Northern Ireland’s travel industry has received a timely boost after Flybe announced three new routes from George Belfast City Airport less than a week after Ryanair said it was vacating the airport.
Flybe said its plans would involve placing two extra aircraft at the airport and that this could lead to the creation of 250 indirect jobs, adding to the 215 already directly employed by Flybe in Belfast.
Mike Rutter, Flybe’s chief commercial officer, said the three routes were “crucial” to Northern Ireland. “Flybe has been serving the community in Northern Ireland for over 26 years and we are wholly committed to continue providing comprehensive connectivity throughout the UK and beyond to convenient destinations at competitive prices with maximum flexibility and choice.”
Tourism Minister Arlene Foster congratulated the airline for filling the routes vacated by Ryanair and showing “long-term commitment” to Northern Ireland.
Meanwhile easyJet said it was offering a special “rescue fee” of £10 each way to travel on the routes where its flights overlapped with those of Ryanair, using easyJet’s services from Belfast International Airport.