Wizz Air Holdings has announced plans to launch a Maltese subsidiary - Wizz Air Malta (W4, Malta Int'l) - in October this year using Malta-registered aircraft.

The budget carrier said only that its new carrier will shortly apply to the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) for an Air Operator's Certificate (AOC) and the Malta Civil Aviation Directorate (CAD) for an Operating Licence (OL).

The move comes after EASA and the CAD signed an Arrangement on Reallocation of Responsibility agreement on May 17 which will allow Wizz to operate across several EU AOCs while subject to a single regulatory authority.

"This will be a new step in the already well-established cooperation between the Agency, the Maltese Civil Aviation Directorate and Wizz Air," Patrick Ky, Executive Director of EASA, said. "This new set-up, where one group will operate multiple AOCs based in different Member States, but overseen by the same Competent Authority, demonstrates the possibilities available through the transfer of responsibilities to EASA. We are looking forward to working together on the issuance of this brand-new AOC and the subsequent oversight activities."

Wizz Air Holdings' other EU-based AOC is Wizz Air (W6, Budapest) in Hungary while its non-EU-based entities include Wizz Air UK (W9, London Luton) and Wizz Air Abu Dhabi (5W, Abu Dhabi Int'l). It recently announced plans for a possible Saudi operation implying the need for a possible AOC there as well.

Rival Ryanair Holdings has already gone the Maltese route setting up Malta Air (MAY, Malta Int'l) in 2019. It currently operates twenty-four B737-8-200s and 120 B737-800s.