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Maltese report Maltese report
by Euro Reporter
2011-06-29 07:50:42
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First on demand service launches in Malta

Malta’s first on demand television service is to launch on the Melita cablenet courtesy of the On Demand Group (ODG). The service, branded “ondemand!” will be the 18th platform where ODG has launched services.

“We are delighted to be working with Europe’s leading VOD aggregator,” said Ludolf Rasterhoff, chief operations officer, Melita. ODG has contracts with all the major Hollywood movie studios, premium TV networks and music suppliers. “He launch of the ondemand! Service will substantially enhance our TV offering and allow our subscribers a total TV experience to watch the programme of their choice whenever they want”. Serving the world’s smallest and most densely populated country, Melita offers a quad-play offer that includes 3G mobile, TV, broadband internet and telephony.

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Air Malta to slash overseas posts


Air Malta will have to drastically reduce the number of employees stationed abroad from the current complement of 58 to a mere 17, according to the airline’s draft restructuring plan. The plan, drawn up by government consultants Ernst and Young, targets a cost saving of about €2 million from this decision, with the company retaining only “key sales people” in its outstations. The Times today reveals more details of the confidential restructuring plan, which was first leaked by The Sunday Times. Air Malta has said the leaked report refers to an earlier draft of the plan and is not the finalised version sent to the European Commission. However, the airline refrained from saying what changes the final report contained and did not deny the published figures.

The plan says Air Malta will retain seven employees in Libya from the current 13, in a bid to avoid repercussions on business in that country. The reduction of staff numbers at the airline’s outstations is part of the reorganisation of the company’s commercial and administrative set-up. Ernst and Young identify the reduction of labour costs abroad, downsizing the airline’s commercial and administrative units and simplifying the structure to address lack of communication between departments as “critical areas that need management focus and action”. The report says that the number of workers in the company’s administration should go down to 103 from 198, while the commercial division will have to see the headcount drop to 60 from 114.

Giving a breakdown of the company’s different sections, the report says that ground handling operations will not be hived off but the service will have to be drastically restructured to reduce the cost per flight to €750 from the current €1,200. Ernst and Young say that outsourcing the ground handling operation would give the airline a cost saving of €9 million but it would also mean that Air Malta loses some €5 million in revenue from handling third parties. Around 80 per cent of the work done by the ground handling operation involves servicing Air Malta’s own planes. “The strategy for ground handling services is to restructure the business internally in order to make it competitive and achieve market rates,” the report says. This means that the number of people employed with the airline’s ground handling operation will have to be reduced by 190 for a staff complement of 250.

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Maltese 2010 consumer price indexes 20% below EU average


Malta’s average price indexes for goods and services stood at 79% during 2010, with countries like Estonia, Czech Republic, and Slovakia falling within the same 20-30% below EU-average range. According to Eurostat figures, price levels for consumer goods and services in 2010, differed widely across Member States. It found that during 2010, Malta’s price index for restaurants and hotels were 23% below the EU average (77%), while clothing prices were 12% below EU average (88%). Personal transport equipment price indexes however stood at 114%, 14% more expensive than EU average prices, while consumer electronics were 10% more expensive.

The personal transport equipment price index also includes motor cars, motor cycles and bicycles and excludes maintenance and repair of personal transport equipment, spare parts and fuel, according to the report. Overall, the report also found that the highest price level by a strong lead was found in Denmark (143% of the EU27 average), which was followed by Finland (123%).  Price levels of 10% to 20% above the EU27 average were found in Luxembourg and Sweden (both 120%), Ireland (118%) Belgium and France (both 112%), while Austria (107%), the Netherlands (106%), Germany and Italy (both 104%) were around 5% above the average. The United Kingdom (100%) was on the EU27 average.

Spain (97% of the EU27 average) and Greece (96%) were just below the average, while Cyprus (89%), Portugal (88%) and Slovenia (84%) were between 10% and 20% below. Price levels between 20% and 30% below the average were however observed in Malta (79%), Estonia (75%), the Czech Republic (72%) and Slovakia (71%), and levels between 30% and 40% below in Latvia (69%), Hungary (65%), Lithuania and Poland (both 63%). The lowest price levels were found in Bulgaria (51%) and Romania (59%).


      
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