Published on : Monday, July 8, 2019
Low-cost travel giant Ryanair is setting up a new airline to be based in Malta. The aviation industry sources said the Irish carrier’s holding company is in the process of setting up a new airline that will incorporate the 61 Ryanair routes to and from the island, effectively replacing it.
Ryanair has also committed, during negotiations with the government, to the generation of several other new routes and will be doubling its fleet in Malta to 10 planes, with plans to grow even further in the near future.
These planes, and a number of others in the Ryanair fleet, will be registered on the Maltese aviation register.
The low-cost market leader will also be setting up hangar facilities for repair and maintenance operations in Malta.
The contract signing is described as “imminent”. Talks between Ryanair’s David O’Brien and Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi have been ongoing for several months.
The new headquarters of Malta Air, as the company will be called, will employ about 350 people within the next three years, one senior government official said.
“We primarily wanted to lock in Ryanair to the island as it is the main carrier here and we have therefore got a certain level of dependency on it as a country,” a government source familiar with the workings of the deal said.
From a consumer point of view, the source said, Malta Air would be priced as competitively as Ryan Air has been so far.