RYANAIR laid down the gauntlet to its budget airline competitors by snapping up rival Buzz in a £15m deal.

The Irish carrier, which operates out of Teesside and Newcastle airports, further stamped its intentions on a congested marketplace by announcing it was buying up to 100 new Boeing 737-800s at a cost of $6bn (£3.6bn).

Ryanair said the order would create more than 3,000 jobs at the group, including 800 pilots, 2,000 cabin crew and 200 engineering and operational staff.

It said the orders would allow it to grow to more than 50 million passengers a year, from 15 million.

To mark the deal, Ryanair said it was offering 100,000 seats for sale at £1 each - plus taxes and charges - from London to ten destinations in Austria, Italy, Sweden, France and Belgium.

Deputy chief executive Michael Cawley said: "This 100 new aircraft order is a significant milestone. These 100 new Boeing aircraft will enable us to carry many more millions at our lowest fares in Europe."

Under the deal it has placed firm orders for 22 planes and has options over orders for a further 78.

The deal follows an order placed a year ago for 150 Boeing 737-800s and means the group will have a total fleet of 250 Boeing 737-800s in eight years.

Buzz, which is owned by Dutch airline KLM, operates 21 routes from London Stansted - Ryanair's main UK base - to points in Germany, Holland, France and Spain, as well as two French domestic routes.