Have you noticed how quiet Labour’s been about the Gozo Channel chairman and the ferry?

Published: November 20, 2011 at 11:40pm

The Sunday Times, May 23, 2010
by Matthew Xuereb

Flight delayed after Muscat’s late arrival
Flight arrived on time – PL

An Emirates flight from Malta to Dubai was delayed for more than an hour last Wednesday because Labour leader Joseph Muscat and his family turned up just minutes before take-off.

Flight EK108 via Cyprus was scheduled to depart at 3.40 p.m. but did not leave until 4.44 p.m. because Dr Muscat was late. VIPs are instructed to arrive at the ministerial lounge one hour before take-off.

Sources told The Sunday Times that in line with normal procedure Emirates closed the check-in desk at 3 p.m. and the airline failed in its attempts to contact the Labour leader and his family, who were the only booked passengers who failed to show for the flight.

At 3.30 p.m., Dr Muscat, his wife Michelle and their twin daughters, walked into Malta International Airport’s ministerial lounge. They proceeded to the waiting area until the children were taken to the toilet, from where they emerged 15 to 20 minutes later, according to sources.

In the meantime, Emirates missed its allotted slot to take off, and was only given permission to leave 50 minutes later.

The rest of the Labour delegation, on an official visit to Australia, had arrived at the airport earlier than Dr Muscat. These included Labour MP George Vella and his wife, as well as Labour MP Charles Buhagiar together with his wife and daughter.

The Muscats were given a complimentary upgrade to business class to Dubai and then onto Sydney.

The aircraft left the stand at 4.30 p.m. and finally took off at 4.44 p.m. Despite leaving Malta late, the aircraft made up time and only left 23 minutes behind schedule from Cyprus.

Dr Muscat has gained a reputation for tardiness. He was 45 minutes late for the recording of a debate with Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi in the run-up to the European Parliament election and also kept Spanish King Juan Carlos waiting during the latter’s state visit to Malta.

When contacted, the Labour Party said: “The (Sunday) Times will appreciate that we are not the civil aviation authorities and thus cannot speculate on flight delays. What we are in a position to confirm is that the delegation was at no time informed it was late, and that the flight arrived on time in Dubai,” a spokesman told The Sunday Times.

The spokesman also said, when asked, that the visit is being funded by the Australian Labour Party while family members paid their own expenses.

20 Comments Comment

  1. Ghoxrin Punt says:

    Yes well, maybe they cottoned on to the glass houses and stones…

  2. ciccio2011 says:

    These episodes of tardiness probably explain why the Tag Heur he wears is red-faced.

  3. Beowulf says:

    If the plane had taken off do you think he would have ordered it to land again?

    [Daphne – He had no authority to do so, James, but if he had, he might well have done – except that with planes, you can’t, because of slots and flight paths and what not.]

  4. Paul Bonnici says:

    This guy has no respect for his fellow humans. He won’t be popular in Germany where punctuality is sacrosanct.

  5. Jozef says:

    How does one manage to turn up late for a flight departing at 3.40pm?

  6. ciccio2011 says:

    Emirates did the right thing. It did not want to leave Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd waiting two more days for Joseph Muscat and his delegation to turn up in Canberra.

  7. Albert Farrugia says:

    Fact remains: Chairman did not know of the new Gozo Ferry departure times, ferry left harbour in schedule, chairman arrives at the terminal, chairman gives instructions for ferry to turn around, chairman boards ferry. I am sure that no one who was inconvenienced on that trip took solace from the fact that a certain Joseph Muscat has a knack of being late for appointments.

  8. Lomax says:


  9. silvio says:

    I was always very cautious in doing buisness with persons who were repeaedly late for important meetings.

    It is a sign of arrogance and bad manners. It also shows that he desires to show off his superiority and what he is telling himself is ” Let them wait, they need me”.

  10. Paul Bonnici says:

    The Australian PM is now Julia Gillard, the first woman PM.

  11. Chantel Bruce says:

    I get to read the Times of Malta on line. I also like to follow your blog when it does not get too personal.
    What I fail to understand is your fundamentalist bond to Gonzi or the PN.
    No matter what, you seem to turn the whole thing up side down.
    Are you by any chance the PNs secret propaganda minister?
    In this particular case, Joseph Muscat was wrong to keep those passengers waiting even if maybe it was the airline to decide to wait and not that he ordered them to…. but was the Chariman of the Gozo Channel right? what are your comments about that?
    How come I never saw a comment here about the auditors report, when reporting on the increases the Prime Minister decide to take and give to his aides?
    For a person of your standing these flaws shriek out..

    [Daphne – Not a very thorough reader are you? But then all elves are like that. Hmmm, I wonder what I think about all these things? Scroll back through the archives and you’ll find out. You don’t even need the archives for what I think about the (ex) Gozo Channel chairman. It’s on the home page. Il-vera Labour jahasra. And why do your lot always choose nicks that make you sound like strippers or somebody off a sink estate?]

    • Chantel Bruce says:

      your own reply will tell you why I am not a thorough reader of your blog. You are rude.
      You are always ready to throw mud and venom at anyone who dares pass asimple comment not to mention contradict you.
      You have also tried to insult me because of your phobia with elves and what nots..
      As to where I live, in Nottinghamshire, a few days would do you good, it is a place that helps you relax and helps release frustration.

      [Daphne – You went to live in Nottinghamshire to release your frustration? That’s a lot of effort when more simple means would have sufficed.]

  12. R. Camilleri says:

    From timesofmalta.com:
    “In a letter to Finance Minister Tonio Fenech, Dr Grech said: “I am taking this step with no little regret as my experience with the company and working with your good self has been positive in the extreme. I thank you for the trust you showed in me to date and also express my regret for any embarrassment which this incident might have caused,” Dr Grech said.

    I have often seen emails from government employees using “your good self”. Am I the only one to think that it sounds odd?

    [Daphne – It’s really archaic. It should be ‘working with you’ and not ‘working with your good self’.]

  13. Observer says:

    In the meantime, the (ex) Chairman of Gozo Channel explained what happened, apologised, then….wait for it….. did the right thing and resigned anyhow. Hint Hint..JM

  14. Allo Allo says:

    Ikkumpatuh, naqra slow miskin. Ara kemm dam biex jirrejalizza li l-Ewropa mhix l-ahhar tad-dinja. Minnu hekk, idum hux.

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