[WATCH] Ryanair chief commercial officer predicts Air Malta absorption

Air Malta could get absorbed by a larger airline in the future and eventually vanish, says Ryanair chief commercial officer David O'Brien.

Ryanair chief commercial officer David O'Brien (Photo Ray Attard)
Ryanair chief commercial officer David O'Brien (Photo Ray Attard)
Ryanair commercial officer predicts Air Malta's demise • Video by Ray Attard

Air Malta could be absorbed by a larger airline in the future, Ryanair's chief commercial officer said.

"I haven't conducted a significant analysis on Air Malta so I'm in no position to comment properly, but the tendency is for national flagged airlines to become feeders for larger airlines," David O'Brien told MaltaToday.

"Air Malta will probably get absorbed by a larger airline and eventually vanish. However, I would like to see Air Malta continue as its a good competitor to have."

O'Brien was speaking at a press conference at the Malta International Airport held to announce record bookings on Ryanair's Malta summer schedule that will include a new route to the East Midlands in England. The schedule will also include extra flights to and from Bari, Bournemouth, Dublin, Gothenburg, Luton, Madrid, Milan, Stockholm, and Venice. 

He added that Air Malta should lower its fares so as to attract a broader market.

"If you stand still in this industry, you're as good as dead," he said. "If you don't lower your fares, you really have a problem. If you want to appeal to a broader, deeper market then you have to give them what they want and national airlines aren't doing that."

On Ryanair's success, O'Brien said, "In total, our routes will deliver over 1.1 million customers and support 1,100 on-site jobs at Malta's airport. 

"Maltese consumers and visitors already choose Ryanair for our low fares, industry leading customer service and great route choice."

To celebrate these record bookings as well as their 30th birthday, Ryanair have also launched a seat sale with 30% lower fares for travel in March and April, available for booking until midnight 19 February.

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