Northern Ireland news

Ryanair grounds flights from Belfast International until the end of March

Ryanair has pulled its services from Belfast International Airport until the end of March. Picture by Niall Carson/PA Wire
Ryan McAleer

RYANAIR has pulled its service between Belfast International Airport and London Stansted and delayed the return of a number of flights to other destinations.

The move means the Irish airline will not operate at Aldergrove until the end of March.

Ryanair previously pulled its Belfast International to Manchester service and moved to suspend all flights in and out of Northern Ireland for the month of January.

But last week the carrier warned it would "significantly cut its flight schedules" from January 21, operating "few, if any, flights" to and from the UK and Ireland due to new lockdown restrictions.

Holiday airliner Jet2 confirmed this week that it won’t fly from Belfast International until the end of March, while Easyjet has pushed back the resumption of a number of European services until mid-February and beyond.

It includes flights to Paris, which will not resume until March 5.

It leaves Amsterdam as the only international destination with active direct flights to Northern Ireland.

Ryanair last week blamed the introduction of tougher air travel restrictions in the Republic and the UK for cutting its schedule.

It said the Covid restrictions could reduce its passenger numbers in February and March to as little as 500,000 each month across its entire operation.

The airline also lambasted the Irish Government for maintaining an open border with the north and called for the accelerated roll out of vaccinations.

"Ireland's Covid-19 travel restrictions are already the most stringent in Europe, and so these new flight restrictions are inexplicable and ineffective when Ireland continues to operate an open border between the Republic and the North of Ireland,” said a spokesperson for the airline.

Ryanair is currently scheduled to resume flights from City of Derry Airport to Liverpool on February 4.

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