Ryanair has announced nine new routes from Dublin Airport as part of an expansion that will create 300 direct jobs.

The airline said the expansion will deliver an additional 700,000 passengers a year in Dublin, which will deliver 700 indirect jobs at that airport.

The new routes will service: Almeria, Spain; Bari, Italy; Basel, Switzerland; Bucharest, Romania; Chania, Crete; Comiso, Sicily; Marrakesh, Morocco; Prague in the Czech Republic and Lisbon in Portugal.

In addition, Ryanair will be increasing capacity and frequency on routes from the UK and some European destinations.

Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said the announcement was a direct result of the Government's decision to scrap the €3 travel tax.

The 300 Ryanair jobs will be spread between Shannon and Dublin and will include cabin crew, pilots, engineers, customer service, sales and IT.

Mr O'Leary said the new employees will assist in "significant improvements" to the Ryanair.com website and to "our industry leading customer service".

Taoiseach Enda Kenny said the expansion offers a real opportunity for everyone in the hospitality industry.

"If people want to have their hotels and guesthouses filled, if they want their golf course used ... there's an opportunity here to really make all of these new passengers to Ireland feel welcome."

Chief Executive of the Dublin Airport Authority Kevin Toland also welcomed the announcement.

"This year represents the third successive year of growth at Dublin Airport on both short and long-haul services, which is very positive for tourism and the overall economy," he said.

"Today's announcement provides a strong platform for continuation of this trend."  

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Leo Varadkar said he was delighted the company had responded in such a positive way to the abolition of the air travel tax.