British low-cost airline carrier EasyJet is moving its maintenance base from Britain to Malta.
Easyjet’s 256 aircraft, including 100 A320s, will be serviced in Malta following the signature of a five-year contract on Monday with Lufthansa’s Technik. Over the last six years EasyJet uses Lufthansa’s maintenance services in Berlin, Brussels, Budapest, Milan, Sofia, and Gatwick.
The decision was catalyzed by Britain’s decision to leave the EU, Malta Today reports. In July EasyJet started the process of acquiring an AOC (air operator certificate) from an EU member state to continue flying as a European company.
According to EasyJet’s Director Ian Davis, this means up to four company aircraft will be on the island at all times undergoing maintenance.
The significance of the deal was underscored by the presence of Malta’s Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, who hailed the agreement as a vote of confidence in Maltese global competitiveness in aviation.
The sector employs 1,200 people on the island and is a growing industry, founded on the “flexibility and quality” of its workforce praised by Ian Davis on Monday. Lufthansa Technik has been operating in Malta for 13 years and employs 540 people. The new contract would mean an additional 50 employees.
(Times of Malta, Malta Independent, Aviationpros, sharecast)