easyJet, the UK’s largest airline, today announced it will commence operations from Belfast City Airport, with a twice daily service from London Luton. The route, currently operated between London Luton and Belfast International Airport, will switch to Belfast City Airport from Thursday 7 January 2010.
easyJet is the principle carrier in Northern Ireland and currently operates a base at Belfast International Airport, with five aircraft offering a choice of 19 destinations, carrying over 3 million passengers a year and employing 173 staff. The decision to move the route to Belfast City is a result of the airline’s plans to assess if easyJet passengers find a benefit in flying to an airport closer to the City of Belfast when travelling on shorter routes. However, easyJet’s commitment to maintaining market leading air services for the Northern Ireland market overall remains unaltered and the bulk of easyJet’s operations in Northern Ireland will remain at Belfast International.
If successful easyJet plans to provide greater frequencies on the Belfast City route and will consider additional routes from Belfast City Airport over time.
Paul Simmons, Regional General Manager for the UK commented:
“easyJet is committed to Northern Ireland, very committed. We are No1 in the region, but we are not complacent. That is why we want to see if our passengers flying on selected shorter routes would prefer to fly via Belfast City Airport. The only way to actually do this properly is to run a route from there. We will take our time in assessing the passenger feedback and then take a view on how best to configure our operations between the two airports in the longer term”.
In welcoming easyJet to George Best Belfast City Airport its Chief Executive, Brian Ambrose said:
“We are delighted that easyJet has selected Luton as its first destination from Belfast City Airport – a route we currently do not offer and one I am sure will be popular. I am certain that the continuing private investment by our owners in the airport’s infrastructure, aimed at enhancing the customer experience, will appeal to easyJet’s passengers
“The arrival of another premier airline to Belfast City will be welcomed news for our growing customer base.”
Passengers who have already booked to travel between Luton and Belfast International from 7 January onwards will be contacted and advised they can either transfer free of charge to the Belfast City route or claim a full refund.
Seats for the new route go on sale today at www.easyjet.com with fares from £21.99 one way (£45.98 return inc taxes)