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Malta aircraft registration attracts a disproportionately large fleet

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The Ukrainian low cost airline SkyUp reportedly plans to register an airline in Malta. This follows plans previously announced by Wizz Air to establish a new airline in Malta, and by the Lufthansa subsidiary Eurowings Europe to transfer its fleet to Malta in the coming winter season. Ryanair Group already has 177 narrowbodies registered in Malta with subsidiary companies (148 with Malta Air and 29 with Lauda Europe).

Malta is only Europe's 28th biggest market by seat capacity, but it is the continent's eighth biggest by fleet size. Europe's island nations typically have a higher propensity for air travel, but the Malta-registered fleet hugely exceeds what is needed to serve its aviation market.

No other island, or any other European country, comes anywhere near Malta's 115.8 fleet seats per 1,000 of population (the European average is 1.3). This is because 247 of Malta's fleet of 299 are operated by subsidiaries of foreign airlines, mainly for deployment elsewhere.

The (tax and other) attractions of Malta aircraft registration will drive further growth in the Maltese fleet.

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