SCOTTISH carrier Loganair has commenced its new Derry to Liverpool service.
Monday was the first time a commercial flight connected the two cities since Ryanair pulled its service in December 2020.
The Irish budget airline, which has also pulled its City of Derry to Edinburgh route, cancelled all services between Northern Ireland and airports in Britain over an ongoing fallout with the UK Civil Aviation Authority.
Loganair has stepped into the void with a new Derry to Glasgow service, launched in April and now the Liverpool route, launched on Monday.
The service to Liverpool John Lennon Airport will operate four days a week, increasing to daily flights from late June.
Odhran Dunne, chief executive of Visit Derry said Great Britain continues to be an important source market in terms of tourists, holidaymakers and bed nights for the north west.
“As recovery for the industry begins and holidaymakers look towards closer to home destinations, this route provides a direct channel for tourists from Liverpool and the wider catchment area to enjoy a short break in The Walled City or use it as a base to explore the wider North West region for a summer staycation.”
Airport boss Steve Frazer added: “We are very pleased that Loganair has stepped in to re-establish this important route for CODA which we are confident will play a key role in recovery for the tourism and hospitality industry in our region.
“These two great cities have so much in common, from history and heritage to popular culture, as well as many Premier League football fans being based in the NW, the direct connection with our new air link gives us huge optimism for the future.”
Loganair’s chief executive Jonathan Hinkles yesterday paid tribute to the “exemplary” locally-based team who had also maintained the airline’s London service without interruption during the previous 14 months.
“It is wonderful to celebrate their superb efforts today by re-doubling our commitment to City of Derry’s air links which we firmly believe augurs well for the future,” he said.