Wizz Air plans to launch operations in October with a new subsidiary based in Malta. The launch date is subject to regulatory approval from the Maltese Civil Aviation Directorate (CAD) and Europe’s EASA. Wizz Air plans to launch Maltese subsidiary in October.
Wizz announced on May 17 that it has signed a document with both agencies, with the intention to file for an Air Operator Certificate with EASA and an Operating Licence with the CAD. The airline already operates under an EASA license with multiple AOCs in different member states, including Hungary, Bosnia, and Ukraine. Wizz also has independent certificates for its operations in the UK and Abu Dhabi. It said last week that it is exploring options for a new subsidiary in Saudi Arabia.
On its plans for the Maltese airline, CEO Joszef Varadi says in a media statement: “The successful establishment of Wizz Air Malta later this year will help to reinforce our strong position and support our expansion plans in Europe.” Until now, the airline has no base on Malta but has grown its presence in nearby Italy, with 22 aircraft based at seven different airports. The airline hasn’t shared further details of its plans in Malta. If the new subsidiary is in some ways a substitute for Wizz’ paused operations in Ukraine isn’t confirmed. Wizz reported a €-213.6 million operating loss in Q3 of FY22.
Entering the Maltese market brings Wizz Air is direct competition with its main low-cost rival in Europe, Ryanair. Through Malta Air, which became operational in June 2019, Ryanair has based 145 Boeing 737-800s and MAX 8200s on the island to cover markets around the Mediterranean. Since September 2020, the 29 Airbus A320s for Lauda Europe also operate with a Maltese AOC. Previously, they were based in Vienna.
Active as a journalist since 1987, with a background in newspapers, magazines, and a regional news station, Richard has been covering commercial aviation on a freelance basis since late 2016.
Richard is contributing to AirInsight since December 2018. He also writes for Airliner World, Aviation News, Piloot & Vliegtuig, and Luchtvaartnieuws Magazine. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.