A further jobs boost is being predicted at Belfast International Airport after the airport reported its best ever month for passenger growth.
Passenger throughput in August stood at 534,000, which was up almost 14.5% on the same month last year. August also replaced July as the busiest month of the year by a margin of 2,000.
In the first eight months, the airport has handled 3.38 million passengers and is on course to easily exceed 5 million by the end of the year.
The airport expects to see further impressive growth in 2017 with passenger numbers approaching 5.5 million.
Belfast International Airport Managing Director, Graham Keddie, said: “To put in a performance where August was busier than the traditional holiday getaway month of July tells us much about airline choice and passenger patterns.
“Growth of 14.5% on August last year is a brilliant performance by the team and our partner airlines. We’ve had the launch of four new routes with Ryanair this month with four more next month and two in November. EasyJet, Jet2.com and Wizz are reporting impressive demand, therefore we can say with certainty that further increases in passenger numbers is inevitable.
“Of course, increased airline and passenger activity lead to demand for on-site services. We’ve created 800 new jobs since the end of last year in supply and service companies, security, aircraft handling, passenger facilities and food outlets.
“We’ve been talking to our companies and they tell us they will need to embark on a further round of recruitment to fill scores of vacancies. We can’t at this stage put a final figure on the number of new jobs we will see being created, but it’ll be well in excess of seventy.
“It won’t end there. Next year, as airlines add further capacity, we will see several hundred more jobs being created on the site which is a key economic driver for Northern Ireland, accounting for up to £100 million in wages and tens of millions more in the supply chain.”