EASYJET is opening a second Spanish base at Malaga airport, it has been announced.

The British carrier, the third largest at the Costa del Sol airport, said it hopes to expand its presence in the country.

Almost 2.5 million people travelled with the budget airline in Spain last year.

“Malaga was the most popular destination in our network which did not yet have a base, so we are very proud to be able to announce plans for one today,” said the company’s Managing Director for Southern Europe Javier Gandara.

“In the context of a challenging time for the industry, we believe that the opening of our second base in Spain is an opportunity to expand our operations in the Spanish market, where we are now the fourth biggest operator.”

Easyjet will have three A320 family aircraft stationed in Malaga, each able to carry 156 passengers.

It will also create around 100 direct jobs for pilots and cabin crew.

“Malaga is one of the strategic summer destinations for Easyjet. Since the start of operations in the city in 1999, the airline has transported more than 36 million passengers, which places Malaga among the top destinations of the company’s network,” Gandara added.

“Strengthening the international connections that link this tourist destination with other cities of reference in terms of business and tourism, such as London, Paris or Berlin, will contribute significantly to the recovery of the Spanish economy.”

Easyjet currently connects Malaga with 18 European destinations.

The airline reported on Thursday that it expects a gross loss of up to £845 million (€930 million) in 2020, owing to the coronavirus crisis.

The new Malaga base will be operational from spring 2021.

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