Northern Ireland news

Loganair to take over City of Derry to London air route

The Derry to Stansted route is considered vital for the future development of City of Derry Airport. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin
Seamus McKinney

SCOTTISH airline company, Loganair has been announced as a replacement to operate the City of Derry Airport to London Stansted route following the collapse of Flybmi last weekend.

Derry City and Strabane District Council, which owns the airport, confirmed last night the company would take over the route from Wednesday.

The north west airport was plunged into crisis when Flybmi went into administration without warning last Saturday night. The London Stansted route is considered crucial to the future of City of Derry.

Based at East Midlands Airport in England, Flybmi cited Brexit uncertainty and rising fuel prices as the reason it had ceased operations. The announcement came just two days after British Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling confirmed a government subsidy for the route for a further two years.

Following the announcement, Derry City and Strabane District Council entered emergency talks in a bid to find a replacement for the London route.

A spokeswoman said Loganair - which already takes the Derry to Glasgow route - would operate the same schedule as Flybmi, using a 49-seat Embraer 145 jet aircraft.

It will operate a twice-daily flight, with two services each weekday and on Sunday with a single flight on Saturday.

Derry mayor, John Boyle paid tribute to council officials, airport staff and the Department for Transport for their efforts.

"This was a very complex process that has now been successfully completed and we are very pleased to be in a position to appoint Loganair to operate this significantly important route," he said.

Mr Grayling said the route will enable business trips to and from Derry within a day and City of Derry's operations chairman, Albert Harrison said the direct link with London is "imperative" for the north west.

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