Ryanair Holdings – Europe’s largest airline group – today (11 June) agreed to purchase Malta Air – a Maltese start up airline – into which Ryanair will move and grow its Malta based fleet of six Boeing 737 aircraft.
This investment in Malta Air will allow Ryanair to grow its already sizable presence in Malta (three million customers per annum), and access non-EU markets (North Africa) from Malta.
Completion is planned for the end of June, following which Ryanair Holdings will switch six Malta based aircraft (worth over $600 million) onto the Maltese register, 200 Malta based crew move onto local contracts paying local Maltese taxes and increase its Malta based fleet to 10 aircraft within three years and create over 350 jobs
It will also brand its Malta based fleet in Malta Air colours for summer 2020 and move Ryanair based aircraft from France, Italy and Germany onto the Malta AOC which will allow these crews to pay their income taxes locally in France, Italy and Germany instead of Ireland where they are currently required to pay income taxes under Ryanair’s Irish AOC.
Speaking in Malta today, Ryanair chief executive officer, Michael O’Leary said: “Ryanair is pleased to welcome Malta Air to the Ryanair Group of airlines which now includes Buzz (Poland), Lauda (Austria), Malta Air, and Ryanair (Ireland).
“Malta Air will proudly fly the Maltese name and flag to over 60 destinations across Europe and North Africa as we look to grow our Maltese based fleet, routes, traffic and jobs over the next three years.
“Ryanair’s continued partnership with the Malta Tourism Authority will help drive forward the vision of Prime Minister Muscat and Minister Mizzi to grow year round connections to all corners of Europe which will support increased tourism, business and jobs in Malta.
“Ryanair appreciates the expertise of the Maltese Civil Aviation Directorate (CAD) in licencing Malta Air to operate the B737 aircraft and we look forward to working closely with the Maltese authorities over the coming years as we hope to add over 50 more aircraft to the Maltese register.”