The new flights, which commenced on October 1, are set to provide passengers with better connections out of Belfast
Aer Lingus Regional has opened services connecting Belfast City Airport with Leeds Bradford and East Midlands, picking up the former Flybe routes after the company when into administration in March.
The new rotations will operate up to three times a day, helping to provide passengers travelling from Northern Ireland with more convenient connections through the north and east of England.
As well as the new routes providing essential travel for commuters and business personnel, it’s also an opportunity for university students, sports fans and those seeking adventure to gain access to better travel connections.
Ellie McGimpsey, the aviation development manager at Belfast City Airport, commented: “East Midlands and Leeds Bradford have always been popular routes and we have no doubt that their return will be welcome news for many.
“These inaugural flights complete the series of new routes with Aer Lingus Regional following launches to Birmingham, Edinburgh, Exeter and Manchester. Having these high-frequency connections across the UK benefits both business and leisure passengers and it has been great to work with Aer Lingus and Stobart Air to secure these essential links.”
Ciaran Doherty, liaison manager at Tourism Ireland, believes the reintroduction of the new routes from Belfast will help restore the travel industry in Northern Ireland: “In what has been a truly awful year for travel and tourism, today’s launch is some good news for overseas tourism to Northern Ireland. As an island, the importance of convenient, direct, non-stop flights cannot be overstated – and the restoration of air connectivity is essential in restoring growth in overseas tourism. Tourism Ireland is committed to working with Belfast City Airport, Aer Lingus Regional and our other key partners, through co-operative marketing, to drive demand for flights to Northern Ireland.”
Stobart Air has introduced several safety measures to protect passengers and staff to enable safe travel. The new regulations include thorough aircraft cleaning, mandatory face coverings and boarding and disembarking a plane in small groups.
Social distancing and constant sanitation are also in place at the Belfast Airport, as well as the mandatory use of face masks.