Ryanair Acquires Malta Air With Huge Growth Plans

Ryanair has trumped the aviation world with the news of its plans to open a new airline… in Malta.

Ryanair Acquires Malta Air With Huge Growth Plans
An artists mock-up of the aircraft. Photo: Ryanair/Malta Air

The famous (or infamous) low-cost-carrier has taken over Malta Air and will be using it as a platform to launch a new subsidiary in the region.

What are the details?

Malta Air is a start-up airline based out of the island nation, not to be confused with the flag-carrier airline Air Malta. It is, however, a subsidiary of the government of Malta, designed to be a low-cost alternative to the full-service main airline. It is a little confusing, but with the involvement of a new partner such as Ryanair, proper branding will set the airline apart.

“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 CEO, Michael O’Leary in a Ryanair Press Release.

The government of Malta also issued a statement in the same press release.

“The relationship between Ryanair and Malta has evolved into a successful collaboration. We welcome Ryanair’s commitment to operate and grow a fully fledged Malta-based airline which will contribute in a large way to the country’s development.” – Malta Minister for Tourism, Konrad Mizzi, in the same press release. 

Matla Air
A mock-up of the Malta Air interior. Photo: Ryanair/Malta Air

What are Ryanair’s plans?

Ryanair has decided that Malta Air will be a new hub airline for the carrier, following the footsteps of Buzz in Poland, Lauda in Austria and Ryanair based in Ireland.

Buzz Plane
The new polish airline launching this year. Photo: Ryanair

To do this, they will be transferring six Ryanair Boeing 737-800s to Malta (the airline currently does not have any aircraft). These aircraft will be used for 62 flights to and from Malta, many of which are already operated by Ryanair aircraft.  They will also be placing 200 repositioned staff on local contracts (and thus paying local tax).

These new Maltese aircraft will be repainted into a new livery for the airline, with the star of St John on the tail.

But Ryanair has no plans to stop there. Moving onwards into 2020, they plan to increase the fleet to 10 aircraft and develop over 350 new jobs. It is likely they will also increase routes around the region, reaching into Italy, Greece, Egypt, the Middle East, Morocco, Southern France, and Spain.

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 CEO, Michael O’Leary

Additionally, because Malta provides various tax benefits for corporations, Ryanair will be moving many aircraft and personnel under the new corporation. This move means that they will pay less tax and not have to declare as much under their Irish corporate holdings.

Beyond the next three years, Ryanair CEO, Michael O’Leary hopes to increase the fleet to over 50 aircraft.

What do you think? Will you fly on the new low-cost-carrier? Let us know in the comments.