British Airways is stepping in to fill some of the capacity gaps left behind by the collapse of Stobart Air, with the announcement of four routes out of Belfast City Airport.
Over the next few months, the airline will start to operate 18 flights a week between George Best Belfast City Airport and Exeter, Glasgow, Leeds Bradford, and Newquay airports. The new routes will run alongside existing British Airways services between Belfast and London City and London Heathrow airports.
Planned operation is as follows:
|Route||Flight number||Schedule/departure time|
|Belfast City (BHD)/ Exeter (EXT)
From 16 June 2021
|BA7319||Monday – 12.55
Friday – 16.35
Saturday – 10.15
Sunday – 11.40
|Belfast City (BHD)/ Leeds Bradford (LBA)
From 16 June 2021
|BA7313||Monday – 8.40
Tuesday – 8.40
Wednesday – 8.40
Thursday – 8.40
Friday – 10.55
Sunday – 8.40
|Belfast City (BHD)/ Cornwall Newquay (NQY)
From 3 July 2021
|BA7331||Wednesday – 16.35
Saturday – 6.35
|Belfast City (BHD)/ Glasgow (GLA)
From 2 August 2021
|BA7327||Monday – 19.00
Tuesday – 19.00
Wednesday – 19.00
Thursday – 19.00
Friday – 19.00
Sunday – 19.00
As usual, the additional services will be operated using BA City Flyer’s existing fleet of Embraer 190 aircraft. Services operating from Belfast and Edinburgh, Manchester, and Birmingham will be operated by Aer Lingus.
Booking is open for these routes on BA.com, with return fares from Belfast to these new destinations starting from £48 each way.
Tom Stoddart, Managing Director of BA CityFlyer, which will operate the new routes, said:
“We’re delighted to announce these new services from Belfast, which will enhance our regional network and maintain vital connections between Northern Ireland and other key UK destinations.
“We’re sure these routes will be popular with customers getting away for a UK holiday this summer, as well as those visiting friends and relatives, and we’ll continue to listen to their feedback about where they want to travel.”
Katy Best, Commercial Director at Belfast City Airport, said:
“Continuity on these services is excellent news for domestic connectivity to and from Northern Ireland. Operated by Embraer 190 jets, these routes will greatly complement the existing British Airways services to London Heathrow and London City enabling passengers to enjoy the excellent British Airways experience to a greater number of destinations.”
Competition in Belfast? Check. But is it sustainable?
With the fall of Stobart Air, airlines are trying to replace the lost capacity – and adding new capacity at the same time it seems, with Ryanair, easyJet, Loganair adding flights.
The trick of course will ensure it is a sustainable competition after the headlines have faded.
There, is the real challenge.
We will have to see if putting a mix of large and small aircraft on a route is sustainable, compared to the ATR’s that used to ply these routes.
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