Published on : Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Ryanair has announced plans to launch a new Malta-based subsidiary airline, Malta Air. The new carrier will take over the 61 routes that Ryanair already operates to and from the Mediterranean country, with further expansion expected.
The government of Malta will reportedly own a “golden share” in the airline, giving it a veto on major changes, and it is hoped the move will help boost tourism. “The setting up of Malta Air will go a long way for the better sustainability of the tourism industry as well as maintaining its growth momentum,” Malta’s tourism minister Konrad Mizzi said on social media.
Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary added: “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.”
Anyone booked to fly with Ryanair to Malta is highly unlikely to be affected, beyond the possibility of being switched to a plane with a different livery.
Ryanair currently has six planes based in Malta; these will be given a new paint job in time for summer 2020 and transferred to the nascent airline. There are plans to increase the size of the fleet to 10 aircraft within the next three years, and fares will be priced as competitively as those offered by Ryanair.
Yes. Confusingly, Malta Air will operate alongside state-owned Air Malta. The two will offer different routes, with the national carrier focusing on flights to main airports in Europe, as well as the Middle East and Africa.
According to industry insiders Malta is attempting to turn itself into a transit hub as well as a holiday destination and last year it was announced that its sole airport would be expanded.