed on its register, pursuant to the new Aircraft Registration Act of 2010. The Hon. Dr. Ian Borg shared with us his vision for the local aviation industry and his plan to reach the set goals. According to Transport Malta data, Malta has 262 aircraft on its registry. What makes the country so attractive? Malta’s aviation register is run by an efficient, skilled and cost effective multilingual workforce and boasts advantages that range from solid legal frameworks to financial incentives. The registry enjoys a very robust legislative framework that offers peace of mind to aircraft owners, airline operators and financiers alike. To give a couple of examples, Malta has
implemented the Cape Town Convention, that guarantees rights of ownerships despite the different legal systems of diverse countries, and it recognises fractional ownership. Malta has an extensive number of double taxation agreements with several countries, making sure aircraft owners don’t end up paying double their dues, and offers competitive minimum depreciation periods for aircraft. To what extent do you feel Malta's aviation registry is emulating the success achieved by the country in ship registrations? The Maltese Merchant Ship Register is surely a success one seeks to emulate. Maritime Malta is the largest ship register in the European Union and the sixth largest in the World.
and also because of the size of the assets. All this makes it easier for the aviation industry to generate clusters. In fact, we already have a solid aviation cluster in Malta since every aspect of the aviation industry is present.
Malta’s aviation register is going through a very welcome growth period. The amount of aircraft registered has doubled over a period of five years, entrenching Malta’s position as a jurisdiction for aircraft registration, with 61 aircraft registered just last year. The ever increasing amount of aviation related companies showing interest in Malta is very encouraging. We will continue to do our utmost to attract further investment. In what way is the government seeking to develop the country into a more attractive aviation jurisdiction? The Government, through Transport Malta’s Civil Aviation Directorate is constantly reengineering itself to simplify the multitude of processes involved in registering an aircraft, an airline, a training provider and all aviation related
operations, while at the same time keeping the highest levels of scrutiny, safeguarding the name of the register and our country. The Directorate is actively increasing the quantity and quality of its workforce, through a continuous drive to attract more people for these emerging career opportunities and at the same time investing in training and education of personnel to reach higher levels of expertise, enabling them to better serve our esteemed clients. One of the major weakness in Malta's maritime sector is its inability to develop a cluster. How can Malta develop into a fullyfledged aviation cluster? The aviation industry developed somewhat differently from the maritime industry, also because the former is comparatively young
We have Air Operators, firms that perform maintenance and repair and approved training operators, besides leasing firms, paint shops and the rest. We strive to have a healthy and organic industry that tailors for all the needs, a one stop shop if you will. The interconnectedness between the various players in such a small space, increases their productivity and adds value to our product. The government has embarked on an ambitious infrastructure project which includes the building of residential roads with an investment of €700 million in seven years. In what way will such infrastructural projects ensure a more attractive Malta in the aviation industry? Aviation firms need to have their main offices in Malta. They need all different kind of services on land, thus the country’s infrastructure is crucial for their stability, success and expansion. The infrastructure also plays an important part in attracting high value employees that in turn propel their enterprise to newer heights, successes and prosperity. Indeed such a major investment in this fundamental cornerstone of infrastructure is very good news. executive traveller → issue 10 15
CREATING AN AVIATION CLUSTER INTERVIEW WITH MALTA INDUSTRIAL PARKS CEO, MR. KARL AZZOPARDI
OUR SPACE LIMITATIONS PROVIDE AN OPPORTUNITY TO QUALITY RATIONALISE AS WELL AS REDUCE INEFFICIENCIES THAT MAY RESULT IN TO LESS OPERATIONAL COSTS
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With the largest portfolio of industrial and commercial property in the country, Malta Industrial Parks (MIP) is responsible for the allocation of property for new investment projects, and the management and administration of all government-owned industrial parks in Malta and Gozo. Its portfolio includes the Safi Aviation Parks which hosts leading international companies operating in the aviation industry such as Aviation Cosmetics and SR Techniks. In response to the growth of the maintenance, repair and overhaul sector, SAP has embarked on an ambitious project of expansion. The project also seeks to increase in the diversity of services provided. The main objective behind such ambitious project is to see the country develop a unique cluster which will develop the island into a centre of excellence in the aviation industry. We had the opportunity to meet the person leading such project, Mr. Karl Azzopardi, CEO of Malta Industrial Parks who shared with us Malta’s attractiveness in the aviation sector, recent achievements, and the government’s goal to develop an aviation cluster. The country has over the past years attracted several leading international companies such as Lufthansa Technik, Aviation Cosmetics and SR Technik. What makes Malta so attractive for entities operating in the aviation industry? Malta’s position at the centre of the Mediterranean is essential as it commands an easy route to both mainland Europe as well as North Africa. The country’s exceptional economic development and solid financial foundation also make Malta an ideal location for investment. So far, Malta has maintained a competitive cost structure due to low corporate taxation and attractive incentives packages. In the last few years, there has been extensive investment in the education and training of our workforce in order to ensure the most effective results. This has resulted in a workforce variously described by important investors as flexible, loyal, innovative and productive. In addition, being an EU member-state and the use of Euro as our national currency have generated an excellent quality of life and a safe environment which makes it easier for expats to settle down in Malta.
