EasyJet and British Airways step to void left by collapse of Stobart Air
EASYJET has announced plans to fly from Belfast City Airport for the first time in a decade.
A new double-daily service to London Gatwick will launch on July 9.
The budget carrier, which has a base at Belfast International Airport, previously experimented with a Belfast City to London Luton service in 2010 before moving the service back to Aldergrove the following year.
But EasyJet doesn't appear to be about to up sticks from Belfast International any time soon.
The airline has also announced plans to operate routes from Aldergrove to East Midlands and Leeds Bradford from July 9, the latter puts it in direct competition with Belfast City Airport.
East Midlands is the only service that has not yet been replaced at Belfast City Airport following the collapse of Aer Lingus Regional operator Stobart Air at the weekend.
Stobart Air's termination of its franchise deal with Aer Lingus left six routes vacant at the weekend. Stobart was also set to launch additional routes to Cardiff, Newquay and Glasgow.
Aer Lingus has confirmed it will cover the Manchester, Birmingham and Edinburgh routes at Belfast City Airport with its own planes until at least July 18.
British Airways subsidiary BA City Flyer has announced it will immediately cover the Exeter and Leeds Bradford routes, with plans to extend services to Newquay on July 3 and Glasgow on August 2.
Eastern Airways is already operating a Belfast City to Cardiff service.
Ali Gayward, EasyJet's UK country manager said: “We were sorry to see the news about Stobart Air and so are pleased to continue to provide key regional connectivity from Belfast International Airport to East Midlands and Leeds Bradford airports, as well as launching operations for the very first time from Belfast City Airport to London Gatwick.”
Uel Hoey from Belfast International Airport said it worked “extremely hard” over many years to obtain the new routes.
Katy Best from Belfast City Airport said EasyJet's Gatwick move provides passengers with additional choice to connect with London.