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Travel News March 2017

Belfast-Malta link back this October

Ryanair restores route dropped by rival R

YANAIR has added yet another new route to its rapidly expanding portfolio from Belfast International Airport.

As revealed in last month's issue of Northern Ireland Travel News, Europe’s No 1 airline is launching a new route from Belfast to Malta, with a twice weekly service beginning in October, as part of its winter 2017 schedule which will go on sale soon.

Ryanair celebrated its new Belfast–Malta route by releasing seats for sale across its European network at prices starting from just £9.99 for travel in March and April.

Ryanair’s Head of Communications, Robin Kiely said: “We are pleased to announce a new route from Belfast to Malta, with a twice weekly service starting in October, as part of our Belfast winter 2017 schedule, which will be launched soon. Our summer schedule, which commences in March, is already attracting record bookings, including our new routes to Faro, Lanzarote, Malaga, Tenerife and Warsaw. Belfast customers and visitors can look forward to even lower fares when they make advance bookings for their summer or winter holidays, so there’s never been a better time to book a low fare flight.

Belfast International Airport’s Business Development Director, Uel Hoey said: “We are delighted to see Ryanair continue to grow from Belfast International Airport with the addition of their fourteenth route since commencement of operations in summer 2016.

"A new service to Malta is a particularly

pleasing development as it has traditionally been a good seller from Northern Ireland, and we believe that its popularity will be even more enhanced given the prevailing strength of the western and central Mediterranean holiday markets.”

A Belfast-Malta flight has previously been operated by low cost rivals easyJet. Ryanair announced its return to Belfast just last year. It now flies from Belfast International to locations including Gatwick, Malaga, Berlin and Milan. The new link will bring Ryanair's routes from Belfast International to 13.

Belfast International Business Development Director Uel Hoey is pictured with Ryanair Base Captain Klaus Wegner and cabin crew Sara Jose Roig at the launch of the new route to Malta

Dublin fastest growing major airport in Europe

DUBLIN Airport was the fastest growing major airport in Europe last year, according to new figures released this morning by ACI Europe, which is the trade association for European airports. Passenger numbers at Dublin Airport increased by 11.5 per cent in 2016, making Dublin the leading performer among the top tier of European airports. Dublin Airport grew faster during 2016 than all other European airports that have more than 25 million passengers per annum.

After Dublin in the major airport category came Barcelona’s El-Prat Airport (+11.2 per cent), Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport (+9.2 per cent), Copenhagen Airport (+9.1 per cent) and Madrid Barajas (+7.7 per cent)

The growth at Dublin Airport delivered a new traffic record at Ireland’s key gateway, with almost 28

million passengers welcomed last year. An extra 2.8 million passengers used the airport in 2016, while over the past two years, an additional 6.2 million people passed through Dublin Airport.

“This new ACI data confirms that Dublin Airport had a record-breaking performance at home and abroad last year,” said Dublin Airport Managing Director Vincent Harrison. “Passenger traffic across the European airport network increased by 5.1 per cent last year, while Dublin Airport increased its traffic by more than twice that amount,” he added. The passenger growth at Dublin Airport was fuelled by the launch of 19 new routes last year, while additional capacity was added on 31 existing services. Almost all our airline customers increased their operations at Dublin in 2016 and we’d like to thank them for their business during the year.

“Dublin Airport’s passenger performance in 2016 was also assisted by its growth as a gateway between Europe and North America. Transatlantic traffic increased by 16 per cent to a record 2.9 million passengers last year, while transfer passenger numbers were up 23 per cent to a record 1.2 million.” This year Dublin Airport will welcome three new long-haul services – a year-round service to Doha with Qatar Airlines, a summer service to Boston with Delta Air Lines and a summer service to Miami with Aer Lingus – and three new short-haul services. Europe’s largest airports in 2016 were as follows, according to ACI were 1, London Heathrow – 75.7 million passengers; 2, Paris Charles de Gaulle – 65.9 million; 3, Amsterdam Schiphol – 63.6 million passengers; Frankfurt – 60.7 million passengers; 5, Istanbul Ataturk – 60 million passengers.


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