Incoming Economy Minister needs to seek urgent meeting with airport and airline, says Dickson

Economy Transport Stewart Dickson

Incoming Economy Minister Paul Frew needs to seek an urgent meeting with Belfast City Airport and Aer Lingus, after the airline announced it had stopped flights from the airport to several UK destinations.

The news came after Stobart Air, which operates Aer Lingus’ regional services, moved into liquidation. Flights to a number of British cities have been cancelled as a result.

“This is incredibly disappointing news for families and businesses affected by this news and my thoughts are with them and anyone whose job is impacted as a result,” said Mr Dickson.

“There had been hopes following the collapse of Flybe this would bring more stability to these important connections across the Irish Sea but sadly it appears this is now not going to be the case. I am aware Aer Lingus were due to replace Stobart Air as its regional operator next year and I hope that is able to be accelerated.

“The incoming Economy Minister Paul Frew needs to urgently hold meetings with both Belfast City Airport and Aer Lingus to see what can be done to help. In Northern Ireland we rely on our air connectivity more than the rest of the UK and we need to preserve them wherever possible.”