LINKS between Northern Ireland and Poland were extended yesterday as the inaugural flight between Belfast International Airport and the city of Krakow took off.
The first direct flight between Northern Ireland and Poland was launched by low-cost airline easyJet and not only opens a market for local holidaymakers but also forms an important link for the Polish community in the Province.
The company will operate three flights a week between the two cities, with fares from 32.99.
“There has already been great interest in the new route,” said easyJet marketing manager Paul Cable.
“Many of the estimated 35,000 Polish people living, working and studying in Northern Ireland will want to pay visits home, and Northern Ireland people will be keen to visit what has largely been a hidden tourist attraction.
“Before, people have had to travel to Krakow via London or another airport. Now they can enjoy direct travel at affordable prices.”
During check-in for the flight, Polish community leaders were joined in the departure hall by children in Polish national costume, while three classical guitarists played the country’s music. Travellers were also able to enjoy authentic Polish breads and cakes, salami, sausage and smoked cheeses.
“Krakow has been called the new Prague. It was the capital of Poland for centuries and has a rich history and heritage, with architectural gems.
“Today it is a modern, vibrant city, with excellent hotels, cafes and restaurants and spectacular festivals, including a four-week jazz event.”
easyJet is now Northern Ireland’s largest airline, operating 19 routes from Belfast International with a further flight to Ibiza due in early summer.