Ryanair has announced it will open its first base in Norway and create 1,700 jobs in the process.
The budget airline will open a base at Oslo Rygge Airport in March – its 37th in Europe.
It will establish the $200m base with three aircraft and 16 new routes, on top of the six it already operates to the airport.
The airline hopes to boost its annual traffic to the airport to 1.7m passengers.
Chief executive Michael O’Leary said the expansion will ‘create and sustain’ 1,700 jobs at Oslo Rygge airport.
Ryanair will offer 100 weekly return flights to and from Oslo Rygge to destinations as diverse as Berlin, Malaga and Venice.
The announcement comes just days after the airline said it will launch ten new routes from Bristol, Liverpool, Edinburgh and Glasgow Prestwick airports from February next year.
As a result, it will add a fifth aircraft at Bristol and increase its Liverpool fleet from six to eight.
Bristol to Valencia launches on 25 February; Faro, Palma and Treviso on 31 March; and Gdansk on 1 April.
Liverpool to Trapani launches on 30 March, Rimini on 31 March and Lodz on 1 April.
The 10 new routes should take Ryanair’s annual passenger traffic at the airport to more than 2.5m.
Ryanair will also launch Prestwick-Carcassonne on 31 March and Edinburgh-Tampere on 1 April.
The ten new routes will handle 400,000 additional passengers and create 400 jobs.
The expansion appears to put paid to claims that the airline was thinking of easing back on new routes as it struggles to keep a lid on operating costs while maintaining its low fares.
It also comes on the back of a 35 percent jump in net profits to 250.5 million euros, or $370 million, for the three months to Sept. 30, thanks to a 42 percent drop in oil prices from a year earlier.
The reduced fuel bill helped to mask a steep 17 percent decline in average fares for the period, which meant revenue dropped by almost 4 percent to 992 million euros.
The airline has warned investors that it plans to cut average fares by about 20% in the next six months, which would mean it would make a loss for the second half of the year.
But it maintained its forecast for profits in the full year.