A water cannon salute marked the official opening of a new Ryanair base at Belfast International Airport.
The VIP treatment by the airport rescue and fire-fighting service followed the cutting of a specially made cake in the Terminal and photo opportunities alongside the aircraft.
Present were Ryanair’s Sales and Marketing executive, Lisa Buckley, and our Managing Director, Graham Keddie, and Business Development Director, Uel Hoey.
The airline’s Easter Sunday launch of its new four flights a-day service to Gatwick will be followed later in the year by new routes to Berlin and Milan in addition to routes to Alicante, Krakow, Lanzarote, Malaga and Tenerife. The inaugural Gatwick service will increase from four to five a-day in the 2016 winter schedule.
Ryanair will base three of its aircraft at the airport and expects to carry in excess of one million passengers each year. The expansion will lead to the creation of 750 on-site jobs.
The airline says the new Belfast routes make Ryanair the ideal choice for NI business and leisure customers, who can now choose from 8 Belfast routes in winter 2016 and look forward to further improvements, under Ryanair’s “Always Getting Better” programme, which includes more routes, a new app, new cabin interiors and new crew uniforms.
Ms Buckley said: “Our 4 times daily London Gatwick service, which will increase to 5 times daily for winter, is the ideal choice for both business and leisure customers and we look forward to growing routes, traffic and jobs in Belfast in the coming months and years.
“To celebrate the launch of our new Belfast base, we are releasing 100,000 seats for sale across our European network from just £19.99, which are available for booking until Wednesday (30 Mar). Since these amazing low prices will be snapped up quickly, customers should log onto www.ryanair.com and avoid missing out.”
Mr. Keddie said: “We are delighted to welcome Ryanair to our portfolio of airlines based at Belfast International Airport. Today’s London Gatwick launch is the first of eight new services that Ryanair will start operating from Belfast International Airport. Not only will these services bring more choice than ever for local travellers but they are also creating direct access into Germany and Italy which are key markets for inbound tourism and economic development.”