Northern Ireland

Ryanair to operate new route from Belfast to Malta

Ryanair are to operate from Belfast to Malta.
Ryanair are to operate from Belfast to Malta.

Ryanair is to operate a new route from Belfast to Malta, the low-cost carrier has announced.

Flights to and from the island will be on Tuesdays and Saturdays and are due to begin at the end of March/ start of April.

It is one of three new routes that the airline said will operate from Malta. Rome and Norwich are the other two destinations.

Ryanair now flies to a total of 67 destinations.

The budget carrier made its return to Belfast International Airport last March, launching 16 routes.

In November, it began a recruitment drive for 50 cabin crew based around its operation in Belfast. It has retained two aircraft at Aldergrove over the winter months.

The airline also operates a single route between Manchester and City of Derry Airport.

Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary said the three new routes reflected the airline’s “dedication to providing Malta with the best travel experience at the lowest cost”.

But is also signals the end of flights from Malta to another Rome airport, Ciampino, which will finish on March 30.

Mr O’Leary said airline was being “squeezed out” of Ciampino due to what he described as “artificial noise restrictions”.

“They put a limit about five years ago to 120 flights a day; now that’s been further reduced to 90 flights a day,” he said.

He said foot traffic for Ryanair will reach 4.5 million passengers between April 2024 and March 2025, with almost a quarter more passengers when compared to this year.