Budget airline Ryanair has announced Birmingham International Airport as its 25th European base, a move that is expected to create 5,000 jobs in the West Midlands.
The Irish airline will introduce up to 22 new routes to destinations including Poland, Portugal and Spain, with an estimated five million additional passengers expected through the airport in the next five years.
Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said the route count would more than double as a result of Ryanair’s $700m (£356m) investment in Birmingham, bringing with it a significant increase in European visitors and jobs for the West Midlands.
“Direct international routes are fundamental to the economic development of a city like Birmingham. Ryanair’s new base will smash this high fare stranglehold by delivering savings of £130m next year for Birmingham’s passengers,” he said.