Easyjet agrees deal to double London Stansted passengers

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Media captionEasyjet is Stansted's second biggest customer

The owners of London's Stansted Airport have agreed budget airline Easyjet can more than double its traffic from the facility over the next five years.

Manchester Airports Group (M.A.G) deal with the airline will allow it to boost its yearly passenger numbers from 2.8 million to six million.

The airport, the UK's fourth largest, currently handles about 18 million passengers a year.

A spokesman said the numbers of extra flights or jobs had not been decided.

Stansted was sold to M.A.G by Heathrow Airport Holdings, formerly called BAA, in February for £1.5bn as a result of a ruling by the Competition Commission.

The airport was given permission from Uttlesford District Council in 2008 to increase its yearly capacity from 25 million passengers to 35 million.

'First step'

Easyjet currently operates eight aircraft on up to 27 routes from the airport.

The firm's UK director Paul Simmons said he was pleased to have reached a deal that would give it "the ability to grow".

M.A.G chief executive Charlie Cornish said the agreement was a "positive first step" in its plans to work with existing and future airlines to "drive passenger growth".

"London Stansted will flourish under M.A.G's ownership as we actively market the airport, the region and its strong connectivity to airlines and introduce lots more airline competition into the London market," he said.

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