Belfast International Airport slams 'moronic' Norwegian Air as it pulls North American flights
BELFAST International Airport have hit out at Norwegian Air after the low-cost carrier announced it was to stop direct flights between Northern Ireland and the US from next month.
The company said the decision to stop the New York and Boston routes from Northern Ireland was down to "customer demand".
It began flights from Belfast International to America last year, the last departures will now be on October 27.
A spokesperson for Belfast International said the airport was "extremely disappointed" by the decision and accused Norwegian of "moronically channelling much greater levels of Northern Ireland passengers on to Dublin flights".
It was a dramatic change of tone from the airport which announced last February that the airline's arrival was "the best possible boost for Northern Ireland", after United Airlines ended its daily Belfast-Newark service.
Norwegian Air said the move followed a "comprehensive review" and Northern Ireland's passengers would be "well-served" by the airline's flights to the US from Dublin, Shannon and Cork.
The Norwegian Air flights were to Stewart International Airport, about 70 miles from New York, and TF Green Airport, 60 miles from Boston.
Ulster Unionist Finance spokesman Steve Aiken said the news "underlines the importance of abolishing Air Passenger Duty (APD) and the need to improve connectivity and infrastructure to Belfast International Airport, in order to secure some kind of level playing field when it comes to competing with State subsidised airports in the Republic".