BUDGET airline Ryanair is to recruit 200 new staff at its Prestwick maintenance facility - as the firm prepares to launch new routes to and from Ayrshire this spring.

More than 500 people are currently employed at the company's Prestwick facility, with that figure set to rise to 700 as the firm aims to increase the size of its fleet to 600 aircraft by 2026.

The Dublin-based budget airline recently announced its summer 2023 schedule, including two new routes from Prestwick to Marseilles and Pisa starting in April and increased frequencies on its “ever-popular” Glasgow to Dublin route.

The carrier plans further expansion in Glasgow and Edinburgh, with jobs outwith maintenance also expected to be created as the company pushes its growth plans.

The news follows the announcement last week by Prestwick Airport itself that it is recruiting for new ground security operatives and passenger service agents.

Ryanair said it will operate more than 150 weekly flights to and from Glasgow this summer, which is a six per cent growth on last year, connecting top European destinations like France, Italy, Portugal and Spain among others.

Ryanair said it already supports more than 1,400 jobs in Glasgow, including 550 direct pilot, cabin crew and engineering roles.

Jade Kirwan, from Ryanair, added: “To facilitate Ryanair’s growth in Glasgow and across our wider network of more than 235 locations, we are hiring another 200 highly skilled professionals for our state-of-the-art maintenance facility at Prestwick to support the maintenance of Ryanair’s fleet as it grows to 600 aircraft by 2026.

“We look forward to welcoming thousands of customers and visitors onboard our flights to and from Prestwick and Glasgow this summer as Ryanair continues to deliver more traffic, connectivity, and lower fares than any other airline for the UK.”