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Over €13.7 Million In Direct Orders For Road Building In 2023

Over €13.7 Million In Direct Orders For Road Building In 2023
Mar 6 2024 Share

Transport Minister Chris Bonnet informed parliament on Tuesday that the government issued over €13.7 million worth of direct orders for road construction in 2023. 

According to parliamentary inquiries by PN MP Adrian Delia, this sum, totalling €13,721,063.46 excluding VAT, was distributed among 20 contractors. 

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Additionally, data from another parliamentary question by Delia on Monday revealed that Infrastructure Malta disbursed nearly €123.7 million to contractors for road construction projects last year.

This indicates that for every €10 provided to contractors, €1 was allocated through direct orders. Public Procurement Regulations stipulate that any supplies, works, or services exceeding €10,000 must undergo a tendering process. 

However, the regulations also allow for “exceptional cases” where contracts above this threshold can be procured via direct order with ministerial approval.

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New Airline To Offer Direct Flights From Malta To Ibiza

New Airline To Offer Direct Flights From Malta To Ibiza
Mar 6 2024 Share

A new Maltese-based airline named Universal Air is set to introduce a range of flights from Malta to destinations such as Ibiza and Pécs in Hungary for the first time, along with various other European cities.

Located near Malta International Airport, Universal Air not only offers standard flights but also provides charter and cargo services, as well as special flights catering to individuals requiring urgent medical attention.

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In addition to the aforementioned destinations, the airline will also offer flights to Athens, Corfu, and Palermo from Malta.

Established in 2021 through the acquisition of a local company, Universal Air aims to amalgamate its existing services with aviation offerings.

The airline plans to commence operations on March 14 at the Phoenicia Hotel, although details about its operational framework and ambitions within the country remain scarce. Last August, it acquired four Dash 8-400 aircraft to kickstart its operations.

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Gozo Ferry Vehicle Rules Being Further Enforced

Gozo Ferry Vehicle Rules Being Further Enforced
Mar 6 2024 Share

A longstanding practice which allows some drivers to remain in their cars during the Gozo channel crossing is being abolished following an investigation by the Ombudsman. 

Crew members have been directed to ensure that passengers vacate their vehicles once the vessel is prepared to depart. 

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This week, crew members have actively enforced this rule, redirecting drivers and passengers to upper decks. 

Judge Joseph Zammit McKeon, prompted by concerns about the health effects of idling vehicles, led the investigation, resulting in a series of recommendations implemented by Gozo Channel.

Chairman Joe Cordina stated that the company has intensified efforts to enforce the rule in response to the investigation. Previously, many drivers, particularly frequent travellers, remained in their vehicles during the short journey, often seizing the opportunity for a brief nap. 

However, Gozo Channel emphasised the safety risks, citing the potential for vehicle fires and the associated hazards of poor visibility and toxic fumes. The company stressed the difficulty of evacuating the garage in such emergencies and highlighted the challenges for rescuers in locating passengers.

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XBOX Reveal Limited Spongebob Series X Console

XBOX Reveal Limited Spongebob Series X Console
Mar 6 2024 Share

Paramount Game Studios and GameMill are launching an exclusive Xbox Series X collaboration with Nickelodeon, available only through Best Buy Drops. 

The bundle, priced at $699, includes a 1TB Xbox Series X console adorned with SpongeBob SquarePants-themed designs and a wireless controller featuring Nickelodeon characters. 

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Also included is a pre-downloaded copy of Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl 2, a multiplayer brawler akin to Super Smash Bros., allowing players to battle as beloved Nickelodeon characters like SpongeBob, Reptar, and Danny Phantom. The drop will take place on March 7 at 8 AM PST, with purchases made via the Best Buy app. 

This release comes amidst rumors of Best Buy halting physical media sales in stores, although no official floor date for the consoles has been announced. 

Best Buy Drops, introduced in 2023, provides mobile users with exclusive purchasing opportunities, with limited quantities expected due to high demand. The console and controller designs celebrate Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl 2 and its characters, with contributions from GameMill in the design process.

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