Photo: Kikas Baptista

LONDON – Irish ultra-low-cost carrier Ryanair has announced a new partnership with Air Malta, which will grant the Maltese carrier access to Ryanair’s 139 million customers per year.

From August 21, Ryanair passengers will be able to book through its website 21 new routes served by Air Malta to eight countries across Africa, Asia, and Europe.

PHOTO: Ryanair.

This partnership is the latest step in the airline’s ‘Always Getting Better’ program, which is aimed at improving customer experience.

The Maltese carrier’s Chairman, Charles Mangion, coined this as a “landmark agreement”

Mangion stated that the partnership with Ryanair is happening because of Air Malta’s efforts to upgrade its IT systems. He noted that the deal helps “address Air Malta’s online weakness.”

Malta Today

Ryanair already flies 53 routes to and from Malta and delivers around 2.7 million passengers per year to the island.

“We are pleased to announce this exciting partnership with Air Malta, which allows our 139 million customers to browse and book flights on 21 new routes from Malta,” said Ryanair’s CCO David O’Brien. 

“This partnership is the latest AGB enhancement as we continue our journey to becoming the ‘Amazon of travel,'” he said.

Air Malta was founded in 1943 and has grown to offer a modest network of 35 routes. With this partnership, the airline will almost double its offering.

“Over the last year, Air Malta has made significant improvements not only to expand its network of destinations with more frequencies and destinations but also changing its product in terms of fare structure and onboard service,” said Mangion.

Photo: Fabio Monterisi

“This agreement will help Air Malta increase its visibility in overseas markets and tap into new revenue streams,” Mangion said.

This is an unusual step taken out by Ryanair, known for aggressively taking market share out of the different markets by merely imposing its presence.

Through partnerships, Ryanair might increase its revenue streams while keeping its costs controlled, reducing the risks of labor issues in markets that are not prime for the airline’s ambitions.

On the other hand, a small carrier like Air Malta will increase its exposure by cooperating with the world’s most visible low-cost carrier.

It will be interesting to see what other benefits this will have for both Ryanair and Air Malta, with the carriers probably looking to work together even further over the next year or so.