Planned new national carrier KM Malta Airlines is to set to open for bookings on 4 December after securing its air operator’s certificate.

Malta’s Government in early October announced plans to establish a successor operator to struggling national carrier Air Malta next summer.

Air Malta A320neo

Source: Airbus

Air Malta already operates Airbus A320neos, which will be the type operated by its successor carrier

The new operation, KM Malta Airlines, says it has been granted an AOC and air operator licence from the Maltese Civil Aviation Directorate, paving the way for it begin taking bookings from 4 December. 

The new carrier plans to launch flights from 31 March, using a fleet of eight Airbus A320neos operating 284 weekly flights across 17 routes.

”KM Malta Airlines will adopt a key European destination focus, linking Malta with the main capital cities in Western Europe, with the primary European airport hubs, and connecting with partner airlines,” the new airline says.

The airline’s summer network includes 84 weekly flights connecting Malta with Italy, as well as 48, 44 and 40 connections linking the island with France, the UK and Germany respectively.

Malta’s government opted to create a successor carrier after talks with the European Commission when it became a clear a required further capital increase for Air Malta would not be approved under state aid rules.

It has been working with Knighthood Global, the UAE aviation consultancy headed by former Etihad Airways chief executive James Hogan, to develop the strategy for the new carrier.

Air Malta will itself cease operations on 30 March.