Ryanair back on City Airport's runaway after 11 years away

Belfast City Airport’s commercial director Katy Best joins Ryanair cabin crew members Izar Parrondo and Cristina Giudici to welcome the first passengers on board the inaugural Ryanair flight from the airport. Picture: Kelvin Boyes/PressEye

ELEVEN years after taking off for the last time, Ryanair is officially back on the runway at George Best Belfast City Airport.

The Dublin-based budget carrier has begun its summer schedule with eight new routes to mainly European sun and city-break hotspots, with passengers taking off initially to Portugal and Spain, with Italy to follow in July.

Ryanair will operate 14 flights a week to Faro in Portugal, while passengers can travel to Alicante, Malaga and Mallorca up to 14 times a week and to Barcelona 10 times each week.

The airport's commercial director Katy Best said: “With travel restrictions easing, we are seeing an increase in demand from passengers keen to return to flying and travelling internationally.

“Today's first flights is significant as it marks the start of a busy summer schedule, and it's great to have the airline back flying from Belfast City Airport after so many years away.”

The carrier's marketing director Dara Brady added: “The successful roll-out of the UK vaccination programme coupled with the easing of travel restrictions has given a much-needed boost to consumer confidence and we look forward to welcoming our customers on flights to Spain, Portugal and Italy this summer.”

Ryanair previously flew to a number of mainly domestic routes from the City Airport between 2007 and 2010, but withdrew after becoming frustrated over runway extension delays.

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