Northern Ireland is gearing up for a German tourism bonanza with the launch of a new air route from Belfast to Berlin.
Ryanair said advanced bookings showed strong demand from the European visitors for a direct connection with Northern Ireland ahead of Thursday’s inaugural flight to the German capital.
Travel chiefs predicted thousands of tourists arriving during the first year of operations.
Belfast International Airport managing director Graham Keddie said: “Germany is one of the biggest outbound tourist markets in the world and for far too long we weren’t able to attract visitors directly to Northern Ireland.
“At no cost to the taxpayer, Ryanair will deliver thousands of German tourists in its first full year of operation.”
Ryanair will launch four new routes from Belfast International Airport in September followed by six more in October.
Destinations include: Malaga; Alicante; Milan; Krakow; Wroclaw; Lanzarote; Tenerife; Warsaw and Gdansk.
The budget airline said it will carry one million passengers on 11 routes and will operate between now and autumn 2017.