Birmingham Airport has announced the introduction of a service to Belfast City Airport from September 14, 2020.
Stobart Air, operator of Aer Lingus Regional, will operate up to four daily return flights from Birmingham Airport to Belfast City Airport with fares starting from £29.99 one way including taxes. Flights are on sale now at www.aerlingus.com.
Aer Lingus Regional operates four routes from Birmingham including Dublin, Cork, Shannon and now Belfast City. Stobart Air will also open a new base at Belfast City Airport, locating five ATR72-600 aircraft at the airport.
In line with the guidance from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Stobart Air has implemented a number of enhanced health and safety measures to protect staff, crew and passengers. New measures include enhanced cleaning and disinfection procedures for the aircraft cabin, which are in addition to the existing aircraft cleaning schedule. Each aircraft, including seats, armrests and tray tables will be subject to a daily disinfection process which provides surface protection from viruses for 24 hours.
Further, on board measures include mandatory face coverings or masks on all flights operated by Stobart Air for customers and cabin crew respectively, with the exception of small children and those who are unable to wear a face mask for medical reasons. In addition in-flight service will be suspended to reduce interaction between crew and passengers.
At the airport, Stobart Air has introduced new boarding and disembarkation procedures to reduce passenger interaction. Passengers will board and disembark the aircraft in small groups and according to seat row numbers. At the boarding gate, customers will scan their own boarding card and show their passport or ID to the staff member, making this process contactless.
Commenting on the announcement, Stobart Air Managing Director Andy Jolly said: ‘As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Stobart Air has been challenged and we have worked hard over the past number of months to protect our airline and to position us for the future, once restrictions ease and passenger demand increases.
‘Working with Belfast City Airport and Birmingham Airport, along with our partners, Aer Lingus we are pleased to establish a base at Belfast City to service flights to Birmingham.
‘We continuously strive to provide our passengers with frequent, convenient and affordable services. We look forward to welcoming our passengers on board this new route from Birmingham from 14 September.’
Tom Screen, Aviation Director for Birmingham Airport, said, ‘This is really fantastic news for Birmingham Airport and the Midlands region. Belfast City has always been a popular route due to the location of the airport and strength of business and leisure traffic between the two cities. After such a challenging year, we are delighted to receive the news that Stobart Air has chosen to expand its network into Birmingham, and we look forward to welcoming the fights starting in September.’