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Qualified Employment in Aviation (QEA) Scheme in Malta

What is the Qualified Employment in Aviation (QEA) Scheme?

When Malta introduced changes to the aviation regulatory framework some years back, it experienced a rapid expansion in economic activity within the sector. The expansion led to a shortage of highly qualified personnel specialising in aviation. In May 2016, Malta introduced a new scheme, Qualified Employment in Aviation (QEA), offering more favourable taxation to aviation professionals, earning at least EUR 45,000 per annum and holding eligible office in the aviation sector including maintenance, air operations, training, legal and in financial services. The individuals accepted for the scheme are benefiting from a flat 15% tax rate on the whole income.

Eligible Office

- Chief Executive Officer

- Chief Operations Officer

- Chief Financial Officer

- Chief Risk Officer

- Chief Financial Officer

- Chief Technology Officer

- Chief Commercial Officer

- Chief Investment Officer

- Chief Insurance Officer

- Accountable Manager

- Deputy Accountable Manager

- General Manager

- Flight Operations Manager

- Nominated Person Flight Operations Training Manager

- Nominated Person Training

- Ground Operations

- Nominated Person Ground Operations

- Continuing Airworthiness Manager

- Nominated Person Continuing Airworthiness Compliance Manager

- Quality Systems Manager

- Safety Manager

- Flight Dispatch Manager

- Instructor Manager

- Head of Marketing

- Head of Public Relations

- Actuary

- Underwriting Manager

- Risk Management Officer

- Key account manager

- Product coordinator

- Material coordinator

- Engineering reporter

- Aeronautical engineer

- Head of Maintenance Operations

- Aviation Systems Developer

- Key Aviation Specialist

When can aviation professionals apply for QEA scheme and how long does it last?

Application for a scheme can be initiated after employment has commenced in one of the eligible professions, i.e. once the applicant has received at least one payslip. The 15% tax rate applies for a consecutive period of five years (EEA and Swiss nationals) or four years (third country nationals). The scheme validity period commences from the year when the individual concerned first becomes taxable in Malta. Individuals may apply for two extensions of four/five years each to the qualifying period.

What are the requirements to qualify for QEA Scheme?

To qualify for the favourable tax rate, the individual applying for the scheme shall meet the following conditions:

  • Shall have emoluments of at least EUR 45,000 gross per annum, payable under a qualifying contract of employment, and received in respect of work or duties carried out in Malta.

  • Shall be protected as an employee under Maltese law, be paid and have the required adequate and specific competence.

  • Be in possession of professional qualifications or experience.

  • Shall fully disclose for tax purposes and declare emoluments received in respect of income from a qualifying contract of employment.

  • Shall perform activities of an eligible office.

  • Shall be in receipt of stable and regular resources which are sufficient to maintain himself and the members of his family without recourse to the social assistance system in Malta.

  • Shall reside in accommodation regarded as normal for a comparable family in Malta and which meets the general health and safety standards in force in Malta.

  • Shall be in possession of a valid travel document.

  • Shall be in possession of sickness insurance for himself and the members of his family.

  • Not be domiciled in Malta.

Subject to rules and regulations in accordance with S.L.123.168.

What are the application and annual filing requirements for QEA Scheme?

As a part of the process, the applicant will be required to fill out an application form and submit it to authorities in Malta, along with various additional documents. The documents include an employment contract with a Maltese company, payslip or FS3, property purchase agreement or property lease agreement, health insurance policy, CV and copy of Maltese ID card.

Also, according to Maltese rules and regulations, every year, in summer, individuals shall file a tax return confirming their income amount and taxation for the previous year.

How can IRIS THAUMAS support you?

We are offering the service of applying for QEA scheme and renewing it when necessary. We will be guiding you on the process, instructing on each step, completing the necessary formalities for you, collecting additional information, and taking care of submission to the authorities.

Subject to contract or terms and conditions, as applicable.

Further information

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us on


The information provided here is intended for general guidance and does not constitute legal advice. Figures and rates are relevant to the year 2024.


Government of Malta, Tax Guidelines on Qualifying Employment in Aviation (Personal Tax) Rules,, accessed November 2022.


IRIS THAUMAS offers recruitment, payroll and employment compliance solutions in Malta and beyond. Visit our homepage to find out more.



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