Aer Lingus Regional has said it will begin a new service between Cork and Newcastle in the summer of next year.

It said three other services, to Manchester and Bristol in the UK and Rennes in France, are to be expanded.

The airline says the moves will increase capacity into and out of Cork by 50,000 seats per year.

The new Cork-Newcastle service will operate four times per week.

The Manchester service will increase to three times daily, and the Bristol service will operate twice daily.

Cork Airport Director Niall MacCarthy said the announcement will help develop inbound tourism to the south of Ireland.

The announcement has also been welcomed by the Cork Business Association and by the Irish Hotels Federation.