Up to 100 jobs could be created at Belfast International Airport with confirmation that easyJet is to add a further 250,000 seats to its summer 2016 schedule.
The expansion will create opportunities in aviation support, retail and supply companies which could bring around £1.6 million in wages into the local economy the airport said.
The eight percent increase will see seat capacity boosted on London, Liverpool, Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol and Newcastle. In addition, Lanzarote will be extended through the summer.
The increase follows hard on the heels of a 300,000 increase in seats during the winter schedule.
The airport described the easyJet development as a timely response to passenger demand.
“It’s important to remember that this growth comes in advance of any Air Route Development Fund which we expect to be announced shortly,” said business development director, Uel Hoey.
“The fund should serve to accelerate growth and deliver links to markets not already served from Northern Ireland.
“While the finishing touches are being put to the fund, the airport and our airlines are in expansion mode, growing the business, extending the route network and creating jobs.
“We could do much more, and can’t wait to see the remit, scope and extent of the Fund, which has been years in the making.
“This summer is on track to be our most successful ever.
We would like to congratulate easyJet for its long-term commitment to this market and look forward to working closely with the airline to create ever-greater opportunities for the Northern Ireland travelling public and visitors to our region.”