RYANAIR has launched a new service from London Gatwick to Belfast International, which will operate four times daily from March, as part of its summer schedule.
Belfast International will become the airline’s 77th base, and the service will mean that Ryanair services have grown by 60 per cent at London Gatwick.
Ryanair has also announced that the airline is to increase its London Gatwick to Dublin service to seven times daily from March, offering 18 daily return services in total between London and Dublin including Stansted (eight daily) and Luton (three daily).
The move has been welcomed in the North with Ryanair’s expansion of operations at Belfast International Airport expected to lead to a wider uplift in the local economy.
Alliance Leader and South Antrim MLA David Ford said the news would mean employment opportunities in the immediate area, along with other economic benefits.
“Airports can act as catalysts – they drive business activity and serve as platforms for enterprise,” he said.
“The airport is at the heart of my constituency and is now set to grow above the five million passenger mark in an exciting expansion.
“My earnest hope is we can now push this sector up the list of economic priorities and develop new routes, together with the resultant inbound tourism opportunities.”
Ryanair’s Robin Kiely added: “We are pleased to announce a new service from London Gatwick to Belfast International, our 77th base and newest airport, which will operate four times daily from March, and more flights to Dublin, as part of our expanded summer 2016 schedule.”