Ryanair picks Leeds Bradford airport as new base for flights

Budget airline Ryanair has said that 1,000 jobs will be created by its choice of Leeds Bradford International Airport as a new base for its flights.

The carrier will from next March add 14 routes to its three that already use the airport.

John Parkin, the airport’s chief executive, said: "This is a great vote of confidence in the potential of both the airport and our region from Europe's largest airline."

Ryanair’s announcement followed the airport gaining planning consent from Leeds City Council to redevelop its terminal building and improve road access.

From next month, the airline will offer 63 new weekly return flights to Carcassonne, Faro, Ibiza, Knock, Krakow, Limoges, Malaga, Malta, Montpellier, Murcia, Nantes, Palma, Pisa and Venice Treviso. Three existing routes serve Alicante, Girona and Dublin.

Ryanair chief executive Michael O’Leary said: "Ryanair is delighted to announce Leeds Bradford as our 34th base.  Ryanair’s one million passengers will create and sustain 1,000 jobs locally."

Sandy Needham, chief executive of Bradford Chamber of Commerce, hoped the new routes would attract tourists to the region as well as cater for outbound passengers.

"It’s very good news in terms of jobs and follows efforts by airport chiefs to attract new operators and routes to expand services and passenger numbers," he said.

"While many of the routes are not obvious business destinations, if they provide more flexibility that is a good thing. Hopefully, they will help to boost the local economy by attracting more tourists to the region and that’s very important too."

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