Ryanair will fly 12 new routes out of Stansted next summer and increase services to 17 other destinations served from the airport, it was announced today.

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Under a new long-term agreement with Stansted owner MAG, the Irish-based low-cost carrier will introduce services to Basel, Bordeaux, Brive, Bucharest, Comiso, Dortmund, Lisbon, Osijek, Podgorica, Prague, Rabat and Skelleftea

Together with the increased frequecy on other routes, including Milan, Rome, Berlin, Barcelona, Bremen, Pisa and Dublin, the expansion will see Ryanair offer an additional 1.3million seats, taking its capacity at Stansted to 14.5m passengers.

Under the new deal agreed with MAG two months ago, Ryanair plans to increase the number of passengers it serves at the airport from just over 13m a year at present to more than 18m by 2018 and to nearly 21m by 2023.

Charlie Cornish, MAG’s chief executive, said: “Today’s announcement by Ryanair is fantastic news for Stansted, the region and the passengers who rely on the airport to provide a connection to and from all parts of Europe.

“The new destinations and increase in flights on key routes will offer passengers and businesses even more choice at great value and build on the strength of Ryanair’s extensive network at Stansted, the airline’s largest base in Europe.

“Ryanair is an important and valued customer for Stansted and MAG We’re delighted to support the airline’s expansion plans for next summer with this announcement coming hot on the heels of our joint 10 year growth agreement.

“MAG acquired Stansted to unlock its full potential and return the airport to rapid and sustained growth by offering great value to airlines and better services and facilities to passengers. Today’s announcement, together with the excellent progress we are making with our £80m investment in the terminal, is further evidence we are succeeding in transforming Stansted under our ownership.”

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary − a long-standing critic of former Stansted owner BAA − said: “Ryanair is pleased to deliver 12 new European routes to/from Stansted to Basel, Bordeaux, Brive, Bucharest, Comiso, Dortmund, Lisbon, Osijek, Podgorica, Prague, Rabat and Skelleftea, as well as increased frequencies on 17 existing routes, which will deliver over 1,300,000 additional passengers per annum and sustain over 1,300 ‘on-site’ jobs at Stansted Airport.

“As Stansted’s biggest airline, Ryanair looks forward to growing traffic, routes and jobs at Stansted.”

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