What is your strategy towards the aviation sector? The aviation cluster in terms of MRO is quite new to MIP. The experience so far, including enquiries from potential new operators, has instigated the possibility of expansion in this sector. MIP's strategy in this context is to study the potential expansion whilst bearing in mind existing operators and sustainability. Therefore, MIP is currently conducting feasibility studies to establish a master plan in this respect that should ultimately result in to the identification of the quantum and type of cluster or operations it would like to generate and attract. This can be sustained without distorting current operators but rather seek to add value to operators which have already set up shop in Malta. How can Malta continue to attract further investment from the aviation industry notwithstanding its limitations in space? As I mentioned earlier, Malta can look in to having specialised operations that excel and enhance the work on quality services and products through proper clustering. Limited space is indeed an issue however; this may generate the right opportunity to ensure that new operations are sieved through. On the other hand, our space limitations provide an opportunity to quality rationalise as well as reduce inefficiencies that may result in to less operational costs. What infrastructural developments have you embarked on within the different industrial zones so as to attract more FDI from the aviation sector? The taxi ways leading to our cluster have been upgraded during the last year as to ensure that these can take up larger aircrafts. In the upcoming months, we are seeking to implement further upgrades as we are continuously striving to ensure that we are working according to the expected standards. Furthermore, sites which are currently in use but are not being optimised are being considered as part of the regeneration. It has often been stressed by various exponents from the industry the need for the island to develop an aviation cluster. How can Malta achieve such goal? As mentioned earlier, given the land limitations and availability in the airport’s extents and immediate boundaries (including MIP's sites), one must look at the regeneration of what it has with an eye for quality rationalisation and optimisation. This should be followed through with market research and consultations, in terms of operations, that can add value and are of long term stability thus focusing on quality charter scenarios. At the same time, it is important that the main stakeholders unify and participate in consultation with the main objective of complementing each other rather than competing against each other.
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of their own The careful selection of a high-level fleet of vehicles and hiring the most professional chauffeurs in Malta ensures that our customers always get outstanding service and the best comfort. Testimony to our track record is our ever-growing number of repeat customers both corporate and individual. Our fleet is solely made up of Mercedes-Benz vehicles, a brand that reflects excellence and luxury. These are the pillars that make up the philosophy behind Dacoby Chauffeur Service. Launched in 2007 by Darren Zarb, Dacoby Chauffeur Service is a familyrun business that has proven to be a leader in private transportation in Malta. The services on offer include airport and hotel transfers, pointto-point transportation, private chauffeur service for individuals and groups. With our wide range of vehicle types available in our fleet, we can also accommodate large groups with our luxury mini vans and coaches, perfect for conferences, team-building transfers and corporate events. Our flexibility and experience helps us take on complex requests by our clients who may request a specific or tailor-made service.
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Your partner for Maltese Citizenship & Residence Nexia BT provides a comprehensive range of financial and advisory services through its different service lines. As a member of Nexia International, we are strategically positioned to cater for our clients’ needs on a local and international level. Malta offers different citizenship and residence programmes designed to cater for different applicants’ needs. Our professionals in the International Clients Services will assist you through the different stages from consultation through to the application process. Why Malta? • A republic island in the central Mediterranean; • Politically and economically stable; • Higher economic growth than most EU countries; • EU and Commonwealth member state; and • Part of the Schengen Area. Contact: Karl Cini Partner firstname.lastname@example.org The Penthouse, Suite 2 Capital Business Centre Entrance C, Triq taz-Zwejt San Gwann SGN 3000 Malta EU Tel: +356 2163 7778 www.nexiabt.com
INTERVIEW WITH OLIVER ZAMMIT TAX AND INTERNATIONAL CLIENT SERVICES DIRECTOR, NEXIA BT
Malta is rapidly developing into a jurisdiction of choice for leading international companies operating in the aviation sector. Changes in the country’s legislative frameworks and a strong Civil Aviation Directorate has changed Malta’s position in the aviation world attracting an increasing number of service providers which see the country as a reputable and cost-effective destination. Malta’s cutting edge in the aviation sector is also due to the efforts of various private firms which promote the island’s reputation and incentives across the globe. One of the major ambassadors to Malta’s aviation industry is definitely Nexia BT with its wealth of expertise in the sector and an unfaltering commitment towards each client. Oliver Zammit - Director, Tax and International Client Services Nexia BT shares with us his opinion of what makes Malta stand out of the crowd.
Notwithstanding the longstanding existence of civil aviation in Malta, its business aviation strategy is only seven years old. Why did Malta take so long to invest its energies in the aviation industry? Indisputably, the aviation industry in Malta could not enjoy the unrivalled success the maritime sector has been enjoying for the past decades. The latter’s success however could be said to be due not only to Malta’s maritime tradition but notably also to having been regulated since 1973, the ongoing establishment of modern facilities and service provision on and from our shores. The aviation industry could therefore only begin to flourish upon the consciousness that the potential and growth of the aviation sector could not be paralleled to those of the maritime industry. →
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Your aviation partner in Malta From its favourable geographic location, to attractive tax incentives, a reliable Civil Aviation Directorate and the support of an excellent legal framework, Malta is the aviation jurisdiction of choice. Nexia BT can provide assistance for a portfolio of services in connection with the aviation industry in Malta, including: Registration of the aircraft and aircraft mortgages; Acting as the resident agent in Malta on behalf of aircraft owners and operators; Incorporation of the appropriate corporate structures; Coordination of aircraft financing transactions and administration; and Legal and tax advisory services.
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WHILST HAVING THE RIGHT JURISDICTION TO WORK FROM AND PROMOTE IS IMPORTANT, THIS MUST BE COMPLEMENTED BY EXPERIENCED AND COMPETENT TEAM.
