The Office for Competition has greenlit the planned acquisition of the Malta-based SR Technics by the major budget airline EasyJet, allowing the transaction, first announced in April, to move forward.

SR Technics is one of Malta's largest aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) service providers, while EasyJet is Europe's sixth-largest airline by passenger numbers, and the second-largest budget carrier.

Europe’s two largest airlines – Ryanair and Lufthansa – also have dedicated maintenance and repair facilities on the island.

The Officer for Competition within the Malta Competition and Consumer Affairs Authority (MCCAA) concluded that there is no horizontal overlap between the two firms, “as they operate at different levels of the supply chain.”

It also pointed to SR Technics’ “limited market share” and the “widespread availability of alternative MRO service providers within the European Economic Area (EEA).”

These elements, said the Office for Competition, indicate “that the concentration does not pose any potential horizontal or vertical effects.”

It further added that “the EEA-wide nature of the market and the prevalent practice among airlines to diversify their MRO service providers serves to mitigate any competition concerns.”

For these reasons, the authority decided not to oppose the acquisition and to declare it lawful.

The acquisition will be accomplished through a share sale and purchase agreement.

SR Technics was initially set up as the technical department of the former Swiss Air, but was established as a separate company in 1997.

The Zurich-based company established a base in Malta in 2010, with EasyJet as its launch customer. The first aircraft to roll out of its hangars - an EasyJet Airbus 319 - was even christened the 'Pride of Malta'.

The relationship that remained strong over the years; in 2017, the Maltese unit completed the 200th aircraft check for EasyJet.

On that occasion, SR Technics CEO Jeremy Remacha said that the partnership with EasyJet was “essential” to the success and development of the company’s hub in Malta.

In October 2023, SR Technics Malta announced that it had secured a new three-year contract with EasyJet.

SR Technics Malta is primarily active in the provision of heavy maintenance services of commercial passenger aircraft from its premises within Malta International Airport.

Its clients, apart from EasyJet, include Finnair, Volotea and Condor Airlines.

In 2022, SR Technics Malta completed a €44 million project to expand their local footprint with a 40,000sqm facility capable of servicing up to six narrow-body aircraft simultaneously.

As for EasyJet plc, it carried the sixth-most passengers in Europe in 2023, using a fleet of 336 Airbus A320 family aircraft on 1,018 routes across 35 countries and 155 airports. The airline also sells package holidays and travel insurance to customers on an agency basis.

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Written By

Robert Fenech

Robert is curious about the connections that make the world work, and takes a particular interest in the confluence of economy, environment and justice. He can also be found moonlighting as a butler for his big black cat.