PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR TOURISM: Malta Air – Ryanair’s new Malta-based airline officially estabilished in Malta

The Government of Malta is delighted to announce the birth of another airline for the Maltese Islands, that of Malta Air, which will be owned by the world’s largest low-cost carrier, Ryanair.

The setting up of Malta Air was made possible thanks to the efforts of the Ministry for Tourism which over the last nine months has been in discussions with the Ryanair group with a view to confirming Ryanair’s commitment to operate to and from Malta over the coming years.

The agreement was sealed today by the Ministry for Tourism and Ryanair through which, the latter, has formally acquired the shares in a specifically set-up subsidiary of Malta Air Travel Ltd (Malta Med Air), and in so doing establishing a formal presence in Malta through a dedicated Maltese airline company, through which the Ryanair group will manage its Malta-based aircraft and other routes operated to and from Malta, after it has obtained an Aircraft Operating Certificate(AOC) and an Aircraft Operating Licence(AOL) from the Maltese Civil Aviation Directorate.

Additionally, Ryanair is also expected to register around 50 other aircraft on the Maltese aircraft register.

The Ministry for Tourism paved the way for this transaction by offering the required technical assistance to the Ryanair group, through Malta Air Travel Ltd, which incorporated the new company.

This initiative is being done as part of the wider ongoing efforts by the Ministry to consolidate and improve on the successful tourism results which are being recorded. Through this agreement, the Government of Malta will be strengthening the ties which the Ryanair group has in Malta.

Malta Air will aim to increase its presence in Malta and operate additional routes to non-EU destinations, thereby widening Malta’s outreach, connectivity, and giving further exposure to Malta, particularly through the branding of the Malta-based aircraft in the ‘Malta Air’ brand.

Ryanair will seek to immediately:

Transfer its 6 Malta-based aircraft (worth over $600m) to the Maltese register;

Transfer its 200 Malta-based crew onto local contracts paying local Maltese taxes;

Increase its Malta-based fleet to 10 aircraft within three years and create over 350 jobs;

Brand its Malta-based fleet in Malta Air colours for summer 2020;

Transfer Ryanair-based aircraft from Italy and Germany onto the Malta AOC.

The Government of Malta will retain veto rights on:

a change to the company’s name

a transfer of the AOC or AOL to the oversight of a civil aviation authority outside of Malta.

Minister for Tourism Konrad Mizzi said that this innovative partnership forms part of our vision to further develop Malta into an aviation hub in the heart of the Mediterranean, whilst securing more economic growth and jobs. After tough negotiations with Ryanair we have managed to secure a fantastic deal for Malta. Just as importantly, we have built a bond of trust with a world-renowned company, and demonstrated that we are open for business, and open to the world.

With respect to Air Malta, Minister for Tourism Konrad Mizzi highlighted that the government will continue to invest in Air Malta which is growing and focusing on a different business model, main airports and hubs, cargo, and medium-haul destinations.

Prime Minister Joseph Muscat stated, ‘This is good news for business and tourism and does not come at the expense of Air Malta. This development runs parallel to our strategy of making Air Malta the airline of the Mediterranean. It has a different business model, and we firmly believe that the two airlines can reciprocally strengthen each other, operating in different markets.’

Dr Muscat emphasised that our aim is to reach as many markets as possible and to bring visitors to our islands using as many routes as possible, thus enhancing our connectivity. We are certain that once a visitor sets foot on these islands, he or she will want to come again, and that it will be easier than ever to do so, concluded Prime Minister Joseph Muscat.

Source: Government of Malta