Ryanair Set To Launch Another Airline – This Time In Malta

Ryanair already has a number of airlines to its name, and it’s no secret that the group has been eyeing adding another. The airline is exploring the possibility of establishing a brand new airline in Malta.

Ryanair Malta Subsidiary
Ryanair is looking to launch a subsidiary in Malta. Photo: Pixabay

The new airline will join Ryanair’s existing subsidiaries and will be named Malta Air as the group looks to diversify its offerings. Indeed, it will join two Ryanair branded subsidiaries, in addition to Laudamotion. The move would see the low-cost Irish airline setting up a base at the island’s airport, with crew, pilots and a maintenance station.

Ryanair’s portfolio

The launch of Malta Air will see Ryanair adding the fourth subsidiary to its operations. Currently, the airline owns and operates three subsidiaries including:

  • Ryanair Sun;
  • Ryanair UK;
  • and Laudamotion.

While the first two subsidiaries mentioned were set up by Ryanair, the latter was purchased by the low-cost giant from the late Niki Lauda.

Ryanair Sun is the airline’s Polish subsidiary which was started as a charter airline. However, slowly the group’s Polish operations were transferred across to the airline. Ryanair Sun is due to be rebranded with a garish yellow livery as “Buzz”. Ryanair UK has seen the carrier registering an aircraft in Britain for a greater UK presence.

Laudamotion is possibly the carrier’s most ambitious airline to date. It sees the group as a whole move from its single aircraft policy. Instead, they suddenly became responsible for Airbus aircraft in addition to its well known Boeing fleet.

Ryanair Malta Subsidiary
Ryanair is Europe’s largest airline by passengers carried. Photo: Pixabay

Why Malta?

Due to EU directives, an airline based in any EU member country is able to base aircraft at any airport across the European Union. This is indeed the reason that London Stansted in the United Kingdom is the Irish airline’s biggest base. Airways Magazine suggests that the carrier could be looking to move up to 60 aircraft based in Germany and Italy onto the Maltese aircraft registry.

They report that the Maltese Tourism Minister, Konrad Mizzi said,

“We had a tough, business-focused negotiation – which you’d expect from a global brand like Ryanair – but we are working to secure a fantastic deal for Malta.

The carrier would join a number of other airlines such as HiFly in registering their aircraft with the island nation. Given the statement from the Maltese Tourism Minister, it is likely that Malta will offer Ryanair benefits in exchange for a presence at the island’s airport. However, according to the Irish Times, the airline is declining to comment on the matter.

Ryanair Air Malta
The subsidiary will see Ryanair’s Malta Air competing against Air Malta. Photo: Mark Harkin via Flickr

Air Malta competition

The Irish Times also states that Ryanair was previously interested in Air Malta, however, this was turned down by the Maltese government. It seems the government is instead attempting to house another Maltese carrier, seeing Malta Air as a low-cost alternative to the full-service flag carrier, Air Malta.

Do you think the arrival of Ryanair would be good for Malta? Let us know in the comments!