The realisation became the driving force of the said potential and growth, commencing with the awareness that the terms on which an enterprise may register an aircraft left much to be desired, and did not address the intrinsic security sought by owners and financiers. Eventually, howsoever late, the Aircraft Registration Act (ARA) of 2010 and the simultaneous implementation of the Cape Town Convention significantly contributed to the growth witnessed in the aviation industry in Malta, and the potential to mirror the success of the maritime sector. What were the major landmarks introduced by the 2010 aircraft registration act? The Aircraft Registration Act, a landmark in itself, established key innovations, primarily in the way it regulated the aircraft register, and equally significantly by the introduction of aircraft mortgages; the possibility for aircraft to form security for debts distinctly from the owner’s other assets; the implementation of the Cape Town Convention and the complimenting fiscal incentives pertinent to international aviation. Furthermore, aircraft registered pursuant to the new ARA started to enjoy access to intra-Community routes. Collectively, the improvements transformed Malta into an attractive hub for the aviation industry, having realised that owners as lessors and financiers were the ones to attract. What makes Malta stand out of the crowd in the field of aircraft registration? Being the first Member State to accede to the Cape Town Convention and Aircraft Protocol, Malta immediately stood out at an EU level. The growth of AOC holders and the unprecedented increase of aircraft registered in the National Aircraft Register since the enactment of the Aircraft Registration Act is testimony to the success of the ARA and of Malta’s aviation industry at large. The November 2016 amendment to the ARA, which filled certain lacunae and corrected insolvency and enforcement issues also serves to illustrate Malta’s continuous effort to stand out of the crowd. There is a myriad of benefits to register an aircraft in Malta, the main ones being the extensive list of persons qualified to own a Maltese craft, registration possibilities extending to aircraft under construction and aircraft under a temporary title, the recognition of fractional ownership, visibility of rights and interests over aircraft in the interest of financiers, very competitive depreciation periods for crafts, zero withholding tax on lease payments where the lessor is not a tax resident of Malta, an extensive network of double taxation treaties, an attractive corporate tax system, and favourable registration fees in comparison with other European jurisdictions. Appreciably, the ample advantages do not give rise to the fears associated with jurisdictions regarded as flags of convenience.
How can the island create a cluster specifically for the aviation sector where Malta can attract and support the growth of a number of businesses? The Government has been aiming towards strengthening the aviation sector. Pursuant to the publication of ‘A Civil Aviation Policy for Malta 2014-2020’ the Government seeks to ensure the growth of the aviation sector. Echoing UNWTO’s Conference on Sustainable Development in Islands, the Policy affirms that there is a link between aviation and tourism, elaborating that island destinations are dependent on air transport to provide effective access to source markets. Whilst the Government continues to work with the EC on the development of air transport agreements with third countries, the Policy provides for more than increasing the number of passengers travelling by air to and from Malta. Other significant objectives of the Policy are the establishment of a General and Business Aviation Terminal and the improvement of long-haul services. The Policy significantly focuses on growing the provision of ancillary services to the aviation industry, specifically within the Maintenance Repair and Overhaul sector, which was augmented in no small way through the development of Safi Aviation Park, an industrial space set to grow to 240,000 sqm, with spaces therein allocable to qualifying companies in the aviation services industry. Safi Aviation Park is set to further bolster the aviation industry as an MRO base, an aviation research centre and aviation business incubator. What were your efforts in recent years to ensure further awareness of the Maltese flag on the international plane? Our strategy has always been the ability to be a one-stop-shop for our clients, and our efforts were largely placed towards proficiency across a spectrum of aviation services, and not limited to flag registration. Consequently we are and continue to be in a position to promote the Maltese flag and the accompanying features of Malta as a pro-aviation and pro-business jurisdiction through the ability to boast of high level safety and security standards, being an EASA certified state, having an FAA Category 1 rating, numerous fiscal benefits, an efficient Civil Aviation Directorate, and accompanying employment opportunities, particularly under the Highly Qualified Persons Rules. What is your plan for the coming years to increase your presence in the international aviation industry? Whilst having the right jurisdiction to work from and promote is important, this must be complemented by experienced and competent team. At Nexia BT we are committed to provide a personalised, timely and high calibre service to our clients. We shall continue to be present in major international aviation events and being a member of Nexia International, a top ten worldwide network of independent business advisors in over 120 countries, further enhances our presence as a firm at an international level.
