Ryanair will resume flights from Belfast International Airport.
Last year, the Irish low-cost carrier announced it would pull out of the airport, citing concerns about air passenger service (APD).
But now it has announced 12 new routes from the hub next summer, operating 115 flights a week.
Routes include Alicante, Faro, Barcelona Girona, Milan Bergamo and Malaga, as well as domestic services to the East Midlands, Edinburgh, London Stansted and Manchester.
Belfast-based Ryanair’s fleet will comprise two aircraft and will create 60 aviation jobs at Belfast International, as well as a number of indirect functions.
Ryanair Chief Commercial Officer Jason McGuinness said: “At a time when other airlines are cutting their schedules and reducing their workforce, we are delighted to announce a new Ryanair base at Belfast International Airport with 12 exciting routes.
“We are delighted to have reached a long-term agreement with the management of Belfast International, which will underpin Ryanair’s future growth at the airport for years to come.
“Today’s announcement, particularly our decision to launch nearly 80 weekly domestic flights to/from the East Midlands, Edinburgh, London Stansted and Manchester, demonstrates that lower aviation taxes and competitive airport charges are the catalyst for growth in the long-term traffic and increased connectivity. ”
McGuinness added that concerns about APD remain.
“To allow additional investment from Ryanair (and other airlines) from next summer, the UK government must immediately remove aviation taxes for all flights, otherwise the UK risks losing air traffic against competing European countries”, he said.
Belfast International Airport CFO Dan Owens said: “This is a significant investment, creating jobs and positive news for our passengers and the region.
“It increases the number of destinations now available from the airport to more than 70 domestic and international destinations, offering more options than ever for travelers.”
Meanwhile, George Best Belfast City Airport has announced new services to Cardiff and Southampton with Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Emerald Airlines.
Michelle Hatfield, Director of Corporate Services at Belfast City Airport, said: “As one of the largest airline partners at Belfast City Airport, the addition of more regional services from Aer Lingus is fantastic for both passengers. for business and pleasure who wish to travel to the United Kingdom.
“Passengers have been requesting more connections to Cardiff and Southampton and we are delighted that we were able to deliver in time for the busy summer period.”
Ciaran Smith, Chief Commercial Officer of Emerald Airlines, said: “We are delighted to be starting our Cardiff and Southampton services from Belfast, giving those traveling from Belfast more choice when planning their holiday.”