Riga-based SmartLynx Airlines has received an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) in Malta paving the way for it to operate an airline from the Mediterranean island.
SmartLynx chief executive officer, Zygimantas Surintas said that the certificate brings the company in “pole position” to further development of its business.
“This is a considerable step to foster strategic expansion in new markets that SmartLynx was planning during previous years. Malta is already one of our strategic markets and with the recent AOC development we have gained additional competitive advantage,” he added.
SmartLynx is looking for new business opportunities worldwide and now the company has gained access to new markets, including those controlled by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The first aircraft with Maltese registration is Airbus A320, 9H-SLA.
The carrier said the AOC achievement comes at the right time as it is planning to expand the markets in which company operates. The SmartLynx fleet will increase to 23 aircraft, consisting of Airbus A320s and A321s.
“This is just one of the steps we have planned to accomplish this year. In the near future our main goal is to keep current course of growth and development that will provide the necessary opportunity to cooperate with the largest aviation industry players,” said Surintas.
The airline said the business development plan will enable SmartLynx to provide the necessary fleet capacity and meet the demand in current and new markets.
SmartLynx was founded in 1992, and provides charter and wet-lease capacity. In 2018 it carried more than three million passengers, increasing turnover by 30.7 per cent to €172 million.