Thomas Cook Airlines is raising capacity by 22% across its 11 routes from Cardiff airport this summer.

The expansion by more than 29,000 seats comes as the result of “steady passenger growth” at the Welsh airport and the introduction of a larger Airbus A321 (pictured) from Cardiff.

The carrier will operate to seven destinations from April for the first time since 2012.

Arrecife, Tenerife, Antalya, Dalaman, Larnaca, Majorca and Enfidha in Tunisia will be served over the Easter holidays.

Flights to Rhodes, Zakynthos, Ibiza and Reus will begin in May with Arrecife then withdrawn.

Airport commercial director Spencer Birns said: “Today’s welcome announcement is a great start to 2019. Thomas Cook Airlines is one of a number of airlines that have shown confidence in Cardiff airport over the past couple of years and recognising its potential, by adding more capacity and, in turn, stimulating choice for our customers.

“Thomas Cook Airlines’ exciting announcement also comes at the time of the year when customers are searching for great deals for their summer holidays, so it’s very welcome news and an exciting start to the year.

The airline’s commercial director Henry Sunley added: “Increasing capacity at the airport allows us to offer local customers even more choice and flexibility.

“We are especially pleased to be able to do so at the start of the year, at a time when we know our customers are looking to book some summer sun!”