Ryanair & Air Malta partnership: cui prodest?
This one was kind of unexpected.
As late as 2017, both Aer Lingus and Norwegian were being touted as partners for Ryanair, the aim would have been to cross-feed its respective European and long haul networks.
At the end, in March this year, Spanish airline Air Europa (that has a sizeable long-haul operation out of Madrid, mostly oriented towards the Americas), that was officially announced a partnership with the Irish low cost carrier.
Now, another, rather different airline, joins "team Ryanair": Air Malta.
The Mediterranean carrier had been flirting with bankruptcy for quite a few years.
In 2012 Air Malta received a controversial capital injection from Malta's government, a deal that was subject to close scrutiny by the European Commission. In fact, the Ryanair agreement comes at a time when the Maltese carrier is still undergoing its latest restructuring process.
From a purely commercial point of view, the agreement should help with distribution, with the Irish budget airline will sell seats on Air Malta's flights to 35 destinations through its own website. This should facilitate the transfer of passengers between both airline's networks.
Air Malta would gain access to a new distribution channel - Ryanair's website is as massive as it gets when it comes to that! - while Ryanair, that has a significant presence of its own in Malta, will be able to offer a whole bunch of new services (in line with its strategy of becoming a fully-fledged digital travel marketplace).
Let's see how it goes and how helpful is this to get Air Malta out of the predicament it finds itself into...