MAviO News

Malta Air flying legend retires

Captain Norman D’Amato is a familiar face even with non-aviation enthusiasts and people who are not part of the industry. His suave manners and warm smile have been captured in full in an iconic photo taken way back in 1991, where he is seen greeting Pope Saint John Paul II on board Air Malta’s Boeing 737-200.

Captain Norman D’Amato is greeted by Captain Charles Pace, DG at TM-CAD on his last flight

For more than 45 years Captain D’Amato has been flying all around the globe amassing a staggering 23,000 hours and carrying well over two million passengers during his illustrious career. Besides Air Malta, Captain D’Amato has flown for XL Airways and Ryanair where he has been quietly working behind the scenes on the latest off-shoot of Europe’s largest airline, namely the recently launched Malta Air.

Captain Norman D’Amato (right) with one of his first trained cadets at Ryanair, namely Captain Jason Tabone

Captain D’Amato formed part of the initial group of 12 pilots trained by Air Malta way back in 1974. He was also one of the co-founders of ALPA in 1980 and served in various posts including Secretary General, President and IFALPA Director. He has attended various conferences on behalf of Air Malta, XL Airways, Ryanair and Malta Air among others. He was also a guest speaker at the Flight International Crew Management Conference in Barcelona.

Interestingly, once Captain D’Amato joined Ryanair in 2009 he was quickly promoted to Line Captain and Base Captain. In 2010, Captain D’Amato was entrusted with running the Malta base. This has grown from a one aircraft operation to six based Boeing 737-800s with more than 60 pilots and 150 cabin crew under his helm.

Norman D’Amato has flown an array of aircraft that span different eras from the rugged Boeing 720B to the behemoth Boeing 777-300ER, although there is no denying it, he has only eyes for the Boeing 737.

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