Ryanair has added 12 new routes out of Newcastle for next summer, including Chania, Zadar and Paphos.

The two based aircraft will see the number of routes operated from Newcastle by Ryanair increase from seven to 19, including some new destinations such as Milan and Riga.

Ryanair chief executive, Eddie Wilson, said: “We are delighted to launch a new UK base, which represents a £200 million investment at Newcastle.

“This development will create over 60 direct jobs and offer our UK customers a host of European hotspots to choose from next Summer, including popular destinations such as Paphos, Chania, Menorca, Ibiza and Zadar.

“We have seen massive demand for flights from Newcastle this summer as UK customers flock to the beaches of Spain and Portugal and now customers will have much wider choice next summer with the addition of these 12 new routes.”

These new routes, alongside extra capacity on current services to destinations, are designed to provide customers with choice, not only on where to travel, but also on the length of time when visiting friends and family.

Nick Jones, chief executive at Newcastle International Airport, added: “This announcement from Ryanair to base two aircraft at Newcastle International Airport for summer 2022 is very significant news for both the airport and the region.

“The investment is a sign of growing confidence and will provide the north-east public with a great selection of new destinations and extra weekly frequencies, providing more options for leisure and business travel.

“This will create new jobs for pilots, cabin crew and engineering alongside support services, and will generate economic value for the wider area.”