Malta has a long and successful history of support to the shipping industry, and ranks second in the list of vessel registrations in Europe. As part of a strategic government vision, the unified Transport Malta agency and its civil aviation directorate (Stand E335) have embarked on a program to emulate that success in the aviation sector.
The island now boasts numerous attractions for new business, not least of which are the largely English-speaking population and its location midway between Europe and North Africa. Aviation services have been built up rapidly and successfully in recent years, and the government has introduced new laws to make the country and its aircraft register attractive, especially to operators of corporate fleets.
Maltese officials are keen to stress that the country operates within the EU's regulatory and taxation framework, and that it is not in any way an offshore tax haven. However, aspects of Maltese law are conducive to aircraft operations, such as corporate tax law that can be reduced to 5 percent through a reimbursement scheme.
For operators one of the key advantages is the small size yet high proficiency of the aviation department, which allows AOCs to be granted in around 90 days, a much shorter time than would be possible in other European Union states. The new Aircraft Registration Act has opened up the benefits of Maltese registration to operators outside the air service world, a particular benefit to business aviation.