Kinahan applauds ‘team effort’ to retain US flight

The sole scheduled link between Belfast and New York has been reprieved
The sole scheduled link between Belfast and New York has been reprieved

Ulster Unionist MP for South Antrim, Danny Kinahan, has praised the teamwork of Government ministers at both Westminster and Stormont, along with fellow MPs and senior management at Belfast International Airport in ensuring the only long-haul flight from Northern Ireland to New York will remain in service.

Speaking as it emerged that a £9 million package has been put in place to retain the United Airlines daily service to Newark, he said: “This is an excellent example of what can be achieved when political differences can be put aside.

“The loss of this vital tourism and business link to the United States would have had a serious economic impact on Northern Ireland.”

The scramble to save the service began when United revealed its intention to close the route next month citing a lack of profitability.

However, Mr Kinahan said a cross-party group in cludingseniojr management at Aldergrove had been able to keep the vital route operating.

“That we were able to work directly with Ministers, both at Westminster and Stormont, to find a solution is a perfect example of how politics should work, indeed I have been championing the importance of this joined up delivery since I entered politics.

“If we truly want to see Northern Ireland be the best it can be, then sometimes we must be prepared to put party divisions aside and do what is right for all.”