Irish national carrier Aer Lingus has confirmed it will launch a new twice weekly service between Belfast and Palma de Mallorca from April 2, 2013 as it begins the first stage of its base growth at George Best Belfast City Airport.
The airline moved its operations to the facility from Belfast International Airport this winter and is currently offering flights to London with links to both Gatwick and Heathrow airports. Ahead of its Belfast airport switch, Aer Lingus also provided flights to Arrecife, Alicante, Barcelona, Faro, Las Palmas, Malaga and Tenerife. It confirms daily flights to Faro and Malaga will resume from George Best Belfast City Airport from March 31, 2013.
“We are delighted to announce the addition of our new route to Palma to our 2013 Summer Schedule so early into the launch of our new base at Belfast City Airport,” said Valerie Abbott, Commercial Director Northern Ireland, Aer Lingus. “Cosmopolitan Palma is the capital city of Majorca in the Balearic Islands and is the perfect destination for a beach holiday. The city is steeped in history and overflowing with little boutiques and restaurants, making it an ideal city break option.”
Palma is a market that has been served on a scheduled basis from the Northern Ireland capital since July 2005 when easyJet inaugurated a three times weekly summer service and weekly winter operation from Belfast International. It now operates a summer only service on this route and has been joined by Jet2.com, Thomas Cook Airlines and Thomson Airways on the route. bmibaby this summer provided the first non-stop links to the Mediterranean destination from George Best Belfast City ahead of its closure.
“We have been overwhelmed by positive feedback since our move to Belfast City Airport from our customers and the trade alike. We are committed to growing our business in Northern Ireland and will continue to explore further opportunities for the expansion of our network from George Best Belfast City Airport,” added Valerie Abbott.
According to official UK Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) statistics, 129,711 passengers flew between Belfast (from Belfast International Airport) and Palma de Mallorca in 2011 with 85,855 on scheduled air services and 43,856 on charter flights. This represents a 2.5 per cent rise on the 126,545 passengers that were transported on the route the previous year.