Jet2 launching eight new routes from Belfast airport
Airline expects to create 50 new jobs as it increases number of routes from North to 22
Belfast International Airport MD Graham Keddie said the airline plans a 39 per cent increase in capacity for summer 2018. Photograph: Aaron McCracken/Harrisons
Low-cost carrier Jet2 is to launch eight additional routes from Northern Ireland and base an additional aircraft at Belfast International Airport which is expected to create 50 jobs, it has been confirmed.
Graham Keddie, managing director of Belfast International Airport (BIA), said the airline plans a 39 per cent increase in capacity for summer 2018.
Mr Keddie said this will increase the number of routes operated by Jet2 to 22 from Northern Ireland.
“A fourth aircraft – in this case, a larger Boeing 737-800 – is a multi-million pound commitment and the clearest possible signal by the airline that Northern Ireland is a good place to invest,” Mr Keddie said.
Routes Europe conference
Details of the new Jet2 routes comes in the same week that Belfast hosted the Routes Europe conference which brought about 1,200 executives from 114 airlines, 270 airports and 36 tourism authorities to the city to discuss the current state of Europe’s commercial aviation sector and close potential business deals.
During the conference industry leaders warned that Brexit had created uncertainty in the commercial European aviation sector.
Uel Hoey, business development director of BIA, said: “If an airline is concerned about uncertainty, then we’ll have to take the effects of that.
“The biggest point that is a concern to us is that we’re a UK jurisdiction on this island. The short-haul airport passenger duty means that we don’t have a level playing field with our competitors in Ireland.”
Meanwhile, Ryanair has urged that open skies throughout Europe and the free movement of people should be at the top of any Brexit “divorce negotiations”.
The chief chief marketing officer of Ryanair, Kenny Jacobs, said it is important that business travel and tourism is not impacted during the Brexit process.