Ryanair is to start nine new routes and increase frequencies on eight existing services from Dublin airport.

The move from next April will bring 1 million extra passengers and follows the Irish government abolishing the country’s €3 air travel tax from next spring.

The expansion is expected to lead to 700 new jobs at the airport and 300 with the airline.

The budget carrier plans to carry an additional 700,000 passengers as a result of the new flights to Almeria, Bari, Basel, Bucharest, Chania, Comiso in Sicily, Lisbon Marrakesh and Prague.

More flights and improved schedules are planned for the Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Prestwick, Stansted, Madrid, Manchester and Nice routes, with total weekly flights rising from 300 to 400.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said: “I commend the scrapping of the travel tax which was key to this growth.

“The government are playing a key role in making Ireland an attractive travel destination.”

He added: “A critical component of this growth will be 100 extra weekly flights into Dublin from Britain, which will reverse the recent tourism declines in UK visitors coming to Ireland.”

Ryanair has already struck deals to expand services next year from other Irish airports including Kerry and Shannon.

Dublin Airport Authority chief executive Kevin Toland said: “We are very pleased the airline has responded to the government’s decision in relation to the air travel tax, and to the attractive suite of incentives that Dublin airport offers to all growing airlines, by accelerating their own growth at the airport. 



“We are very aware of the importance of Dublin airport as an engine of growth for tourism and for the Irish economy generally, and we are particularly pleased that recent growth has been manifest across all categories of traffic and delivered by a broad range of carriers.

“This reflects renewed activity in the Irish economy and those of our key trading partners. We also believe it reflects the competitive pricing and incentive schemes we offer airline customers, and our focus on customer service for passengers.”