Ryanair resumes flights in Northern Ireland with Derry to Manchester service

Derry Chamber president Dawn McLaughlin and Alderman Graham Warke (front) welcome Ryanair back to City of Derry Airport, with (back L-R) Ciaran Doherty (Tourism NI), Brenda Morgan (CoDA), Chris Morgan, Frazer McKinstry (Ryanair) and Steve Frazer (CoDA). Picture by Martin McKeown.

RYANAIR has officially resumed operating in Northern Ireland just weeks after pulling up the wheels at Belfast International Airport.

The Irish budget carrier has returned to City of Derry Airport, launching a new Manchester air link on Wednesday.

Ryanair ceased operations at Belfast International on October 30.

An announcement released in late August pointed the finger of blame at the British government for not reducing air passenger duty (APD).

But the carrier confirmed plans to return to the north just seven weeks later - before Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Autumn Budget - where he pledged to cut APD by half on internal UK flights.

APD is currently levied at £13 per person flying from UK airports each way.

Ryanair has yet to announce plans to resume operating at either Belfast International or Belfast City airports.

But welcoming the return to the North West yesterday, City of Derry Airport managing director Steve Frazer, said it has provided an important service for the area.

“A Manchester flight has been in demand for some time and we are proud to now provide this vital connectivity for corporate passengers and students who commute regularly and reuniting family and friends.

Not to mention the offering of convenient leisure breaks to this action-packed destination; from football, shopping, nightlife, culture, history to family fun – Manchester has something to offer for everyone.”

Mayor of Derry City & Strabane District Council, Alderman Graham Warke, said: “It fortifies the link between our region and Manchester where many local people do business and have friends and family living there.

“There is lots to see and do in Manchester if you are planning a city break and we can promise visitors from England the experience of a lifetime if they are travelling to the North West for business or recreation.”

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