Ryanair and Stansted's operator have reached an agreement under which the Irish budget carrier foresees adding 50% to its passenger numbers at the London airport over the coming decade.
Manchester Airports Group (MAG) has committed to "a package of lower costs and more efficient facilities at Stansted", says Ryanair, which foresees annual numbers growing from 13.2 million last year to 14.5 million in the first of the 10 years covered by the deal, and to more than 20 million thereafter. MAG is to invest £80 million ($130 million) in the airport terminal.
A quarter of Ryanair's five-year growth plan to 2019 is accounted for by the deal, says the low-cost airline. New routes to Bordeaux, Dortmund, Lisbon and Rabat in Morocco will be among the 120 Ryanair will operate from Stansted as part of the summer 2014 schedule. The number of aircraft the carrier will base at the airport will rise from 37 to 43, and flights per week will surpass 2,000, up from 1,800 today.
Ryanair chief executive Michael O'Leary says the deal with MAG will create over 7,000 new jobs in Stansted and "proves how UK airports can flourish when released from the dead hand of the BAA monopoly".