Belfast Telegraph

Ryanair plans to establish new airline in Malta with up to 10 aircraft in situ

Ryanair Chief Executive Officer Michael O’Leary (Jonathan Brady/PA)
Ryanair Chief Executive Officer Michael O’Leary (Jonathan Brady/PA)

By John Mulligan

Ryanair is poised to create a new airline in Malta, with plans to have as many as 10 aircraft on the island's aircraft register, according to reports from the island.

The carrier said it didn't comment on "rumour or speculation".

The Sunday Times of Malta first reported that Ryanair is planning the move.

It said that Ryanair, in discussions with the Maltese government, has committed to opening a number of new routes from the country.

The new subsidiary will also take over the current 61 routes that Ryanair operates to and from the Mediterranean island.

The new airline will be called Malta Air and the Maltese government will own a golden share in the carrier designed to give it a veto over any future sale of the business.

Under the plans, Ryanair will reportedly double its fleet in Malta to 10 aircraft initially.

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The newspaper also reported that Ryanair will establish hangar facilities in Malta for line maintenance on its aircraft.

The new subsidiary would be the fifth operating airline within the Ryanair group.

The existing four include Ryanair, Ryanair UK, Austria-based Laudamotion and its Ryanair Sun arm in Poland, which will be renamed Buzz from the autumn.

In February this year, Ryanair announced that it's shifting to a corporate structure similar to that of Aer Lingus owner IAG.

IAG, headed by Willie Walsh, owns the Irish carrier as well as British Airways, Iberia and Vueling. Each carrier has its own chief executive and management team, with Mr Walsh focusing on the group's wider strategy.

Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary will become the group chief executive at Ryanair, while the Ryanair airline will have a separate chief executive.

Belfast Telegraph