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Ryanair plans expansion in Milan

Low-cost airline Ryanair has launched its 'manifesto for Malpensa' – its strategy for expansion from the Milan airport.

In response to Alitalia's reported plans to cut half of its 340 daily flights from Malpensa, Ryanair said that it will invest $840 million (£414.7 million) in the hub by 2010 and base 12 aircraft there.

The carrier also revealed plans to invest a further $420 million at its existing Orio al Serio base in Bergamo and add six new aircraft before 2012.

Ryanair plans to eventually open 50 international routes from Malpensa and ten new domestic services connecting Milan to the rest of Italy.

Peter Sherrard, the operator's head of communications, said that Ryanair has the ability to deliver growth in Malpensa owing to the appeal of low-cost travel.

"We look forward to meeting with [Milan airport operator] SEA tomorrow to discuss our offer to deliver growth by investing over $1 billion in Malpensa and Orio al Serio," he added.