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Europe’s most attractive jurisdiction for international business FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT WWW.NMGROUP.COM.MT ACCOUNTANCY | AUDIT | TAX ADVISORY | COMPANY FORMATION | REMOTE GAMING For more information do not hesitate to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org Triq l-Uqija, Swieqi, SWQ 2334, Malta T: 2137 2462 • 2138 4713 F: 2137 4869
BUILDING ON A NATION’S REPUTATION
INTERVIEW – BEPPE MUSCAT, CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT & PRACTICING AUDITOR AT NM GROUP
Malta’s owes its attractiveness to the unique package its offers on the international plane. The natural and geographic assets of the country are supported by an attractive and robust financial services industry. The governments drive on the international market to promote the country as a natural choice for investors is supported by the private sector which actively participates in Malta and abroad in various fairs, conferences and other networking platforms. The directors of NM Group have over the past decades worked incessantly to push our country’s name and reputation abroad. One major area in which the company heavily invests its time and energy is indeed the fast growing aviation sector. We had the opportunity to discuss with Beppe Muscat, from NM Group who shared with us his views on the financial services industry. He also shared with us his opinion on the growing aviation industry and the company’s goals on such a niche sector. What would you identify as the key drivers behind Malta’s as a financial services centre? In recent years, Malta has established itself as a leading financial services jurisdiction within the EU. This success is based on a number of
factors, including the country's regulatory and legal system, telecommunications infrastructure, skilled English-speaking workforce, strategic geographical location, the country's reputation as a respected EU Member state, and last but definitely not least, Malta's unique taxation system. All of these factors are crucial to the overall attractiveness of Malta – however, with our tax system, Malta has positioned itself as a tax efficient jurisdiction offering the lowest effective tax rate within the EU region, whilst boasting onshore status. How has Malta’s position in the aviation industry developed over the past decade and what still needs to be done? Accession as a full member of the EU back in 2004 was a turning point for the country and this triggered constant growth and economic development. With this, Malta strategically positioned itself as the ideal jurisdiction for various high-end sectors, such as remote gaming, the pharmaceutical industry, maritime, financial services, and aviation. Over the years, various administrations have worked hard to ensure that Malta’s fiscal and regulatory systems are in sync with the country’s vision of being a leading member state within the E.U. In what way will Brexit have an impact on Malta’s position in the aviation industry? The implications of Brexit will very much depend on what results from the diplomatic, political and economic negotiations that are currently underway. Having said that I believe that Brexit could be a great opportunity for a
jurisdiction such as Malta to position itself as an alternative jurisdiction of excellence for those multinationals that previously opted for the UK as their base within the EU region. This will require Malta to excel in the various aspects, with a specific focus on the country's reputation. What are your company’s efforts to promote Malta as country of choice for companies in the aviation industry? At NM Group, we have developed a very strong international client network and client base. We have also strategically positioned ourselves as a professional services firm that has the structure, expertise and resources required to provide our esteemed clients with a one-stop-shop for all their business requirements. This holistic and convenient approach has proven to be crucial to attracting foreign investors and clients, and building successful business relationships. What are your future reach out plans to strengthen your presence abroad? NM Group is a member of Adam Global, a multidisciplinary network with more than 130 members worldwide. We also collaborate with other international associations including another very strong network called Santa Fe Associates International. These collaborations have allowed us to reach out to clients and communicate the advantages and opportunities that Malta has to offer. Furthermore, our membership also gives our clients access to an international network of professionals from over the globe, which adds value to our service offering. executive traveller → issue 10 25
26 executive traveller â†’ issue 10
A WINNING FORMULA INTERVIEW WITH NICK VAN DER MEER – CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, VISTAJET VistaJet have come a long way within a relatively short span of time since its strategic decision to relocate its headquarters to Malta. Indeed, the company, registers around 160 hours of flight per day, boasts an industry-leading customer retention level of 91 per cent and is, once again, surpassing its business development sales targets for 2017. Moreover, the company has over the past years generated substantial employment in their Luqa-based headquarters on the island, almost quadrupling their personnel in Malta from 80 to 265, with Maltese people forming 45 per cent of the workforce. Part of this impressive growth is due to the creation and retention of the Maltese government’s business-friendly attitude which has played a fundamental role in facilitating the company's continued success. A key player behind such success story is Nick Van der Meer who spared some time to discuss with us VistaJet’s experience in Malta and their future plans on the island. →
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VistaJet boasts an industry-leading customer retention level of 91 per cent. What is Vista Jet’s business model and how does it help the company stand out of the crowd? That’s really two questions, why people choose VistaJet, and why they choose to stay with us. Customers come to us because we offer all the benefits of owning a personal jet without the asset risk. We take away all the headaches that come with servicing and maintaining a jet. We also offer a simple, easy-to-understand service. You only pay for the time you are in the air, and as long as it is safe and the runway is long enough, we can pick you up anywhere in the world, with as little as 24 hours’ notice. Our industry leading retention rate, and indeed the reason why our Program customers are adding hours each year, is down to the level of service we offer. Our customers have access to our fleet of over 70, identically branded, state-of-the-art aircraft, so they know that every time they fly with us, they’ll get the best. Whether that’s offering food from the world’s most renowned chefs, using crystal and china by Christofle, or training all our cabin hostesses at the British Butler Institute, we pride ourselves on thinking of everything We also have the best team in the industry. Every single colleague at VistaJet puts the customer first in everything they do, whether that’s our cabin hostesses or our engineers. That commitment to delivering for our customers, every time, drives us forward, and is one of the key reasons why our customers come back to us time and again. There is a constant stress by Thomas Flohr to “keep it simple”. Can you elaborate further on the company’s emphasis on simplicity? Here at VistaJet, everything we do is about putting the customer first, and that applies across the company. We offer simple, transparent pricing, so that customers know that once they have agreed a price per hour, there won’t be any surprises or add-ons. Everything is included, from a cabin hostess on every flight to the food in-flight. We’ve also recently made it even easier for customers to fly with us, by launching the industry’s first end-to-end booking app, VistaJet Direct. Using the app, users are able to tailor everything about their flight from their phone or a booking portal if they prefer, in real time, whether that’s selecting their preferred dining, the ground services they’ll need when they land, or adding passengers, for example.
