Carolyn McCall, chief executive of easyJet, said the move could drive economic growth and jobs for the regionReuters

Budget airline easyJet plans to double its passenger size at London Luton Airport and create 2,500 new jobs as part of an expansion programme.

The proposal comes after the airport signed a 10-year-deal with the airline, which could see easyJet increase its passengers from four to nine million a year at Luton.

The employer, which has 15 aircraft based at Luton, said it aims to grow its capacity by around 20% over the next year at the airport.

"This is a substantial, long term deal with Luton Airport – our first base and the airline's home – which will enable us to double our size at Luton in the next decade and add an even greater range of business and leisure destinations," said Carolyn McCall, chief executive of easyJet.

"The speed of easyJet's expansion at Luton is in part reliant on the airport's plans for much-needed improvements being approved.

"Those improvements will unlock the airport's potential by improving the customer experience of the airport while also increasing the numbers of passengers flying to and from Luton. This will in turn drive economic growth and jobs for the region."

The airline currently carries more than 60 million passengers annually of which 11 million are travelling on business.

The deal comes after easyJet secured a seven year agreement with Gatwick and separate pact with Stansted earlier in 2014.

Glyn Jones, managing director of Luton Airport, added: "The creation of new jobs, the opening up of new routes, and the increased frequency of flights to popular destinations is great news for the entire local region.

"We are delighted that this exciting new deal with easyJet will mean more choice for our passengers and greater access to new and existing markets for our local businesses."