She was speaking after the airline announced it will operate the route three times a week this winter.
Ryanair’s Director of Commercial, Jason Mc Guinness, said: “As Europe’s No.1 airline, Ryanair remains committed to re-building Europe’s aviation and tourism industry by restoring connectivity and growing its network of passengers to over 225 million by 2026. As Ryanair takes delivery of 55 additional Boeing 737-8200 ‘Gamechanger’ aircraft this winter, we are delighted to add this new route from Derry to Manchester. "
A spokesperson for CoDA said: “We’re very pleased to welcome Ryanair back to the North West, once again connecting our people and businesses. Manchester is a hugely popular destination from our region, and giving people more options to fly from their doorstep is fantastic.
“As we seek to further improve the connectivity from the North West, it is vitally important for our government to continue the push for APD removal in NI and continue with route development initiatives to get our airports & airlines improving connectivity and making the maximum contribution to our countries economic recovery.”
Ms. McLaughlin said: "I very much welcome this new Derry to Manchester service. This route has long been an ambition of the airport and I congratulate the airport's leadership, and Derry City and Strabane District Council as the owners, for getting this over the line.
"Connections with Manchester are really important for our local economy, as well as being a key destination for study and social reasons. Manchester is a vibrant and dynamic city, which is becoming increasingly significant within Britain as an economic hub. Creating business links between the two cities could be extremely beneficial for Derry.
"The City of Derry Airport provides important economic benefits for Derry, as well as the wider region on both sides of the border. It is essential that the Executive and the British and Irish governments provide the ongoing financial support it needs, not just to survive but to expand."