quite a lot of change at the moment, as new companies come through and try to compete with the more established players, and the older businesses seek to respond to developments in technology and digital. VistaJet is now the leading brand in global business aviation, and with Rhone Capital as our new partner we have the agility to react to any opportunities we see in the market over the coming months. We are ideally placed to further strengthen our market share in all key regions, particularly North America and Asia. Why have you chosen Malta? Ever since we first moved some of our operations here, Malta has welcomed us with open arms. This is a supportive, business focussed country. It has an established and growing aviation sector, a thorough and knowledgeable aviation regulator, as well as an ever increasing pool of local talent. Because everyone speaks English, we can attract talent both from within Malta, and internationally. It is also well-located geographically, as it’s a member of the EU, and is centrally based. All those factors were behind our decision to move our global operations centre to Malta last year. This is a beautiful, successful country, and we’re really proud to be able to call ourselves
Malta’s first ‘unicorn’, following our recent $2.5bn valuation. Last year the company announced a further EUR 100 million investment in Malta's aviation industry with the purchase of three new luxury jets. In what way has such investment contributed to the company's further expansion ambitions? 60 of our fleet of 72 aircraft are registered in and operated from here in Malta by a team of over 240 experts, with the support of a global workforce of 900. Our presence in Malta is only going to grow as we invest in our people and capabilities, so that we can continue to deliver the very best service to our customers. What further projects does VistJet plan to tap on in the coming years? We’re always listening to our customers and looking at what else is out there in the market to make sure we’re offering the very best. We have disrupted the market ever since our launch in 2004, and we are committed to breaking down barriers in the future. We’re investing in our back-end operations, to ensure our service is as seamless and efficient as possible, and we’re continuously testing out new technologies and innovations to see whether they could help us to improve our offer even further. When you are the leader, you can’t stand still.
OUR CUSTOMERS HAVE ACCESS TO OUR FLEET OF OVER 70, IDENTICALLY BRANDED, STATE-OF-THEART AIRCRAFT, SO THEY KNOW THAT EVERY TIME THEY’LL GET THE BEST
Alongside this, members receive push notifications to their smartphone when a flight is near them or available in one of their favourite cities. It means all they have to do is tap the notification and book. Earlier this year, VistaJet announced that it had received a $150 million cash investment by Rhône Capital. In what way will such financial injection support the company's future projects? The aviation industry is experiencing executive traveller → issue 10 29
INTERVIEW WITH MR. MARCUS MOTSCHENBACHER, CEO OF LUFTHANSA TECHNIK MALTA Malta’s geographic location, English-language speaking workforce and attractive tax system were key incentives that made the island a natural choice for Lufthansa Technik’s strategic move to set up a European base for aircraft maintenance. The joint venture between Lufthansa Technik AG and Air Malta plc set up more than a decade ago is considered to be a success story with six operational lines and more than 800,000 man hours annually. The impressive growth achieved over the past years shows the strength of the brand as well as the benefits the island offers to foreign investment in the aviation sector. Lufthansa Technik Malta CEO, Marcus Motschenbacher, has last year replaced Stephan Drewes, who has moved on to head the production network aircraft base maintenance for Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg. Mr. Motschenbacher has been entrusted with the task to take the company to the next level. Notwithstanding his busy agenda, Mr. Motschenbacher found some time to assess the company’s experience in Malta and share with us his long term strategy for Lufthansa Technik Malta.
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How would you summarise your experience on the island? From a personal side, I have come to Malta 13 months ago with my family and three boys. Everyone adapted very quickly to the new way of life. This was facilitated by the welcoming culture of the Maltese, their friendliness, the enjoyable climatic conditions and of course the social integration into school and a quickly growing circle of acquaintances and friends, both foreign and domestic. The fact that very good English is spoken further ensured a quick assimilation. As for the company’s experience, I am honoured to be at the helm of this fantastic company with its now 15 years of experience and successful history on the Island. Lufthansa were the pioneers in Aircraft Maintenance and next to Air Malta, our Joint Venture Partner, were the first aviation company on the island. Well skilled personnel and a good investment climate characterize till today our enterprise. How would you appraise the Maltese aviation sector? The Malta aviation sector has grown enormously in the last years. Starting with Lufthansa Technik and the Engineering arm of Air Malta, several other companies in both Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) as well as CAMO and operator services, charter flight services for corporate business have grown. The attraction of busi-
ness saw – from a Lufthansa Technik point of view – competing and complementing businesses, the aircraft painting company Aviation Cosmetics as an example of the latter. The aviation sector however is a victim of its own success today. All companies compete for a similar profile of people in an environment that enjoys full employment today. This makes staff migration between the companies inevitable and puts pressure on the wages. Every company in the aviation sector – including Lufthansa Technik – has currently many vacancies out that the companies wish and need to be filled at the earliest possibility. In what way has the island helped Lufthansa Technik Malta stand out of the crowd? Lufthansa Technik today still enjoys a great reputation. The strong brand, the company’s contribution to the Maltese economy and society have made the reciprocal ties between the island and the German headquarter stronger. The island’s geographic location in the vicinity of the Middle East, Northern Africa and Europe is ideal to attract business from all over. In the early days, the support of the business development arm of the government has also helped significantly to overcome hurdles. Lufthansa Technik’s premises, which form the largest single building on the island, and located at Luqa Airport, of course already stands out as an impressive landmark.
