EasyJet is to create 120 jobs as part of expansion plans at Manchester airport.

The budget carrier is to base a new aircraft at the airport, which will come into operation from March with new routes.

That will bring the Manchester fleet up to seven aircraft and chief executive Carolyn McCall hinted to the Manchester Evening News that more could be added.

EasyJet currently offers flights to 26 destinations from Manchester.

The airline hopes to increase the number of business travellers to carries to more than a fifth of all passengers.

McCall said: “I would say we currently don’t have as strong a presence in Manchester as I would like.

“We have based aircraft there for four or five years now and do some fantastic routes from Manchester already.

“We are very well known in Liverpool and could become much better known in Manchester and it is very important to us to increase our presence here and show out commitment to the city.

“If you look at how we operate, we do not go in and out of airports, we commit to them over the long term and that is what we intend to do at Manchester.

“We see Manchester as the gateway to the north and have made a commitment to grow in the city, provided the conditions are right.”