Lufthansa subsidiary Eurowings Europe has been granted an air operator certificate by Transport Malta, as Malta continues to establish itself as a highly attractive jurisdiction of choice for aircraft.

Speaking on Thursday (today), airline officials said the company aspires “to become Europe’s number one value airline”.

“Malta has a unique and undisputed reputation as a jurisdiction of choice in the aviation industry,” they added.

Minister for Transport Aaron Farrugia welcomed the airline, and highlighted the Maltese aircraft registry’s commitment to agility and accessibility.

He noted that the 9H Registry, as Malta’s aircrcaft registry is called, is now approaching a total of 800 aircraft.

The company was previously registered in Austria, but faced difficulties due to the country’s double taxation rules.

In a statement earlier this year, Eurowings explained that “regardless of the individual’s place of residence and country of employment, most of the wage taxation falls to the country in which the airline’s legal domicile is located – in our case, Austria.

“However, the majority of our Eurowings Europe employees live in Spain, the Czech Republic, Sweden, etc. The problem of double tax returns and complex accounting processes would increase with each new base opening (Prague, Stockholm, etc.). Eurowings Europe must eliminate these disadvantages in competition (also in recruiting).”

Obtaining legal domicile in Malta allows the company to pay the tax and social security contributions of employees in the respective country of employment – i.e., Spain, the Czech Republic, Sweden, etc.

“It is therefore explicitly not about tax avoidance, but about taxation in the respective country of employment,” the company said.

Eurowings Europe will now have administrative functions based in Malta, with approximately 10 employees, while the crews will continue to operate on a pan-European basis across the established Eurowings Europe bases.

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