In the latest chapter of its buying spree, Ryanair has announced it is to purchase start-up carrier Malta Air. The no-frills giant said it will transfer all of its existing Maltese operations to the new subsidiary and grow its fleet based on the island from six to ten aircraft.
In a statement to financial markets, the Dublin-based firm said the investment will “allow Ryanair to grow its already sizeable presence in Malta, and access non-EU markets (North Africa) from Malta”. It is estimated that Ryanair already serves three million passengers per year on existing routes to the holiday hotspot.
Speaking in Malta as the deal was announced, Michael O’Leary, Ryanair CEO said: “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 appreciates the expertise of the Maltese Civil Aviation Directorate (CAD) in licencing Malta Air to operate the Boeing 737 aircraft and we look forward to working closely with the Maltese authorities over the coming years as we hope to add over 50 more aircraft to the Maltese register,” the CEO continued.
Malta Air will join Buzz in Poland and Lauda in Austria as airlines with distinct identities within the Ryanair Group.
Completion of the transaction is planned for the end of June, with branding of its Malta-based fleet in Malta Air colours due by Summer 2020.