Business

Flybe officially opens new base at Belfast City Airport

Flybe back on the runway at Belfast City Airport on Wednesday.

FLYBE has officially returned to the runway at Belfast City Airport 25 months after its collapse.

The regional carrier had been the airport’s anchor airline before falling into administration in March 2020.

Relaunched by Thyme Opco, the first of 12 new Flybe services touched down in Belfast from Birmingham on Wednesday morning.

At the time of its collapse, Flybe had been responsible for 80 per cent of the flights at the city airport.

The new owners have said they will expand the Belfast operation to a dozen routes this year, going head to head with Aer Lingus Regional and Loganair.

Belfast City Airport will be the airline’s second base of operation, creating around 100 new jobs, with another 40 jobs expected to be indirectly created in airport ground and maintenance services.

Alongside the Birmingham route, Flybe plans to launch flights from Belfast to Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, London Heathrow, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, East Midlands, Manchester, Southampton, Aberdeen, Inverness and Newcastle.

Speaking in Belfast on Wednesday, Flybe’s new chief executive, Dave Pflieger said: “After a year of extremely hard work, the entire team at Flybe is absolutely thrilled to be airborne and underway with our new commercial operations, and we are especially excited to be in a new multi-year partnership with Belfast City Airport.

“We chose Belfast City Airport as an important base for our operations because of its fantastic people, its key location just five minutes from the city centre, and the opportunity it allows to connect Northern Ireland with mainland UK.

“We have plans to rapidly grow and create further jobs and look forward to adding even more flights as the summer progresses.”

Belfast City Airport boss, Matthew Hall, said: “Providing choice and convenience to the people of Northern Ireland is something we pride ourselves on, and securing these 12 new services to destinations across the UK and Europe with Flybe only strengthens that offering further.

“It’s been exciting welcoming Flybe’s first passengers through our terminal and we look forward to welcoming many more as additional routes take off throughout the summer period.”

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