LONDON – Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair has announced it will reopen its Belfast International Airport base in time for the Summer 2023 schedule.
Across 115 weekly flights, this is a representation of 12 routes that will operate from the Northern Ireland-based airport.
Two aircraft will be based at the airport, and with the support of 800 local jobs, this is an overall investment of around $200m into the airport.
Popular destinations of note are the likes of Alicante, Faro, Girona, Malaga, Manchester, Milan-Bergamo, and London Stansted.
Ryanair’s Director of Commercial, Jason McGuinness said:
“At a time when other airlines are cutting their schedules and reducing their workforce, we are delighted to announce a new Ryanair base at Belfast International Airport with 12 exciting routes and 2 based aircraft representing an investment of $200m at Belfast International and the creation of over 800 direct/indirect jobs.
“We are delighted to have reached a long-term agreement with Belfast International’s management, which will underpin future Ryanair growth at the Airport over the coming years.”
“Today’s announcement, particularly our decision to launch close to 80 weekly domestic flights to/from East-Midlands, Edinburgh, London-Stansted and Manchester demonstrates that lower aviation taxes and competitive airport charges are the catalyst for long-term traffic growth and increased connectivity.”
“To enable additional investment from Ryanair (and other airlines) from next Summer onward, the UK Government must immediately scrap aviation taxes for all flights, otherwise, it will put the UK (an island-based economy) at risk of losing air traffic to competing for European countries.”
Belfast International Airport’s Chief Financial Officer Dan Owens said:
“We welcome back Ryanair to Belfast International Airport, Northern Ireland’s leading airport.”
The Airport plays a pivotal role and is a key asset in aviation and tourism recovery after a challenging couple of years.”
“This is a significant investment, bringing job creation and positive news for our passengers and the region. It increases the number of destinations now available from the airport to over 70 domestic and international destinations, offering more choice than ever for travelers.”
“The new base at Belfast International reflects VINCI Airports’ commitment to Northern Ireland. Improving connectivity for the region is key for the aviation sector and economic growth. VINCI Airports and Ryanair have a strong partnership and Belfast now brings the total of bases across our European network to six.”
With Ryanair calling for a scrapping of the Air Passenger Duty tax, this is the only way that the industry can further recover and offer lower fares to stimulate economies across the UK & Europe.
Overall, Ryanair is pressing ahead with future plans at a fast rate, especially with demand for services continuing to rise off the back of international travel restrictions being lifted.
As the airline also continues to receive Boeing 737 MAX 200 Gamechanger aircraft, the airline will utilize these aircraft to continue to provide lower fares, which is going to put more pressure on competitors and legacy carriers too.