Within the framework of the long-standing cooperation with Malta and Air Malta, and on the occasion of Malta’s accession to the European Union on the 1 st May, Airbus was the Main Sponsor of The Blessing of Europe, a musico-inter-religious cultural event that was held in Malta on Sunday 9 th May. Air Malta, on its part, was appointed Official Carrier for the event.

This event brought to a conclusion the activities that have been held in Malta to mark Malta’s accession to the EU.

The Blessing of Europe, produced by EBU, the European Broadcasting organisation, through Nordisk Film & TV A/S and “The Rest is Music” ApS of Denmark under the direction of renowned TV producer Stein-Roger Bull and PBS Malta, took place in the magnificent setting of the 16 th Century St. John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta Malta and was broadcast prime time live on Eurovision in some 20 countries.

The Blessing of Europe event, besides the musical elements, featured a brief “blessing” by the leaders of the main religious denominations represented on the island, marking the unity in diversity of cultures in Malta and Europe.

The musical programme included Mozart’s The Coronation Mass and Laudate Dominum, Haydn’s Te Deum and Schubert’s Ave Maria. The event will show the talents of both Maltese and other celebrity musicians and voices from various countries in Europe.

“We, at Airbus, are delighted that we are contributing to and participating in such a high level European cultural event that links Malta and Europe through music, beyond the numerous links that already exist in the business environment with Air Malta”, said Christopher Buckley, Senior Vice President Customer Affairs of Airbus.

He added, “Airbus, a true example of European cooperation and integration, highly supports this kind of cultural exchange and cooperation that will bring more understanding of European values and traditions among its inhabitants.”

On his part Lawrence Zammit, Chairman of Air Malta said “This unique opportunity to bring to the forefront Malta’s rich cultural and architectural heritage was one that could not be missed, not only as a result of the historic moment The Blessing of Europe was celebrating, but also as a result of the extensive support being given by one of our main business partners, Airbus”

Air Malta, recently leased a fleet of five new Airbus A320 and seven new A319 aircraft within the framework of its long-term lease agreement with International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC), in order to replace its current aircraft over a period of four and a half years. Air Malta, an early customer for the A320, received the first of its new aircraft, acquired under its fleet rationalisation programme, on Wednesday 7th January 2004. To date Air Malta has already taken delivery of 3 A320s and 3 A319s.

With the most modern and comprehensive airliner family in the world offering a high level of economics to the customers and increased comfort to the passengers, by end 2003 Airbus became the number one world-wide manufacturer for aircraft of 100 seats and more in terms of deliveries.

Headquartered in Toulouse (France), Airbus is an EADS joint Company with BAE Systems.