(AGI) Rome, Aug. 17 - In 2017 Ryanair will invest one billion dollars in the Italian market with 10 new aircrafts to deploy in 44 new routes, said Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary at a joint press conference with the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Graziano Delrio, and the president of Enac, Vito Riggio. "We are extremely grateful to Prime Minister Matteo Renzi and to the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Graziano Delrio, for taking these initiatives aimed at enhancing tourism in Italy," said Mr. O'Leary, referring to the lifting of the municipal tax on flights and for having revised the guidelines for airports. He went on: "Minister Delrio challenged airline companies to respond to his Government's measures to improve the competitiveness of Italian airports with growth plans and we are happy to be the first airline company to announce that our largest investment goes to Italy: one billion dollars to purchase 10 new aircrafts and launch 44 new routes that will increase passenger traffic by 10 percent from 32 million passengers this year to 35 million in 2017," thus converting Ryanair into the first-ranking airline company in Italy. Ryanair will also increase the number of Italian jobs by 2,250 units in 2017. "We intend to cancel the forecast closing of the Pescara headquarters and we will put tickets up for sale again by the end of this week while we proceed with negotiations on Alghero and we are confident that we will be able to close a similar agreement with them when, at the beginning of September, they will conclude the ongoing privatisation process which could enable the Alghero headquarters to reopen at the end of November," said Mr. O'Leary. He went on to explain that out of the 44 new routes, 21 will go to connect Rome and Milan and 23 several regional airports. He added: "Without the work carried out by Mr Renzi and Mr Delrio, this business plan would not have existed: it will enable us to offer new connections in Italy not only to Rome and Milan but also to regional airports, bringing them passenger traffic, tourism and growth and this is only possible by making airport costs more competitive." Mr Delrio said: "More connections mean more freedom and more democracy, a greater exchange of ideas but also economic growth because the air transport sector in Europe is worth 110 billion in GDP, it is a strategic sector." He added: "We welcome with great pleasure Ryanair's 2017 business plan which entails more flights, more tourism opportunities for Italy and above all more jobs." The president of Enac, Vito Riggio, added: "Boosting the air transport sector constitutes a priority goal in contributing to the growth of the Country's whole economic system." (AGI) . .