Aer Lingus Announces Change of Airport Base in Belfast

Aer Lingus, an Ireland-based airline company, is to relocate its operations in Belfast, North Ireland.

The airline, which has been operating out of Belfast International Airport, will be based at the George Best Belfast City Airport from the commencement of its winter schedule on October 28, 2012.

Christoph Mueller, the airline’s chief executive officer, said, ‘Northern Ireland’s vital London connections are secure with Aer Lingus. The two aircraft which we normally use in the winter for a mixture of sun destinations and Heathrow will be used for Heathrow and Gatwick with a third aircraft serving two European routes in the new-look summer schedule.

This is a commercial decision delivering value for our customers and the company. George Best Belfast City Airport delivers a compelling location and a strong history of business flying. We believe the move will appeal to the 600,000 plus passengers annually who fly with us and especially the business traveller who now has a choice of two London airports with Aer Lingus.’

The airline has decide to relocate its operations following a tender process that involved both airports, and it will be maintaining two aircraft at the city airport during the winter, and three in the summer flying season.

Brian Ambrose, the chief executive of George Best Belfast City Airport, said, ‘We extend a warm welcome to Aer Lingus and look forward to working closely with the airline in creating a strong base in which to develop a growing route network.

I am delighted with the frequency of services to London Heathrow and Gatwick. By the end of October, Belfast City will offer Northern Ireland’s only linkage to Heathrow with 10 flights per day.’

Easyjet Announces More Services from Belfast

Easyjet, a UK-based airline, has announced additional services on its routes from Belfast International Airport to Edinburgh, Manchester and four other airports in the UK.

The airline is also launching new flights to Birmingham from Belfast from October 28, 2012.

The expanded services include an increase from three to four daily flights between Belfast and Edinburgh on Mondays, an increase from two to three daily flights on Tuesdays and Wednesdays; an increase from two to three flights between Belfast and Manchester daily on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays, and an increase of flights on weekday mornings and evenings between Belfast and Gatwick, Luton, Southend and Stansted airports.

The airfares commence from £20.99 one way on the new route, and £15.99 one way to all London airports.

Ali Gayward, the airline commercial manager, said, ‘Edinburgh and Manchester are important centres for the business community and also for leisure travellers, including people going there for our popular city breaks.

We operate up to 13 flights daily from Belfast to London, significantly more than any other airline, but demand is such that the extra morning and evening flights are essential.’

The company had previously announced that it would no longer maintain a base in Madrid, Spain, due to a lack of demand. The airline will be moving its aircraft to other bases in Europe, and will be reorganising its crewmembers based out of Madrid in a phased manner.

The airline is currently operating around 200 aircraft across 23 bases in the UK and mainland Europe.