Ryanair has announced that it has agreed to buy Maltese start-up airline, Malta Air, for an undisclosed price.
The move will see the airline transfer six Malta-based aircraft onto the Maltese register and raise its Malta fleet to 10 aircraft within three years, creating more than 350 jobs.
The new firm will operate different routes from the state-owned Air Malta.
Speaking in Malta today, Ryanair CEO, Michael O’Leary 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’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.”
Malta Minister for Tourism, Konrad Mizzi, said: “The relationship between Ryanair and Malta has 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.”