In what way does your collaboration with key local educational institutions such as MCAST ensure Lufthansa Technik’s competitive edge on the market? It has become a tough struggle to defend our competitive edge on an every day level. Lufthansa Technik prides itself on a strong customer base composed of more than 30 airlines across the globe. The strong Lufthansa mother fleet is also a priviledge that only few MROs enjoy. MCAST have certainly helped a great deal to form and train the first batches of students, workers and engineers of which many still are with the company to this day. Lufthansa Technik and MCAST share the same goal to attract talent and motivation for the aviation world, a task that becomes challenging every day. What is your vision for the company in the coming years? It is our target to remain the number one aviation company on the island, i.e. the largest, most attractive and most successful. We will increase our customer portfolio and also expand vertically by adding more products such as the A320NEO, the Boeing B737Max and on a longhaul aircraft segment, the A350, the world’s most innovative aircraft. My vision is to service these modern airliners from an expanded one-site facility which works with a stable and competent workforce and makes a valuable contribution to the worldwide Lufthansa Technik Base Maintenance Network and Maltese society.
LUFTHANSA TECHNIK’S PREMISES, WHICH FORM THE LARGEST SINGLE BUILDING ON THE ISLAND, AND LOCATED AT LUQA AIRPORT, OF COURSE ALREADY STAND OUT OF THE CROWD AS AN IMPRESSIVE LANDMARK. executive traveller → issue 10 31
Sky Prime Private Aviation Services Reports a Record 40% Growth in Charter Flights for 2017. The largest private aviation fleet in the Middle East soon extending services to cater for new European market demands.
CARVING A NICHE AN INTERVIEW WITH ANDREA TRAPANI OWNER OF EXECUTIVE AVIATION MALTA
The business aviation sector opened an important niche segment in the local economy. The sector has attracted several major international players who have now set their roots on the island leaving a strong direct and indirect impact on the local economy. Executive Aviation Malta is a product of this growing phenomenon. The company has experienced a steady growth and expects to further expand its reach in the coming years. Andrea Trapani, owner of Executive Aviation Malta, shared with us his views on the industry and the company’s development over the past years. →
executive traveller → issue 10 33
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IL NOSTRO MONDO NELLA TUA CUCINA
What can you tell us about Malta and the current Business Aviation scene? Business aviation in Malta has been growing at a gradual pace for the past decade. Ever since I have decided to take the plunge and open my own business back in 2011, the numbers have always been on the increase and, I must admit, it has been a challenging yet, extremely rewarding period for me. To what or who do you attribute this success? Hard work pays off as they say. As with every business, passion and dedication usually make a big part of a successful story. As I like to say, one has to enjoy what he does in order to do it well. Executive Aviation Malta was established back in 2011 with a dream in mind, that of creating something which didn’t exist in Malta at the time. I wanted to offer that added value to business aviation customers and go that extra mile with VIP/business jet users. Today, I consider Executive Aviation Malta as Malta’s only dedicated boutique business jet handler thanks to a modest, yet great team running the show and thanks to the natural passion and pride all employees manage to transmit to the end client. Since you like to mention your team, how important is it to have good employees? Having good employees in a business is extremely important. Having great employees
in our kind of business is vital. One cannot imagine how heartwarming it is for someone like me to regularly receive positive feedback and references from big multinational business jet operators, passengers and crew who have been flying all over the globe for many years and where one would think that they have seen it all. It makes you realize that indeed, we do manage to be different than others and we are actually succeeding in offering that something special. What importance do you give to quality and quantity? Firstly, I would never sacrifice quality for quantity. When it comes to numbers, Executive Aviation Malta may not be the biggest player locally. Our staff compliment is smaller and we relatively handle less flights when compared to others. Having said so, we have giant operators who have been loyal with us for years and others who choose us since they do not want to feel like a number. Our customers are the elite of a global service industry, hence, dedicated/ boutique services are a must. In any business, growth has to be gradual and controlled. We cannot make the mistake of pushing for quantity at the detriment of quality. A question I always like to ask. Where do you see yourself in the next ten years? That’s a tough one. I consider myself as a hard
worker and target oriented person. I really like having targets in life as without them, I feel lost. I enjoy doing what I do but sometimes I feel like I need to be careful as may be verging on becoming a full blown workaholic. An old friend of mine once told me that aviation is a drug and I must be careful not to get addicted. Indeed, he got that one right… a drug it is. I try my best to slow down at times, however, the goals I make and dreams I chase tend to keep me focused and always thirsty for new achievements. Having said this however, I really do yearn to have at least one long holiday someday soon and hope to be able to retire before I turn 60… Finally, what is your vision for the near future? As an entrepreneur, whether it’s fortunate or not, my mind never really rests. Sometimes I can barely sleep as certain ideas tend to come to mind as soon as I lay down in bed. I am always thinking about innovative ideas, improvements or even new aviation business opportunities to explore. I am currently working on a new project which hopefully will be able to kick start early 2018. I’m excited and looking forward to make this project another success. Time will tell, but one thing I’m sure of is, I will give my 100% and may God give me the strength to succeed. executive traveller → issue 10 35
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As sure as the sun rises in the East, the most unique way to experience the sights and colours of the Maltese Islands is from the surrounding Mediterranean Sea. A colossal variety of postcard-perfect landmarks and seascapes dot the coastlines of Malta, Gozo and Comino – here are eight of the archipelago’s most beautiful panoramic perspectives, as seen from a boat, for you to enjoy when you’re next in Malta.
