Strong winds have blown a small aircraft out of the airport enclosure, with the aircraft smashing through a perimeter fence and then into a building on the opposite side of the road. There were no reported injuries.
According to local media reports, the aircraft veered into offices belonging to the Polidano Group, a construction company with offices located close to Malta International Airport. Pictures uploaded onto social media show the cockpit of the plane protruding from the wall of the building, after it was seen moving off the runway and down a slope.
Jean Paul Sammut, a legal representative for Polidano Group – blamed high winds. He added that the jet was believed to have been badly damaged. Sammut told Times of Malta: “It seems like it was the result of the strong winds. The building didn’t sustain major damage, but we presume the aircraft did.”
The private jet, registered in Bermuda, belongs to politician Michael Ashcroft, Baron Ashcroft. He is a former deputy chairman of the Conservative Party and is the 74th richest person in the UK, as ranked by the Sunday Times Rich List 2015.
While Lord Ashcroft has not issued a formal statement on the incident, when asked on Twitter if the aircraft belonged to him, he responded: “Nooooooo…”
TVM reported that the aircraft narrowly avoided the airport's electricity distribution centre, which could have had serious consequences. The report said that the aircraft wing missed the electricity centre by just three centimetres.
The Dassault Falcon 7x was parked in Apron 4, an area reserved for civil aircraft and general aviation, Malta International Airport said in a statement. Apron 4 is close to the Lufthansa Technik facility.
The plane arrived on Boxing Day and aircraft enthusiasts said they spotted the plane at Luqa at least on five other occasions.