Irish low-cost airline Ryanair has agreed to establish a subsidiary in Malta to expand its presence on the island and improve access to North Africa.

The Irish airline operates a number of subsidiaries, including Austrian and Polish airlines Laudamotion and Ryanair Buzz.

The Maltese Government said that it is in talks with Ryanair about setting up the subsidiary and the Irish firm announced that it will acquire Malta Air to establish the subsidiary. The airline said that it will shift the six aircraft currently operating in the country to the subsidiary, according to Reuters.

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said in a statement: “Malta Air will proudly fly the Maltese name and flag as we look to grow our Malta-based fleet, routes, traffic and jobs over the next three years.”

The European low-cost airline said that it will increase its Maltese fleet to ten aircraft within three years and rebrand them as Malta Air for operations in 2020.

In addition, Ryanair said that it will move more than 50 planes based in France, Italy and Germany onto the Maltese register, enabling crews to pay income tax locally instead of in Ireland.

In a Facebook post, Malta’s Tourism Minister Konrad Mizzi said that the airline will include a ‘golden share’, a mechanism under which the government approval is required for disposal, share issue or takeover.

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The minister said that the airline will also establish hangar facilities for repair and maintenance operations in Malta.

Mizzi affirmed that there will not be an impact on state-owned Air Malta, as the two airlines will offer different but complementary services.

According to Goodbody analyst Mark Simpson, Ryanair’s move to add another brand will not come as a surprise and that doing so in Malta is likely due to the cost and/or tax benefits for Ryanair.