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Air Malta has taken delivery of its fifth Airbus A320neo aircraft, sporting a brand new livery design.

Aircraft registration 9H-AEQ was delivered from Airbus’ Toulouse headquarters using a blend of Sustainable Aviation Fuel, and replaces an outgoing A320ceo.

The new livery uses a more simple colour palette of red and white, in contrast to the existing design – which was introduced in 2012 and which also incorporates orange, blue and green.

The livery to the rear of the aircraft now only extends just past the tailfin, in contrast to the existing design which stretched further down the fuselage.

The tagline of “The airline of the Maltese Islands” has also been removed, and the large “malta” lettering has been replaced with the carrier’s “airmalta” branding.

The airline said that the new design – which was created in collaboration with Airbus – is “more cost-effective”. No explanation was given for this, but it is presumably because of the use of less paint and fewer colours.

Air Malta added that the new livery “picks up from the colours and elements of the Maltese flag making it instantly recognisable as the national airline of the Maltese Islands”.

The new aircraft is part of the carrier’s plans to renew its fleet, replacing older A320ceo aircraft and gradually moving to being an all A320neo operator.

In fact the new livery is the second design proposed by Air Malta in the last year. In January 2022 it was reported that the carrier was to introduce a livery based on the red, white and blue colours synonymous with the early days of the airline, but it is understood this was poorly received and Air Malta went back to the drawing board.

The airline celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, but has struggled financially in recent years and particularly since the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last year nasdaq.com reported that Air Malta has racked up combined operating losses of €258 million since 2005, while the carrier outlined plans to downsize its workforce, cut routes and offload its ground handling and cargo operations.

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