New flights connecting Ireland and Britain will further boost trade links between the two countries, the Irish Minister for Transport has said.
Flybe today launched its new routes from Dublin, Aberdeen, Belfast City, Edinburgh, Exeter and Inverness to London City Airport.
The move is part of a major expansion, providing direct links for customers throughout Britain and Ireland to the heart of London’s financial district.
To mark the launch six purple Flybe planes were christened in a naming ceremony that took place at Dublin Airport led by Philip De Klerk, Chief Financial Officer of Flybe.
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe said: "I’m delighted to welcome Flybe’s first flight from Dublin Airport to London City Airport in the heart of the UK capital today.
"Connectivity is key in developing our economy and facilitating the strong trade links that exist between Ireland and the UK and this new route will no doubt be welcomed by many Irish and UK businesses.
"Equally, Britain is Ireland’s most important tourist market and recent figures from the Central Statistics Office show that the number visiting Ireland from Britain continues to grow year on year.
"Today’s announcement will provide further choice and connectivity for passengers which is welcome."
Saad Hammad, CEO of Flybe said: “From today, purple Flybe aircraft will be a regular feature in the skies between Dublin and London City as we begin our new regular daily services.
“Our new London City routes provide direct links for customers travelling to the heart of London’s financial district. They also offer City of London and Canary Wharf customers faster and more efficient access to Ireland, the UK regions and neighbouring European destinations, than travelling via Heathrow or Gatwick, or travelling by ferry, road or rail."
Flybe expects that 100,000 passengers annually will fly on the new route. The airline will offer up to four flights a day between Dublin and London.
In other aviation news, CityJet also announced today the expansion of its London City to Dublin route.
It will now put on up to nine flights every weekday with the earliest flight out of London City Airport departing at 6.45am.
Patrick Lukan, CityJet’s Chief Commercial Officer said: “As an Irish-based carrier, the Dublin to London City route has always been, and remains, very important to us.
"We continue to listen to our customers and they tell us that schedule and service are key to them making their buying decision which is why we have increased our all jet service to up to nine flights a day out of close in London City Airport.
"We’re proud to have serviced this route for more than 20 years and intend to continue to play a key part of the expansion of service between the two capitals.”