A dozen new routes are being added by Ryanair from Stansted from next April to bring the total up to 126.

The no-frills carrier is also adding frequencies on 17 existing routes, increasing the number of weekly flights on those routes from 430 to 600.

The expansion is designed to deliver an additional 1.3 million passengers a year and support 1,300 new on-site jobs at the Essex airport.

The 12 new routes are to Basel, Bordeaux, Brive, Bucharest, Comiso in Sicily, Dortmund, Lisbon, Osijek in Croatia, Podgorica in Montenegro, Prague, Rabat and Skelleftea in Sweden.

The airline expects to handle 14.5 million passengers a year from Stansted as a result of the expanded network and increased frequencies.

Charlie Cornish, chief executive of Stansted owner Manchester Airports Group, said: “The new destinations and increase in flights on key routes will offer passengers and businesses even more choice at great value and build on the strength of Ryanair’s extensive network at Stansted, the airline’s largest base in Europe.

“Ryanair is an important and valued customer for Stansted and MAG. We’re delighted to support the airline’s expansion plans for next summer with this announcement coming hot on the heels of our joint 10 year growth agreement.

“MAG acquired Stansted to unlock its full potential and return the airport to rapid and sustained growth by offering great value to airlines and better services and facilities to passengers.”

The announcement, together with the excellent progress we are making with the £80 million investment in the terminal, “is further evidence we are succeeding in transforming Stansted under our ownership,” he added.