Irish LCC Ryanair has reached an agreement with the Maltese authorities to launch a subsidiary airline called Malta Air.
The news was reported today by the Times of Malta, which says the new carrier will take over more than 60 routes from Ryanair.
Ryanair also released a statement confirming the news, in which it said it would begin moving aircraft at the end of June.
It will base a number of aircraft in Malta itself and provide maintenance facilities on the island.
The Maltese government will have a golden share in Malta Air.
It insists the new airline will not impact on flag carrier Air Malta as both airlines will be offering complementary services.
Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary reportedly said Malta Air hopes to carry five million passengers within five years and is already seeking new routes in addition to the 62 it will take over from Ryanair.
A start date for the new airline has yet to be announced, but Ryanair’s regular schedule will continue.
Read more about Malta in the June issue of Business Traveller.