Malta VITTORIOSA WATERFRONT
Home to the Azure Ultra fleet is the glamorous, recently restored waterfront on the western side of the 16th century port town of Vittoriosa. Lined with al fresco dining establishments nestled among buildings dating from the times of the Knights of St John, Birgu waterfront is a dynamic, lively place where layered history, exquisite food and luxury yachts all converge within an ancient naval base. Must-visit A must-visit is the national Maritime Museum, housed inside the former British Naval Bakery. Here lie numerous artefacts, the most precious of which include the largest Roman anchor to be discovered worldwide, plus a working marine steam engine from the mid-20th century.
2. LOWER BARRAKKA GARDENS Valletta is a UNESCO World Heritage Centre offering spectacular views from all angles. Take a lazy boat cruise around Malta's Grand Harbour and witness the historical richness and grandeur of the island's capital at your leisure, especially captivating when the late afternoon sun turns the walls of the honey-coloured fortresses to gold. Architectural monuments Among the prominent architectural monuments dominating Valletta’s skyline from the Grand Harbour side are the Lower Barrakka Gardens, located on the city’s eastern flank and overlooking its imposing bastions. Fully visible from the sea is the gardens’ Siege Bell war memorial – a round stone structure containing the largest bell on the Maltese Islands.
3. MARSAMXETT HARBOUR The legendary Valletta skyline, and waterfront on the Marsamxett Harbour side, lie to the north of the larger Grand Harbour. Encapsulating the historical Manoel Island across the shore, this panoramic harbour showcases the Maltese capital in its full glory. Visual Odyssey Pristinely preserved 16th century bastion walls from the times of the Knights Order run along the Marsamxett stretch of coast. The 19th century, 63-metre tall steeple of St Paul’s Anglican Pro-Cathedral – and the even taller 73-metre high basilica of Our Lady of Mount Carmel – soar above the cityscape while colourful traditional Maltese balconies overlook the deep waters. Each of these landmarks compose a visual odyssey through Valletta's eclectic and often turbulent maritime history.
4. ST PETER’S POOL A glittering, natural body of azure and turquoise waters, St Peter’s Pool is situated in the southwest of the island on the Delimara peninsula, close to the charming fishing village of Marsaxlokk. Anchor stop Although growing steadily in popularity among bathers who make their way to this remote, smooth white rock beach every summer, St Peter’s Pool remains a coastal gem. It’s a quieter sort of anchor stop, where you can enjoy a swim, a spot of snorkelling and lunch on board, away from the heavily crowded beaches to the north of Malta. executive traveller → issue 10 39
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Take a boat trip around Gozo and the first thing you’ll immediately catch sight of is the bustling harbour of Mġarr. It is here that the Gozo ferry makes its regular drop-off stops before it departs back to the main island. Fishermen can be seen preparing their nets before they sail out on their daily fishing expedition. The adjacent harbour marina serves yachts stopping over on this second largest island of the Maltese archipelago. Perched on a promontory Atop this quaint harbour town is Fort Chambray, an 18th century structure initially intended as a capital city that would replace the Gozo Citadel, but whose development never reached completion. The 19th century, neo-Gothic chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Lourdes sits perched on a promontory in the village of Għajnsielem, well within sight from the harbour waters. Further inland to the right one can also admire the 20th century, Gothic-Lombard chapel of Our Lady of Loreto, which also belongs to the same parish.
Comino 7. SANTA MARIJA CAVES
6. ĦONDOQ IR-RUMMIEN Also referred to as Ħondoq Bay, this small pebbly inlet on the southeast coast of Gozo is a favourite swimming haunt that draws Gozitans, Maltese and international holidaymakers alike to its crystal-clear waters during the hot summers. Along this sandy-bottomed cove are small caves which divers and snorkellers often like to explore. Phenomenal hues of blue The perspective from Ħondoq ir-Rummien captures the entirety of the sister island of Comino, which lies directly opposite. Cruising the area by boat means you’ll be surrounded by phenomenal hues of blue and splendid coastline all around. And, if you look closely to the right of the bay, you might be able to spot centuries-old salt pans scattered among the rocks, some of which are still in use to this very day.
The smallest of the island trio, Comino is a favourite beach destination among holidaymakers and locals alike, with its famed azure waters welcoming thousands of visitors every summer. While boat trips to the Blue Lagoon in the west take place all day long during summer, the northeastern side across this 3.5km² stretch of land is a renowned submarine paradise, its fascinating cave formations attracting divers from all over the globe. Marine life A series of ten, relatively shallow grottos known as the Santa Marija Caves – some of which lie partly submerged below the water level – prove particularly popular among snorkellers and underwater photographers for the rich diversity of Mediterranean marine life that inhabits the area.
8. CRYSTAL LAGOON
While taking a Comino boat trip, why not pay a visit to the Crystal Lagoon? This is found further south of Blue Lagoon, close
to where the 17th century tower of Santa Marija occupies a commanding position on the island’s coastline. The lagoon lives up to its name, as its luminous jade-andturquoise hued waters line the dramatically steep coastal cliffs, which are only accessible by boat. Secluded bathing spot This large expanse of sea makes for an idyllic secluded bathing spot on any private yacht charter around the Maltese Islands. In addition to the stunning cavernous backdrop, mesmerising underwater scenery also abounds here, offering the perfect diving or snorkelling opportunity. Call of the sea One of the most enjoyable and memorable ways of exploring the Maltese Archipelago by sea is on a chartered luxury motor yacht. Award-winning Azure Ultra sets the standard for the luxury charter concept, by providing bespoke and fully crewed Sunseeker charters. Get in touch with Azure Ultra and discover how itineraries, cuisine and more can be tailored to personalise your Mediterranean experience to perfection.
