Ryanair is launching a new sub-brand today, with the holding company purchasing Malta Air – a start-up airline (not to be confused with Air Malta).
Ryanair will base six Boeing 737 aircraft in this fleet. Currently, Ryanair has operated to Malta for twelve years, with 3 million passengers a year using them. These six Boeing 737 aircraft will be assigned to a Maltese-based register as part of their new Airline Operators Certificate (AOC). They will be painted in a local livery for Summer 2020 as you can see above.
Malta Air interior rendering. Not at all a copy and paste of the recent Buzz image, with some slaps of red paint. Not at all – Image, Ryanair.
They also plan to plan to increase its Malta-based fleet to 10 aircraft within three years, increasing staffing to 350.
Meanwhile, 200 Malta-based crew will be moved onto local contacts, and thus pay local taxes. Crews from France, Italy and Germany will move onto the Maltese certificate, and be able to pay taxes locally as opposed through Ireland.
Eventually, the airline would like to also move up to 50 aircraft onto the Maltese register (and thus removing them from the Irish register).
Completion of the deal is planned for the end of June 2019.
Michael O’Leary Ryanair CEO 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.
Ryanair’s continued partnership with the Malta Tourism Authority will help drive forward the vision of Prime Minister Muscat and Minister Mizzi to grow year round connections to all corners of Europe which will support increased tourism, business and jobs in Malta.
Ryanair appreciates the expertise of the Maltese Civil Aviation Directorate (CAD) in licencing Malta Air to operate the B737 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.”
Growing the group
It seems that Ryanair continues to make more plays in copying the International Airlines Group model with the purchase of Malta Air. Indeed, this purchase and investment are very similar to the Laudamotion purchase, and using elements of the Buzz rebrand – take some aircraft from the main Ryanair fleet, base them locally, re-brand them and deploy as a new airline.
Whilst the news has been out and about since Sunday (and according to the Times of Malta – the first aircraft transferred from an Irish to Maltese registry on Monday), it seems Ryanair is continuing to explore local brands and see how they work).
How this will work in the long term will be interesting to see – as Ryanair diverges itself from its Irish home, and build new homes in Europe.
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