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Ryanair to withdraw operations to and from Northern Ireland this winter

The airline blamed air passenger duty and a lack of Covid recovery incentives on the decision.

File photo
File photo
Image: Alamy Stock Photo

RYANAIR IS TO withdraw its operations from Northern Ireland this winter, the airline has confirmed. 

In a statement today, Ryanair said it will cease operations from Belfast International Airport and Belfast City Airport in October. 

The airline blamed air passenger duty and a lack of Covid-19 recovery incentives from both airports on the decision. 

Ryanair said its aircraft will be reallocated to lower cost airports elsewhere in the UK and Europe for the Winter schedule which starts in November. 

A spokesperson for Belfast International Airport said Ryanair’s decision to withdraw operations from the Northern Ireland market is “disappointing”. 

“It has been a difficult period for aviation and a time when consumers need some stability and faith in the Northern Ireland air transport network,” the spokesperson said. 

“As we have been anticipating such a move, we have been engaging with our existing and other new airlines to provide continuity on the routes to be vacated by Ryanair, and to help sustain employment in the aviation industry at a local level in Northern Ireland,” they said. 

“To this end we hope to be able to make announcements regarding fresh route developments in the near future.” 

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A spokesperson for Belfast City Airport said the Ryanair routes from the airport “were only seasonal routes for 2021″. 

Ryanair currently operates routes from Belfast’s two airports to destinations in Italy, Portugal, Poland and Spain. 

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