Europe’s largest low-cost airline, Ryanair, is planning to set up a new airline on the island of Malta. The new airline should be called Malta Air.

Ryanair announces in The Sunday Times of Malta that it has begun talks with the Maltese government in connection with the establishment of a new company on the small Mediterranean island. The newcomer would fly under the name Malta Air, which should not be confused with the national airline of Malta, namely Air Malta.

Ryanair is a big player on the island. Apart from Air Malta, it is the largest airline on the island, which transports a lot of tourists. These tourists of course make the economy run well and that is why the Maltese government wants to make sure that Ryanair stays on the island. That is why they are very satisfied with the start of the negotiations. However, it is not the case that Malta Air will now come on the first place. The state will continue to invest in the national airline Air Malta. For example, it is not Ryanair’s intention to compete vigorously with Air Malta.

Ryanair assumes that once the new airline starts up, there will certainly be room for 350 jobs in the course of the first three years. At this moment Ryanair already has 5 aircraft stationed on the island with which it operates 61 different routes. The number of aircraft should double and the current routes would be taken over by Malta Air.

The aircraft with which the airline will fly will be those that are currently stationed on the island and a number of others will be removed from the Irish airline’s fleet and transferred to Malta Air. All of them will be registered on the Maltese register and fly with a Maltese AOC.

Malta Air is not the first airline that Ryanair founded in a European country other than Ireland. Ryanair Holdings has a lot of subsidiary airlines such as Ryanair, the Irish Airlines headquartered in Dublin, Ryanair UK, headquartered at London Stansted Airport and it bought a minority stake in Laudamotion in 2018, headquartered in Vienna, Austria.