Birmingham International Airport has celebrated the launch of Ryanair's new service to Marseille three days a week.

The route is expected deliver an additional 40,000 passengers through the airport in its first year.

Ryanair is developing 20 routes out of Birmingham International Airport, its 25th base.

Peter Vella, airport business development director, said: "We have already seen the start of their Gerona and Pisa routes - Marseille is an exceptional destination offering a wonderful experience."

The majority of Ryanair's new routes will start in June and with destinations like Oslo, Trieste, Gdansk and Biarritz. Ryanair's sales and marketing executive Rachel Nicholson said: "Our new routes to Barcelona (Girona) and Pisa launched last month have proven extremely successful and with bookings already received for the Marseille route we are very confident this success will continue."

Thomas Cook Airlines has added the finishing touches to its flight programme from Birmingham.

Two new destinations have been added, so for the first time, holiday-makers in the region will be able to jet off to the island of Skiathos in Greece and to the city of Hurghada in Egypt.

Thomas Cook Airlines will have three Boeing 757-200 aircraft based at the airport, which each carry 235 passengers. Over the summer period, the airline is expecting to transport, in total, nearly 200,000 travellers to their holiday destinations.

Flights are operated from Birmingham to 36 destinations in total, including ever-popular holiday spots such as Alicante.