Aircoach to cut out Belfast City Airport when it launches new Derry to Dublin bus service

Aircoach said it will cease servicing Belfast City Airport when its new Derry to Dublin route launches in December.

THE new owner of Derry bus firm Airporter has confirmed it plans to axe its service to Belfast City Airport.

Dublin-based Aircoach bought the north west airport bus operator last month and announced plans to run a new daily service from Derry to Dublin from December.

Set up in 1997, Airporter currently connects travellers from Derry to both Belfast International and Belfast City airports.

But Aircoach has confirmed it will cut Belfast City Airport from its schedule in a bid to reduce the journey time from Derry to Dublin, as it goes head-to-head with Translink.

A spokesperson for Aircoach said: “Due to the reduced passenger numbers at Belfast City Airport, Aircoach have decided to prioritise end-to-end journey time for passengers travelling from the north West to Ireland's largest airports.

“Airporter customers who have booked tickets from Derry to Belfast City Airport will be refunded if they have booked travel when the service ceases to operate.

“Connections to Belfast City Airport will remain in place until the new service launches in the coming weeks.”

The spokesperson added: “Aircoach is fully committed to ensuring that the north west is connected to major travel and economic hubs to improve the attractiveness of the region as a place in which to invest.”

Aircoach, which is owned by Aberdeen-based First Group plc, said its seven-day service from Derry to Dublin will stop at Foyleside coach park, Drumahoe park and ride, Belfast International Airport, Belfast city centre, Dublin Airport and O’Connell Street.

Its managing director Dervla McKay claimed the daily service will “transform airport connectivity” for those in the north west, “reducing fares” and offering connectivity for early morning flights.

“It will be a game changer for passengers travelling to and from the north west city region and is going to open the region up to more visitors,” she said.