Call Azure Ultra on +356 2356 1839, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.azureultra.com for more. executive traveller → issue 10 41
HUGO BOSS CELEBRATES THE ROLEX MIDDLESEA RACE IN MALTA HUGO BOSS and its local retail partner VF Group Malta celebrated the beginning of the prestigious 38th Rolex Middle Sea Race and the participation of Alex Thomson Racing with a much-anticipated event held at the Siege Memorial Bell, located in the island’s capital Valletta on Saturday, October 21, 2017. The iconic venue hosted 240 guests, including BOSS customers, VIPs, local celebrities and media representatives, and was supported by Veuve Clicquot, Satariano Design Concept and global partner Mercedes-Benz, amidst captivating views of the Grand Harbour. After a welcome speech by Jesper Gustafsson, Director HUGO BOSS International Markets, guests enjoyed an upbeat DJ setaccompanied by live sax, and witnessed the start of the Middle Sea Race, where world-class sailing champion Alex Thomson started from the Grand Harbour
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alongside 52 other yachts, racing with the high-speed Imoca 60 HUGO BOSS Racing Yacht. Members of the Alex Thomson Racing team were also present, allowing guests to experience the HUGO BOSS yacht in 360 by means of the VR glasses available. Preliminary to the race start, HUGO BOSS held a press conference on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at the BOSS Store St Julians, where Alex Thomson engaged in a Q&A Talk with host Keith Demicoli about his sports career, life at sea and men’s fashion. Alex Thomson is one of the most appealing yachtsmen of his generation, being the youngest to win a round-the-world race along with setting three sailing world records. Most recently in the 2016/2017 Vendée Globe, he cemented his reputation with a podium 2nd place finish.
INTRODUCING ‘THE SARTO LIFE’ The Malta-based luxury retailer SARTO has launched a special campaign to mark its fifth anniversary. Entitled ‘The Sarto Life’, this campaign expresses the emotion and history of the prolific brands exclusively represented by SARTO, albeit adding a distinctive Maltese flavour. The narrative positions Malta at the heart of the campaign and tells the tale of the most glorious summer, through four key quintessential Maltese themes: It-Tieg (The Wedding); ll-Festa (The Feast); Ix-Xemx (The Sun); and Il-Bahar (The Sea) ‘The Sarto Life’ was shot at various locations around the island namely Villa Arrigo, Cafe del Mar, ll-Kalkara and Il-Birgu and is being headlined by none other than the celebrated Hungarian model, Misa Patinszki. Misa is a favourite of the great Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana, and has starred in a number of their campaigns and runway shows. Prior to becoming the face of SARTO, Misa has also worked with Bottega Veneta, Hugo Boss, Jean Paul Gaultier, Ermengildo Zegna, Thierry Mugler and Dsquared2, and has featured in mammoth fashion publications such as Vogue, L’Officiel Hommes and Wonderland. Also starring in the campaign is Corina Corduneanu, whose charisma and
exotic features not only complement Misa and the Mediterranean feel of the campaign, but have helped her secure an impressive CV, having also worked with Dolce & Gabbana. Model Stephanie Hodgkins, who comes across as somewhat ethereal in the campaign, is well-known to the Maltese public for her extensive contribution to local industry; Stephanie has recently made her return to the fashion world after giving birth to a baby boy. Completing the line-up are Pedro Jorge Lemmos, an international Portuguese model who has previously walked for SARTO, and the dashing footballer Michael Johnson who plays for St Andrews FC. The campaign was shot by renowned Maltese photographer Kris Micallef who is without one of the country’s great undisputed artistic talents. Belgian Fashion Director Eli van Poeyer who has worked for Marie Claire, InStyle, Glamour and Cosmopolitan and has styled the likes of Rihanna, was responsible for coordinating the looks and wardrobe. Hair and make-up was in the hands of Remi Hairdressing and Chris Simpson respectively. As part of the campaign’s in-store activation, the scenes depicted in the campaign images are being recreated in the SARTO window through a series of installations custom made in Rome.
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ERREMME BUSINESS ADVISORS CELEBRATE 15 YEARS OF SERVICE Erremme Business Advisors has reached a milestone this September, celebrating 15 years of business. The company has grown from the dreams of its founder, Reuben Buttigieg, to a company with a staff compliment of 20 employees. The company celebrated this memorable event during a reception held at the Verdala Presidential Palace in Buskett Gardens. “It gives me great pride in joining Erremme Business Advisors employees and clients in celebrating the company's 15th anniversary. We have come a long way since the business was started in 2002 and I am very excited about our future as the company continues to grow,” said Mr. Buttigieg when discussing the celebration. The main aim of the firm is to provide a one stop shop to micro and small and medium enterprises. Indeed, the company acts as their management and business advisor through a pool of knowledge available within the firm. The advice provided by the firm touches on a vast range of areas which includes legal support, accountancy services and tax advisory, human resources expertise, public relations and marketing assistance as well as strategy support. The company’s expertise in key areas is indeed the key determinant which has helped Erremme Business Advisors stand out of the crowd over the past years. EBA has a diversified portfolio of clients ranging from the shipping and aviation industry to financial services amongst others. The various areas require specific specialisation which EBA has invested in over the years. EBA boasts of a high employee and client retention rate through its continuous and sustainable growth. The firm aims to continue investing in its professionals in order to be at the vanguard in providing new proactive services for the benefit of its existing and potential clients.
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Executive Traveller Magazine - Issue 10