Published on Thursday 19 April 2012 09:00
easyJet, Northern Ireland’s largest airline, has today announced a new route from Belfast International Airport to Birmingham Airport.
The new route will increase easyJet destinations from Belfast International to 23 – equalling the highest number of routes the airline has operated from the airport.
The inaugural flight will take off from Belfast International Airport on 22 October - initially a daily service, and from 29th October will increase to two flights a day on weekdays, and one on Saturdays and Sundays. The new route between Belfast and Birmingham reinforces easyJet’s commitment to Northern Ireland and will see easyJet operating all year round flights from Birmingham Airport for the first time.
easyJet’s pledge is to make travel easy and affordable, and this new route will help boost business and leisure travel between the two cities. Flights to Birmingham will go on sale at easyJet.com on Monday 23 April, with fares starting from £22.99 for a one way ticket and £45.98 for a return fare (inc.taxes).
Ali Gayward, easyJet commercial manager, said: “We are delighted to be starting this new route which demonstrates easyJet’s commitment to the Northern Ireland travelling public, and reflects the growing demand for business travel to and from Belfast. Our schedule, with flights operating at peak morning and evening times, also reflects our continued focus on meeting the needs of the business traveller, as well as offering leisure travellers affordable access to the Midlands.
“In the past year alone easyJet has also launched services to Manchester and, most recently, London Southend. Additonally. we will, for the first time, be flying an Airbus 320 aircraft (180 seats) from Belfast to leading holiday sun spots during the peak summer period. This route represents a major milestone in our network growth which sees easyJet operating year round from Birmingham for the first time ever.”
Access from Birmingham Airport to Birmingham International railway station takes less than two minutes, using the SkyRail train service that operates every two minutes. Birmingham International station offers direct access to business centres throughout the region. Travellers wishing to access the heart of Birmingham will be able to do this easily with a 10-15 minute rail journey to Birmingham New Street station.
Ali Gayward added: “Birmingham also offers access to many attractions for leisure travellers. Shakespeare Country, including his birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon, is conveniently located to Birmingham Airport.
“There is also a host of attractions in and around Birmingham, from the National Motorcycle Museum, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and Premier League football, to major events at the NEC (National Exhibition Centre), and Christmas fairs.
Commenting on the launch of the new route, John Doran, managing director of Belfast International Airport, said: “Birmingham was an obvious gap on the departure boards at Belfast International, as evidenced by the high level of demand we have been receiving for its reinstatement.
“Strong business connections exist in the computer technology, engineering and hospitality sectors, to name but a few, and of course the West Midlands is home to such high-profile companies as Cadbury and Halfords.
“Add to that the well-trodden, year-round exhibition path from Northern Ireland to the NEC, and it’s clear that business between the two regions will benefit significantly from easyJet’s excellent value fares and service.”
Ann McGregor, chief executive, Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce said: “The UK Midlands is a vital trading centre for Northern Ireland commerce and industry. We welcome easyJet’s announcement of new Birmingham flights from Belfast International Airport, which will open up more convenient and affordable access for businesses throughout Northern Ireland to deepen business relationships with their counterparts in Birmingham and across the English heartlands.”
easyJet has also announced that it is increasing its flights on the Belfast to Manchester route. There will be an extra third flight on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays to meet growing passenger demand. The extra flights will start during the airline’s winter schedule.