Ryanair blames APD and COVID for pulling out of Northern Ireland

Ryanair Knock flights
By Lisa James
Home » Ryanair blames APD and COVID for pulling out of Northern Ireland

Ryanair has confirmed it will cease operations out of Northern Ireland, blaming a lack of COVID recovery incentives and the Government’s refusal to suspend or reduce air passenger duty.

The carrier is ending flights from Belfast International Airport and Belfast City.

Belfast International confirmed routes, which include flights to Stansted and Manchester as well as European destinations will stop on 30 October.

Routes from Belfast City, which include Mediterranean destinations such as Malaga, Majorca and Ibiza, are understood to end on 12 September.

Ryanair stopped flying from City of Derry Airport earlier this year. 

A spokeswoman for Belfast City told the Belfast Telegraph the routes had only been seasonal. 

A Belfast International Airport spokesman said: “It is disappointing that Ryanair has now decided to withdraw operations from the entire Northern Ireland market at the end of October, having variously had a presence in all three local airports in recent years. 

“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.

“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.

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

Ryanair issued a statement to Travel Gossip saying: “Due to the UK Govt’s refusal to suspend or reduce APD (air passenger duty), and the lack of Covid recovery incentives from both Belfast airports, this winter Ryanair will cease operations from Belfast International and Belfast City Airport from the end of the summer schedule in October and these aircraft will be reallocated to lower cost airports elsewhere in the UK and Europe for the winter schedule which starts in November.”

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