Ryanair blames government as it confirms axing of all flights from Northern Ireland

Ryanair has confirmed that it is ending its operations at both of Belfast’s airports.

By Adam Kula
Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 3:53 pm
Updated Tuesday, 24th August 2021, 5:33 pm

At Belfast City, the airport lists Ryanair’s routes as being Alicante, Barcelona, Faro, Ibiza, Mallorca, Malaga, Milan, and Valencia.

And at the international, it is listed as running routes to Alicante, Barcelona, Gdansk, Krakow, London Stansted, Malaga, Malta, Manchester, Milan, and Warsaw.

In a statement, Ryanair confirmed it will cease operations from the Belfast International and Belfast City airports in the autumn.

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“Due to the UK Government’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,” it said.

Air passenger duty is a tax on passenger flights from UK airports which began in 1994.

There is a cmplex formula for working it out, but in general it is about £13 for an economy-class ticket to a country whose capital is less than 2,000 miles from London (meaning most of Europe and parts of the Middle East), or £82 for ones which are further.

Airlines have long complained about the impact of the tax on customers’ flying habits.

However, airlines at the same time benefit from a colossal tax break in the form of aviation fuel, which is exempt from tax in contrast to petrol bought by ordinary motorisits.

Belfast International Airport said: “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.”


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