Ryanair announces €20 million investment in a maintenance and repairs facility in Malta




Malta Independent



The low-cost airline Ryanair in collaboration with the Maltese government has announced a €20 million investment towards a maintenance and repairs facility on the island. CEO of Ryanair Eddie Wilson addressed a press conference on Tuesday, announcing the substantial investment which allows for the airline to carry out repairs and operations at the Malta International Airport. By means of its new MRO operations, Ryanair will have a more seamless operation in the country, as well as 250 new job opportunities will be created. Wilson said that Ryanair has managed to grow its capacity by 115% in comparison between summer 2019 and the upcoming summer. He said that the airline has managed to keep all employees employed and has fully recovered from the Covid-19 pandemic. Operations will start in October with one maintenance bay, and employing 20 people, which will eventually grow to employ 250 people, Wilson said. The first phase of the project will see Ryanair operate from an existing hangar before building new three-bay hangars. The second phase will include 140 personnel with a two-bay line maintenance and will continue to grow in phases, where the fourth phase will see over 250 personnel. Wilson said that it is important for Malta to attract to its land Ryanair’s capacity for Malta to recover its aviation industry. Aircraft maintenance services in Malta took off when Lufthansa Technik opened a large facility in 2003. Easyjet also started servicing its aircraft in Malta in 2016 at SR Technik whilst Medavia have an aircraft maintenance facility in Gudja. Prime Minister Robert Abela said that the maintenance, repairs and overhaul facility on the island will lead to a more thriving aviation industry, as well as create 250 new quality careers in the sector. He said that the investment will lead to a 25% growth in employment in this sector. Abela said that the government will give the opportunity for training in the sector through specialized academies and institutions to prepare employees with the appropriate skillsets. Abela said that adding Ryanair to the sector will continue to improve the good reputation Malta has for aircraft maintenance. Abela said that the removal of Malta from the FATF’s grey list will continue to improve the country’s standing to do business, sending a message of optimism to foreign investors. Economy Minister Silvio Schembri and Energy and Industry Minister Miriam Dalli also addressed the press conference, both thanking Ryanair for the investment and trust in the country’s aviation sector. Dalli said that Malta is continuing a path to attract airlines of high repute to the island. She said that the abilities of the committed Maltese workforce and experienced human resources is crucial and the Malta Enterprise and the Civil Aviation Directorate shall be further open for investments in the aviation industry. Schembri said that multimillion investment comes after the Covid-19 pandemic which erased decades of growth in the industry in the span of a few short months. He thanked the Malta Enterprise as well as INDIS Malta for laying down the groundwork for new opportunities.