HomeFashionPrison scandal fashion designer taken aboard government’s one-plane airline

Prison scandal fashion designer taken aboard government’s one-plane airline

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Malta MedAir has contracted fashion design brand Cessani – whose owner Mary Grace Pisani was involved in the 2016 Corradino cheap prison labour scandal and is close friends with disgraced former prime minister Joseph Muscat’s wife Michelle – to create new uniforms for its cabin crew.

In a post on Cessani Fashion’s Facebook page on Monday, the fashion design company revealed the new look for the ‘phantom’ one-plane airline’s crew.

The government charter flights company is set to be liquidated along with Air Malta later this year.

On the brink of insolvency and closure, Malta MedAir’s uniform redesign once more raises doubts about the government’s use of public funds and how these funds are awarded.

Questions sent to Malta MedAir CEO Paul Bugeja and Chairman Mark Sammut, who also chairs the Public Broadcasting Service, regarding how much the contract cost, how it was awarded, and how it fits more generally within plans for Malta MedAir, remain unanswered.

A Facebook post uploaded by Cessani Fashion on 23 May revealing the cabin crew’s new look for a company set to be liquidated just after summer – Photo: Facebook/Cessani Fashion

Malta MedAir, registered in 2018, was part of an elaborate accounting exercise used to give a false impression that Air Malta was far from failing. Set up by disgraced former minister Konrad Mizzi, the single-aeroplane government airline bought lucrative routes from Air Malta in a bid to make the national airline look profitable on the books.

Pisani’s Cessani is the same clothing design brand which was involved in the 2016 Corradino prison cheap labour scandal, where prisoners were owed thousands of euros for sewing work done as part of the Love, Faith, Forgiveness project, which was endorsed by Michelle Muscat’s Marigold Foundation.

Described as “the brainchild” of Muscat’s friend Pisani, the inmates were trained over three months in sewing and various related skills. A private textiles company was then found to be using the inmates’ “little factory” operating out of the prison, for a number of commercial projects.

Both Air Malta and Malta MedAir are set to be liquidated as years of financial mismanagement and changing market conditions, despite government intervention through cash injections, have come to a head.

In the lead-up to the March 2022 general elections, the government promised Air Malta workers severance packages which have now translated into millions of euros to be dished out from public coffers.

The government now plans to create a new national airline which will operate on a low-cost model, a copy/paste job of what happened to Italian national airline Alitalia, when the Italian government liquidated its legacy carrier and in its stead created ITA – Italia Trasporto Aereo S.p.A.

                           

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