Business

Alicante the latest route to be dropped by Ryanair at Belfast International Airport

Ryanair is cutting back services from Belfast
Ryan McAleer

RYANAIR has cancelled planned flights from Belfast International Airport to Alicante from April next year, it has emerged.

Some customers who booked on the Spanish route for the summer 2020 season said yesterday that they had been informed by email that their booking had been cancelled.

It’s believed to be linked to delays in the delivery of a series of new Boeing 737 Max jets for the airline. Ryanair yesterday scaled back its passenger forecast for next year, saying it would cut summer capacity and a number of jobs.

The Irish airline had originally hoped to have 20 of the new US-made aircraft in operation for its summer 2020 operation. It now expects just 10 to be ready.

The 737 Max has been grounded worldwide since March after two crashes killed 346 people. The tragedies have been attributed to faults with anti-stall software.

Ryanair has 135 Max jets on order.

The budget carrier has already slashed its winter operation at Belfast International Airport in half, dropping seven routes from its 2018 winter schedule.

Its provisional summer 2020 schedule released to the Irish News last month revealed further planned cuts, with flights to Barcelona Girona and Faro omitted.

The budget carrier had previously operated 14 routes from the airport during summer months.

Just nine routes featured on the provisional schedule, with 21 flights per week leaving Belfast International.

That appears to be down to just eight routes and 19 weekly flights out of Aldergrove.

Despite officially announcing its summer 2020 schedule for the UK and the Republic more than two months ago, Ryanair has so far declined to confirm its final summer 2020 schedule for Belfast International.

In an update yesterday, Ryanair said it plans to scrap its summer operations from bases in Nuremberg and Stockholm Skavsta.

Belfast International to Alicante appears to be among a series of other routes due to be cut. The carrier said it was “solely due to delivery delays” to the Max jets.

“We are continuing to work with Boeing, our people, our unions and our affected airports to minimize these capacity cuts and job losses."

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