Ryanair announces acquisition of new subsidiary – Malta Air

contract signing between Ryanair and the Government of Malta ©Ryanair

Ryanair has agreed to purchase Malta Air, a Maltese start-up airline, creating a new subsidiary to the Ryanair Group of low-cost carriers in addition to Buzz (Poland), Lauda (Austria) and Ryanair (Ireland). Initially, the new airline will take over all Ryanair’s 61 current routes and operating six aircraft, but this number is expected to increase to ten over the next three years as the number of routes increases. The six Malta-based aircraft will be given a new livery in time for the summer of 2020. As part of the creation of a new airline, not to be confused with the existing flag-carrier Air Malta, the Maltese government will hold a “golden share”, giving it the right of veto over major changes. Malta air will not challenge Air Malta on the Maltese carrier’s routes, which are primarily to major European destinations, Africa and the Middle East.

In addition to transferring six aircraft to the new airline, it is understood that Ryanair will also be re-registering a further 50 aircraft on the Island. This could indicate that the low-cost carrier is looking to use Malta as a maintenance hub. In moving Ryanair-based aircraft from France, Italy and Germany onto the Malta AOC, this will allow those 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.

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