EasyJet aims to more than double carryings from Stansted to 6 million passengers a year in a deal struck with the new owners of the airport.

The target is to raise carryings from 2.8 million annually over the next 5 years and comes three months after Manchester Airport Group took over the Essex airport.

The budget airline currently operates eight aircraft on up to 27 routes from Stansted, including new routes to Bulgaria, Morocco and Egypt, but wants to increase the number of business travellers flown from the airport.

MAG chief executive Charlie said: “We’re working hard with existing and prospective airlines to drive passenger growth at Stansted so today’s announcement by easyJet on the new framework for growth is a positive first step.

“London Stansted will flourish under MAG’s ownership as we actively market the airport, the region and its strong connectivity, including direct rail access to both London and Cambridge, to airlines and introduce lots more airline competition into the London market.

“The quality of our offer is compelling and we strongly believe that London Stansted has a key role to play in any debate on South East capacity and today’s positive announcement by easyJet confirms that.”

EasyJest UK director Paul Simmons added: “We are pleased to have reached a new deal with the new owners of Stansted which gives us the ability to grow at the London airport. We look forward to working with MAG over the coming months and years.”