Thursday, December 19, 2013

the IRISH NEWS: Published 18/12/2013 - Airport is geared up to cap off busy year

The George Best Belfast City Airport says it is geared up to transport more than 100,000 passengers over the Christmas and New Year period to cap one of the busiest years in its 30-year history.

It comes as figures from the Civil bulk christmas cards Authority (CAA) showed passenger numbers for the 12 months to the end of October were up more than 2.5 million (14.1 per cent) on the previous year.

"This has been a particularly busy year for Belfast City Airport, with over 1.65 million passengers being transported through the terminal in the summer months alone, an increase of nearly 22 per cent on the same period last year," the airport's chief executive Brian Ambrose said yesterday.

"As Northern Ireland's sole link with London heathrow, the BA route has been particularly strong and no doubt continue throughout the festive period, with passengers from across the world using the London hub to arrive home for Christmas.

"Domestic routes operated by Flybe, our largest and longest-serving airline, have also performed well throughout the year and will be extremely busy getting our passengers where they need to be for the holidays."

"Continued private investment at the airport, which has exceeded £15 million in the last four years, ensures that we have the capacity to welcome both business and leisure passengers into Northern Ireland through a modern airport with state of the art, efficient facilities."

Belfast lord mayor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, on a visit to the facility yesterday, said: "It's encouraging to see the airport continue to thrive in what still is a challenging economy.

"The tourism sector, especially Belfast traders, benefit directly from the City Airport, and I'm delighted with the record numbers of passengers coming to visit our great city."

North Down mayor Andrew Muir said: "Belfast City Airport is one of our most valuable transport assets, particularly for business passengers.

"This vital transport hub ensures businesses across Belfast and north Down are a flying success and I'm determined to work with the airport and key stake-holders to provide a more stable and secure future for this valuable economic gateway."

"Northern Ireland's economy still faces many difficulties, but by bringing people and businesses together, we can facilitate collaborative solutions to promote growth, develop skills and retain talent."

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