Ryanair has unveiled plans to boost traffic at Stansted Airport by a massive 50 per cent within the next ten years.
The budget airliner put pen to paper on the significant growth deal at a press conference in London earlier this month.
Michael O’Leary, Ryanair’s chief executive, revealed that the agreement gave them more aggressive growth targets than that at other airports.
In return, Stansted – which was bought by Manchester Airports Group (MAG) earlier this year – will meet this growth with improved facilities, including the possibility of a new fourth satellite, to cope with additional capacity.
The airport is currently undergoing an £80 million refurbishment, with a new larger security area expected to be finished by next summer.
Plans are also in place to double the size of the departure lounge.
Ryanair’s Stansted routes serve an enormous number of popular timeshare destinations in and around Europe and new routes have contributed to rises in local property prices in “emerging” regions.
O’Leary said that Stansted will be the only London airport to see growth, with capacity constrained at all the other facilities that service the capital.
He added: “Stansted is going to be the fastest-growing airport in London over the next 10 years.
“This agreement, which will create over 7,000 jobs in Stansted, proves how UK airports can flourish when released from the dead hand of the BAA monopoly and is the first dramatic incentive by MAG to reverse seven years of decline, during which Stansted’s traffic fell from 23.8 million to 17.5 million.”
O’Leary said as many of 30 of Ryanair’s new 175 aircraft, which are set to be delivered from September 2014, could be allocated to Stansted.
Until new aircraft arrive Ryanair will cut capacity at other airports, as yet undecided, in order to meet its Stansted targets.