Ryanair has said it will reopen its Belfast international base from next summer with 12 new routes.

The new routes include Alicante, Faro, Barcelona-Girona and Malaga.

Last August, Ryanair confirmed plans to withdraw its operations from Belfast International Airport.

The airline blamed air passenger duties and a lack of incentives from both airports for its decision.

Today, Ryanair said its Belfast based fleet will comprise of 2 aircraft, representing a $200m investment.

It said over 60 aviation jobs will be created at Belfast International Airport and over 750 indirect jobs.

"We are delighted to have reached a long-term agreement with Belfast International's management, which will underpin future Ryanair growth at the airport over the coming years," said Ryanair's Director of Commercial, Jason McGuinness.

"Today's announcement, particularly our decision to launch close to 80 weekly domestic flights to/from East-Midlands, Edinburgh, London-Stansted and Manchester demonstrates that lower aviation taxes and competitive airport charges are the catalyst for long-term traffic growth and increased connectivity," he added.

Mr McGuinness called on the UK government to scrap aviation taxes for all flights.

"Otherwise it will put the UK (an island-based economy) at risk of losing air traffic to competing European countries," he added.

Belfast International Airport's Chief Financial Officer Dan Owens welcomed back Ryanair to the airport.

"This is a significant investment, bringing job creation and positive news for our passengers and the region," he said.

"It increases the number of destinations now available from the airport to over 70 domestic and international destinations, offering more choice than ever for travellers," he added.