Business

Passenger numbers soar at Belfast International Airport

Jet 2 has announced eight new European routes to depart from Belfast International Airport next summer

THE number of passengers taking off and landing at Belfast International Airport has rocketed by a quarter, according to the latest figures.

In the first four months of 2017, the airport reported growth of 25.2 per cent, with passenger numbers hitting 1.73 million.

The April tally was just under 500,000 – up by over 100,000 on the same month last year.

Managing director of Belfast International Airport, Graham Keddie, said the figures, so far, meant the Aldergrove facility was on course to claim a record 5.6 million passengers by the end of the year.

"Our performance is strong, and getting stronger," he said, "and our airlines are powering ahead with increased capacity.

"The number of destinations they are connecting with is also expanding – Routes Europe and the announcement by Jet2 to base a fourth aircraft with us brings eight new routes and will create 50 new jobs.

"Other employers at the airport are also recruiting new staff as we gear up for what will undoubtedly be the busiest summer season ever."

Mr Keddie said Norwegian would soon begin its trans-Atlantic services to Stewart in New York state and Green Airport in Providence, which will serve the "very popular Boston and Rhode Island region".

He added: "These twice-weekly flights are proving a runaway success, with bookings showing impressive up-take.

"2017 will be a record year, and not just in passenger numbers. We will also write a new chapter in the history of the airport by exceeding 5,000 employees on our site, with every prospect that many more will be added as the year progresses."

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