The commercial and private jet market continues to grow, and the increase in users and providers spurs the demand for services. The sector’s requirements cover everything from pilots and ground technical support, to legal specialists that can offer the best jurisdiction to owners and operators. Over the years Malta has developed its offering as an aircraft registry and as a base of operations, maintenance and services.
When selecting an aircraft registry there are a number of factors to take into account since these will inform the parameters within which the aircraft can operate. Among these, operators consider:
- Regulatory environment and standards
- Secure mortgage register
- Geopolitical considerations and reputation
- Registration prefix for owners that want to be politically and militarily neutral
- Clear and simple tax regime
- Insurance requirements
What Malta has to offer
European Union membership
Malta has formed part of the bloc since 2004, making it subject to the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), some of the soundest aviation regulations in the world. On top of this, Malta also respects the mutual recognition of Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC), and both flight crew and engineer licenses. But perhaps the most beneficial consequence of EU membership is the fact that Maltese registered aircraft are allowed to circulate freely throughout the Eurozone, which in turn permits tax-free commercial operation.
The Aircraft Registration Act of 2010 provides for all Maltese registration rules, remedies and jurisdictions, leaving no room for dangerous ambiguity. Malta also adheres to the Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment, which sets international standards for leases, security interests and registration of contracts.
A Flexible Approach
There aren’t many restrictions placed upon Maltese-registered aircraft, with regulations permitting them to base themselves and operate freely, anywhere in the world. Other benefits are:
- No taxes or tariffs on the importation of civil aviation assets into Malta.
- The sale and transfer of planes and aviation assets is not subject to stamp duty.
- Planes under construction can be registered on the Maltese registry too.
- Employees of aviation companies do not pay fringe benefits on private plane usage.
- Malta, aircraft registration prefix, 9H, is not part of Nato or any other military alliance.
- A single aircraft may have multiple, fractional, owners.
- Depreciation periods on airframe (six) and interiors (four) are among the shortest in the EU.
Malta grants a tax exemption on the profits arising from the business of operating or leasing planes registered on the island. That’s because the profit is considered to arise outside Malta. This exemption applies even if the aircraft has departed from, stopped or operated from Malta’s airport.
Language and support
Malta’s official languages are English and Maltese, and the former is the language used most frequently in business correspondence and commercial interactions. The island is home to several thousand expatriates and has a distinctly international flavour.
How AE Legal can help
Over the years our aviation team has built solid credentials in the industry. We have advised some of the leading operators in Malta and regularly work on joint briefs with colleagues in Ireland and London. Complete the form below to start a conversation with us.