Irish budget carrier Ryanair is to re-open its base at Valencia in Spain this winter, following a commitment from the local tourism ministry to provide marketing support.

Ryanair closed its Valencia base in November 2008, a little over a year after it opened. The carrier said its withdrawal was based on the Comunitat Valenciana regional government's decision not to provide marketing support.

But in a reversal of the local government's earlier decision, Ryanair says tourism minister Belen Juste has committed to a joint promotion and advertising programme aimed at boosting declining passenger numbers.

Ryanair will again base two aircraft at Valencia from November and operate services to 10 destinations, including Marrakesh, Munich West and Seville.

"Ryanair welcomes the commitment from the minister for tourism, Belen Juste, who recognises that working with Ryanair will reverse the declining passenger numbers at Valencia Airport and grow tourism and jobs in the Valencia region," says Ryanair deputy chief executive Michael Cawley.

Adds Juste: "We are delighted to commit to developing a continuing programme of advertising and marketing that will raise Valencia's profile internationally and see many millions of high-spending Ryanair passengers return to Valencia this year."

Ryanair forecasts that its return to Valencia will boost annual passenger numbers at the airport by two million.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news