Addressing a press conference at Auberge de Castille, Malta this afternoon, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said, “Ryanair is pleased to welcome Malta Air to the Ryanair Group of airlines, which now includes Buzz (Poland), Lauda (Austria), Malta Air, and Ryanair (Ireland). 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.”
The Irish airline will be immediately rebranding its fleet of six B737 aircraft already flying out of Malta and plans to add another ten aircraft to its Malta-based register within three years’ time. The company has also announced that it will move more than 50 Ryanair planes currently based in France, Italy and Germany onto its Malta register.
The new subsidiary airline will be taking on the 62 routes that Ryanair already operates out of Malta and will be looking to grow its network beyond that. The move will allow Ryanair greater access to North Africa and the Middle East, as well as enable it to hire local crews and set up hangar facilities for repair and maintenance operations in Malta.
Not to be confused, Air Malta is Malta’s state-owned airline, which will operate alongside the new carrier. Malta officials said that they don’t anticipate much competition between the two airlines since each will offer different routes that complement one another. Malta Air’s aim would seem to be on the expansion of its non-EU markets, while the national carrier is focusing on flights to main airports in Europe.
Malta Minister for Tourism, Konrad Mizzi, said today, “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.”
For more information, visit Ryanair.com.
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