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Aer Lingus to set up its first base outside the Republic of Ireland

08/10/2007| 11:05:00 AM| 中文

Aer Lingus has marked investment worth or so €150 million to set up a regional hub at Belfast International Airport. (8/8/2007)

Aer Lingus has marked investment worth or so €150 million to set up a regional hub at Belfast International Airport. (8/8/2007)

According to Aer Lingus Chief Executive Dermot Mannion, Aer Lingus planned up to eight European services from Belfast International Airport, most notably to London’s Heathrow, by the end of 2007.

Aer Lingus will be ending its long-standing route between Heathrow and Shannon Airport in southwest Ireland to accommodate the new Belfast-Heathrow services, which are expected to operate three times daily.

Belfast will be its first hub outside of the Republic of Ireland.

The move will reintroduce competition on Belfast-Heathrow services for the first time since 2001, when British Airways PLC ended its Northern Ireland operations to Heathrow, Europe’s busiest airport. For the past six years only BMI British Midland has offered direct Belfast-Heathrow services.

Mannion said the move into Belfast “encourages the growing economic relationship between the north and south of the island of Ireland.” He noted that Belfast International had sufficiently long runways to accommodate larger aircraft for potential future trans-Atlantic services.

Mannion said, “Belfast is becoming an increasingly popular destination for visitors from all over the world.”

“Belfast International Airport is the ideal location for the new Aer Lingus base, offering 24/7, all-weather operations and long runways capable of accommodating all current and future Aer Lingus development potential,” he said. “A new base at Belfast provides Aer Lingus with the opportunity to grow by providing customers with additional choice and low fares to European destinations.”

As per the information available, the Irish flag carrier said flights from the new base will go to Amsterdam, Barcelona, Geneva, London Heathrow, Rome, Budapest, Malaga, and Faro. Aer Lingus said it had the potential to draw up to one million extra passengers to the airport annually.

Aer Lingus said it plans to base three A320 Airbus short-haul aircraft in Belfast, chiefly serving Heathrow and Amsterdam.

TAGS: Aer Lingus | Belfast
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