Regional airline Aer Arann has agreed to buy 10 new planes from French regional aircraft maker ATR over the next three years.

Aer Arann says the $180m deal is the third largest in Irish aviation history. The airline will replace and supplement its existing fleet of ATR aircraft, bringing its total to 20.

Managing director Padraig O Céidigh said the expansion would enable Aer Arann to develop its network further in to the UK and mainland Europe.