Malta targets aircraft leasing in bid to expand aviation cluster

Malta is positioning itself as the next high profile EU jurisdiction after Ireland for the aircraft leasing business

Civil Aviation Director Charles Pace
Civil Aviation Director Charles Pace

Aircraft leasing is now part of the Maltese aviation cluster with the country positioning itself as the next high profile European jurisdiction for such business.

Based on the strength of its aircraft register, which currently numbers almost 500 planes, Malta will be tapping the aviation sector’s yearning to have more jurisdictions offering leasing services.

Civil Aviation Director Charles Pace said on Wednesday that the authority’s decision to tap the leasing market will close the circle for the thriving aviation cluster in Malta.

“Malta aims to join the three key leading countries for aircraft leasing services - Ireland, Singapore and Hong Kong. This will make Malta the second EU jurisdiction of note for such services,” he said.

The aviation market has taken a major battering as a result of travel restrictions introduced because of the coronavirus pandemic but nonetheless, aircraft leasing companies still have to manage their fleets.

“Malta is open for business. I am convinced over the coming months we will get major companies shifting their lease operations here,” Pace said.

He was speaking during an unveiling ceremony at Transport Malta’s quarters in Lija.

Prime Minister Robert Abela said that after three months of trying to preserve the country’s integrity, the time was now ripe to get the economy running again.

“We are making use of all the country’s resources to tap new markets and inject a new lease of life into the industry,” Abela said.

Transport Minister Ian Borg said the decision to venture into aircraft leasing comes on the back of Malta’s strong aircraft register. He added that the register expanded by 98 new aircraft over the past few months during the pandemic.