Emerald Airlines is expanding to Belfast City Airport to provide more choice for travelers to the region.
The carrier, which is the exclusive operator of Aer Lingus’ regional route network, plans to operate “high frequency routes” from the airport to Birmingham, Edinburgh, Exeter, Leeds Bradford and Manchester.
The new routes are part of a long-term agreement with Belfast City Airport to establish a new home carrier there with additional routes to be announced this year.
Conor McCarthy, CEO of Emerald Airlines, said: “We want to be the airline of choice for customers flying from Belfast City Airport and we look forward to continuing our announcement today, with new flights and destinations. to follow in the near future.
“We are in advanced talks with British Airways and Aer Lingus regarding codeshare and other cooperation so that we can maintain the continuity and benefits of the current services offered by both airlines at Belfast City Airport. Operational setup continues at a brisk pace, with Belfast City Base, our UK AOC and employee recruitment progressing extremely well.
“We are confident that this news will be welcomed by the business community across the region, which is more dependent than ever on connectivity as the recovery continues.”
Matthew Hall, CEO of Belfast City Airport, said: “We are very pleased to have entered into a long-term partnership with Emerald Airlines which will see the return of Aer Lingus’ regional product to Belfast later this year. Emerald’s commitment to Northern Ireland will not only ensure the continuity of these regional routes which have been operated by mainline Aer Lingus and British Airways since last summer 2021, but also presents a significant opportunity for new routes and additional frequency.
“As the pandemic subsides, we expect to see increased demand for travel – to and from Belfast – and this ensures we are in a strong position to meet this demand.”
Aer Lingus and British Airways services to London Heathrow and London City from Belfast City Airport continue as normal.
Emerald Airlines and Aer Lingus announced in December that they had put forward plans to restart regional flights within nearly a year.