EasyJet celebrates flying 45 million passengers from Belfast
LOW cost carrier easyJet marked a business milestone yesterday when flew its 45 millionth passenger from Belfast International Airport.
Its famous orange liveried planes first launched from Aldergrove in 1998 with a single route to London Luton.
It established itself as Northern Ireland’s largest airline in July 2001 and since then has continued to build an unrivalled network of routes from the airport.
EasyJet also offers flights to the widest choice of London airports from Belfast with up to 30 flights a day - 12 flights to and from Gatwick, up to 10 linking Stansted and another eight to Luton.
Last year easyJet had over 1.3 million seats between London and Belfast and in the summer increased seats between the two cities by more than 12 per cent.
For summer 2016 this will increase by a further 6 per cent with an additional 40,000 seats available between London and Belfast between April and September.
Ali Gayward, easyJet's UK commercial manager, said: “We're really excited that we have flown our 45 millionth passenger from Belfast today.
“This is a fantastic milestone for us. We have come a long way since the launch of our first flight 18 years ago between Belfast and Luton and since then Belfast has been a key market for easyJet.
“I have to thank our fantastic customers who travel to and from Belfast for their loyalty and support. We remain excited about the future at Belfast.”
Uel Hoey, business development director at Belfast International Airport, added: "This remarkable achievement today is clear testament to easyJet's strong and enduring appeal to the travelling public across Northern Ireland.
"Put into simple perspective, this figure is the equivalent of everyone in Northern Ireland each travelling 25 times with easyJet. Here's to the next 45 million."
The figures come as rival carrier Ryanair prepares to launch a service between Belfast International and Gatwick in direct competition to easyJet.
Earlier this month Ryanair announced plans to return to Belfast with several new domestic and European routes in the pipeline - possibly including a much coveted link with German capital Berlin and also potentially Barcelona and Brussels.