Ryanair buys Malta Air aiming to fly 5 million passengers

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Ryanair buys Malta Air aiming to fly 5 million passengers

By
12 June 2019

By | 12 June 2019

The Maltese startup airline will fly to 60 destinations across Europe and North Africa

Ryanair Holdings, Europe’s largest airline group, has huge plans for the Mediterranean island state of Malta. Yesterday, the group announced it has agreed to purchase Malta Air, a local startup airline.

The Ireland-based company confirmed that the purchase will give it a Maltese air operator’s certificate (AOC).

With the investment in Malta Air, Ryanair will be able to grow its presence in the island state. Currently, the airline serves three million passengers in Malta per year.

Within five years, the new carrier aims to transport five million passengers. In addition, the investment will also help Ryanair access non-EU markets such as North Africa.

Initially, the new airline will operate six formerly Ryanair’s Boeing 737 aircraft. They plan to increase the number to at least 10 within three years as well as to relocate around 50 other aircraft from France, Italy and Germany and register them as Maltese.

Currently, Ryanair serves three million passengers in Malta per year — Nicole S Glass / Shutterstock Ryanair buys Malta Air aiming to fly 5 million passengers Group Created with Sketch. Currently, Ryanair serves three million passengers in Malta per year — Nicole S Glass / Shutterstock

This will allow the crews to pay their income taxes locally in France, Italy and Germany instead of Ireland where they are currently required to pay income taxes under Ryanair’s Irish AOC.

In its statement, Ryanair said it would begin moving the aircraft at the end of June.

“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),” said Ryanair CEO, Michael O’Leary.

“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.”

In addition, with the growth in operation, the airline also aims to create 320 new jobs.