The Irish airline company Ryanair confirmed on Tuesday that it will buy Air Malta, a start-up carrier based in the Island country. Following this, Malta Air will become the fourth member of Ryanair group. The company currently owns Ryanair, Lauda (Austria), and Buzz (Poland).
According to the company, this will give it the air operator’s certificate in Malta and greater access to markets in EU and North Africa. The deal is expected to be finalized by the end of June.
The company will put its six Boeing 737s onto the Malta Air registry and it plans to grow this fleet to 10 aircraft in three years. Ryanair predicts that this move will create more than 350 jobs.
“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,” Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary was quoted as saying by Travel Weekly.
Konrad Mizzi, Malta’s Tourism Minister, stated that the relationship between Ryanair and Malta had “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,” he was quoted as saying by Irish Times.
The Maltese government has been trying to improve the country’s connectivity with EU and rest of the world through various measures. Qatar Airways has also launched direct flights between Malta and Doha recently.