RYANAIR HAS announced plans to resume flights from Belfast International airport next summer, less than a year after the carrier suspended all services from Northern Ireland.
The budget airline said they will base two planes at Belfast International and run 115 flights across 12 routes every week.
In August 2021 Ryanair confirmed plans to cease all flights from both Belfast International and Belfast City, citing the UK government’s “refusal to suspend or reduce APD (Air passenger duty) and the lack of Covid recovery incentives from both Belfast airports”.
But in a turnaround the airline has now announced it will fly to the following 12 destinations from Belfast International starting from the summer 2023 schedules:
- East Midlands
- London Stansted
- Milan Bergamo
- Paris Beauvais
The fleet represents a $200m investment with over 60 highly paid aviation jobs at Belfast International Airport and over 650 indirect jobs.
From Belfast, 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."
He called on the Uk government to scrap aviation taxes for all flights, as not doing so would put the UK at risk of losing air traffic to competing European countries.
Belfast International Airport’s Chief Financial Officer Dan Owens also welcomed back the airline to the airport.
"This is a significant investment, bringing job creation and positive news for our passengers and the region," he said. "It increases the number of destinations now available from the airport to over 70 domestic and international destinations, offering more choice than ever for travellers."
To celebrate today’s announcement, Ryanair have launched a seat sale with fares available from £19.99 for travel from April’23 until June’23, which must be booked by the end of July’22.