HomeJobsKM Malta Airlines grounds pilot after The Shift’s revelations

KM Malta Airlines grounds pilot after The Shift’s revelations


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Danica Theuma, a KM Malta Airlines pilot caught flying UK-based Virgin Airways planes while on the books of Malta’s national carrier, has been grounded and removed from the pilot’s flying roster after revelations by The Shift News last week.

The Shift revealed that First Officer Danica Theuma, employed with the new government-owned airline, was caught flying Virgin Atlantic planes in the UK while also working as a pilot for KM Malta Airlines.

While the national carrier, headed by government-appointed Chairman David Curmi, kept the situation under wraps and continued to ignore questions by The Shift, KM pilots, colleagues of Theuma, confirmed that the airline made its decision just a few days ago, immediately after this website revealed news about Theuma’s alleged gross misconduct.

The Shift understands that Theuma was directly told by the top echelons of KM Malta Airlines that she will be removed from the flying roster and not allowed to continue flying the company’s planes for the time being.

So far, Theuma has not been sacked.

Danica Theuma – KM Malta Airlines pilot.

However, according to her colleagues, Theuma is now expected to face a disciplinary process over claims that she breached her employment contract.

“The top officials of KM Malta have known about this serious incident for weeks and decided to do nothing. Against the wishes of the airline’s Head of Flight Operations, who wanted to sack Theuma, he was ordered to stay put as a politician intervened to stop any disciplinary action,” a veteran pilot told The Shift.

“Now that they have been outed by The Shift, top officials are panicking and have grounded Theuma as they should have done weeks ago,” another pilot said.

In May, Virgin Atlantic caught Theuma breaching safety and contractual rules by flying Km Malta planes without authorisation. She was fired on the spot by Virgin.

However, although the top echelons of KM Malta were informed, no action was taken against the First Officer, and she was left to continue flying KM Malta planes without any form of sanctioning.

Confirming The Shift’s revelations, MAviO News – a specialised boutique aviation-oriented website – said Theuma had been irregularly two-timing the two airline companies since December 2023 when she was employed by the now defunct Air Malta.

She was employed again by the new airline KM Malta last March while continuing to fly Virgin Atlantic transatlantic long-haul flights irregularly until May when Virgin Atlantic managers saw her in a picture on social media wearing the KM Malta uniform.

While Theuma’s alleged actions severely breach her contract as a pilot with KM Malta Airlines, her two jobs possibly also go against EU aviation safety regulations, to which pilots must adhere.

These include strict flying time and obligatory rest periods to ensure that whoever is flying a plane is fully rested and concentrated on the job for safety reasons.

Pilots cannot work for competitors or other airlines to ensure they are fully committed to their jobs.

Local aviation sources also said that the civil aviation authorities, led by political appointee Charles Pace, a former Air Malta captain, have not yet started an investigation on the matter.


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