Air Malta (KM, Malta Int'l) will sign a partnership with Ryanair, in effect allowing passengers to book the tickets for the Maltese flag carrier's flights via the Irish LCC's website, Chairman Charles Mangion has told The Times of Malta.

The decision comes amid a general restructuring drive which aims to increase the revenues of the carrier and simultaneously reduce its cost base. Air Malta has already reduced its staff from around 1,000 to some 550 employees. The carrier also plans to increase the utilisation of its aircraft, add new ancillary services such as car hire or hotel bookings to its internet booking engine, tighten cabin luggage allowance, and increase prices for oversized luggage. However, Air Malta plans to keep its business class product at the same time.

The carrier has accumulated some EUR240 million euros (USD296.8 million) in losses in the last few years and was recently saved from insolvency by selling its slots at London Heathrow and London Gatwick, among others, to a government-owned unit Malta Air Travel Limited.

Ryanair already cooperates with Air Europa and sells this carrier's tickets for transatlantic services out of Madrid Barajas on its website. The Irish LCC has recently signed a similar partnership with Aer Lingus.