The inaugural flight which took off yesterday morning marks the beginning of up to four daily flights between the two airports. Additional routes served from Belfast will include Belfast City to Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, London Heathrow, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, East Midlands, Manchester, Southampton, Aberdeen, Inverness and Newcastle.
The launch follows the news that Belfast City Airport will be the airline’s second main base of operation, creating approximately 100 direct new jobs in the Belfast region, as well as an additional 40 local partner jobs in ground handling and maintenance companies. Flybe’s arrival is expected to create even more indirect jobs elsewhere in the local Northern Ireland economy.
The official launch in Belfast was marked with a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by Flybe’s CEO, Dave Pflieger, and Belfast City Airport’s chief executive, Matthew Hall.
Mr Pflieger said: “After a year of extremely hard work, the entire team at Flybe is absolutely thrilled to be airborne and underway with our new commercial operations, and we are especially excited to be in a new multi-year partnership with Belfast City Airport.
“We chose Belfast City Airport as an important base for our operations because of its fantastic people, its key location just five minutes from the city centre, and the opportunity it allows to connect Northern Ireland with mainland UK.
“We have plans to rapidly grow and create further jobs and look forward to adding even more flights as the summer progresses.”
Matthew Hall, chief executive of George Best Belfast City Airport, added: “It’s great to see Flybe take to the skies today from George Best Belfast City Airport.
“Providing choice and convenience to the people of Northern Ireland is something we pride ourselves on, and securing these 12 new services to destinations across the UK and Europe with Flybe only strengthens that offering further.
“It’s been exciting welcoming Flybe’s first passengers through our terminal and we look forward to welcoming many more as additional routes take off throughout the summer period.”