Ryanair ditches Belfast base

Ryanair ditches Belfast base

Ryanair is pulling all services from Belfast City Airport from 31 October, citing the failure of a promised runway extension to materialise.

The low-cost carrier has advised passengers with bookings after this date to check with its website for alternative arrangements.

Ryanair has been operating from George Best Belfast City Airport since 2007, and currently flies to five locations in the UK – Bristol, the East Midlands, Glasgow, Liverpool and London Stansted. It has annual traffic of about 800,000 passengers.

Ryanair’s Chief Executive Michael O’Leary said: “It is very disappointing that the promised runway extension at Belfast City Airport has still not materialised more than three years after we opened the base at Belfast City.”

He added: “in these circumstances, sadly, we have better alternative airports elsewhere in the UK and Europe, all of whom are willing and able to provide us with the runway infrastructure and low-cost facilities we need”.


However he said permission was granted in the future, the airline would consider returning.

An estimated 50 Ryanair jobs will be lost at the airport, with the airline saying that all staff will be offered relocation elsewhere in the UK or Europe.

Katy Best, business development director at George Best Belfast City Airport, said: “We are obviously disappointed at Ryanair’s decision; the airline had provided five successful routes from Belfast City Airport”.

“However, passenger figures had proved that there was significant demand for the routes operated by Ryanair and I am confident that we can attract other airlines to fill the void,” she added.