LOW-cost airline Ryanair is to create more than 1,000 jobs this year as it expands its fleet and bases around Europe.
The operator said it would be hiring pilots, cabin crew engineers and sales and marketing staff as it increases its number of aircraft to 305 from 270 in a move which will boost its 8,000-strong workforce by nearly 10pc.
The fleet expansion comes as it opens new bases in Billund, in Denmark, Wroclaw, in Poland, Palma, in Spain, Paphos, in Cyprus, and Manchester in the UK.
Ryanair posted profits of €544m in the six months to September 30, an increase of 20pc, as a 13pc rise in average fares helped it offset a 37pc hike in fuel costs.
The group said the expansion comes as it expects traffic to grow from 76 million passengers in 2011 to 80 million in 2012.
A spokeswoman for Ryanair said some of the new jobs would be created in the UK including Manchester, though details are still being finalised.
Ryanair previously outlined ambitious plans to almost double the number of passengers it carries and stretch its reach across Europe.
Outspoken chief executive Michael O'Leary is reportedly aiming to increase passenger numbers to as much as 130 million over the next decade. This would make it one of the biggest airlines in the world.
Ryanair believes that higher fuel costs could work in its favour by forcing competitors to cut capacity and routes and drive demand for budget airlines.