Yannick Pace was quick to report on Malta Today in much greater detail the very dry statement of the government on the stripping of Air Malta’s ownership of its airport slots, particularly Heathrow’s morning slots.

His report is fleshed out with the government spiel we can expect over the next several weeks: that the government is eviscerating Air Malta in order to save it. That taking away from the national airline the only thing of value it has left is doing it a favour and ensuring its sustainability for the future.

We have heard it all before when Enemalta was stripped of its electricity generation capacity and forced to buy electricity at a much great cost from outsiders the government engaged in shady deals. We heard it all when our health service was stripped of 3 of its most strategic operations and passed on to who knows who for what and why.

Yannick Pace’s report is more significant than it declares. He’s in a position to be well informed not because of some extraordinary journalistic prowess but because his father is Charles Pace, the Director of Civil Aviation that has been managing this shady affair for Konrad Mizzi for the last several months.

This has been a publicly known fact since Daphne Caruana Galizia reported on it in April.

The question I asked earlier whether the new company is using an existing privately-owned air operator license is now even more pressing. Charles Pace is also the father of Alessandra Pace who works (worked?) for VGH, the people who may or may not have sold the hospitals concession to new owners.

VGH owns an air operator license supposedly to provide inter-island ambulance services. The operation is subsidised by the state. Of course. But has this license suddenly become considerably more valuable?

We deserve to be better informed by the government of its plans for the national airline and preferably we should not get these briefings through family connections of government officials. Whatever the lot running the country now seems to think, they are not dealing with Air Zimbabwe.