easyJet is to continue its expansion at Belfast International Airport, with another aircraft to be based there for the summer 2023 season.
easyJet Airbus A320neo taxing at Manchester Airport – Image, Economy Class and Beyond
The airline will add an additional Airbus A320 family aircraft to its base at Belfast this summer, enabling it to launch a new summer route between Belfast and Rhodes – part of the Greek islands.
The 186-seat A320neo aircraft will be based in Belfast throughout the summer season, and it joins three 156-seat Airbus A319, two 186-seat A320 and two 186-seat A320neo aircraft already serving the airline’s customers in Belfast – bringing in a total of eight aircraft based in Northern Ireland. The airline estimates it will also bring the opportunity of 35-40 extra jobs because of that aircraft being based there.
The new route between Belfast and Rhodes is scheduled to launch on 3 June 2023, with twice weekly departures on Tuesdays and Saturdays, with seats going on sale from 7th December via the usual easyJet sources. These can be booked as just flights, or with easyJet Holidays.
easyJet on Holidays
Speaking of holidays, it seems this is one thing that consumers are not willing to give up. According to a survey conducted by the airline (of 2000 UK consumers), it has shown that almost two-thirds (64%) are planning on flying abroad in 2023. Holidays topped the list of most important things people planned to spend on in 2023, with two-thirds (66%) saying this was the most important.
The survey goes on to identify that 0% of people surveyed agreed that they will prioritise a holiday over other expenditures in their yearly budget and three quarters said it was one of their most important plans for next year, with discretionary spending on other items taking second fiddle.
In terms of how they travel, two-thirds of people said they will be booking with a low-cost carrier (66%), while three-quarters of people will fly short haul instead of long haul (74%) and holiday in closer to home destinations in Europe (70%) to protect their holidays. The majority (80%) also believed that holidaying in the UK can be more expensive.
There’s a lot more in the numbers, but it shows one thing – people still want to travel, even in these conditions.
Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK Country Manager, said:
“I am delighted to be announcing our plans for expansion at Belfast International Airport today. The addition of another aircraft will help us to deliver growth in Belfast and offer customers an even wider range of destinations, like our new route to Rhodes, which will provide our customers in Northern Ireland a direct connection to one of Europe’s most popular beach destinations this summer, all with low fares and great service.
“We know that holidays are important to people, not only does travelling connect friends and family but it offers a wealth of benefits, from promoting wellbeing to experiencing new cultures. The results of our survey revealed today just go to show what a priority it is for people, with so many determined to protect their holidays. With our low fares and unrivalled European network, easyJet is ideally placed to offer a fantastic value and great quality holiday that people don’t have to compromise on. It is fantastic to see that so many consumers plan to travel next year already, and we look forward to welcoming them onboard.”
Uel Hoey, Business Development Director, said:
“We are delighted to acknowledge easyJet’s ongoing robust commitment towards air connectivity to and from Northern Ireland with their investment of significantly higher capacity in 2023 – and particularly welcome the addition onto their Belfast network of the beautiful Greek island of Rhodes for the benefit of those forward planning their next Summer break.”
Continued Growth at Belfast International
easyJet base itself at Belfast International Airport – around 18 miles by car or 46 minutes by bus to the airport, with the airline operating out of there for around 27 years.
With its current seven aircraft based at the airport, it has built itself out to operate 670 flights a week on 29 routes across 8 countries in the UK, Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, as well as providing connectivity to the London region, with up to 178 flights to London Gatwick, London Luton and London Stansted.
For the airline to have confidence and base an eighth aircraft at the airport – it shows signs of confidence in the market and the hope that people will take up the option of a low-cost carrier to the sun this summer.
We’ll have to see how that plays out next year.
Welcome to Economy Class and Beyond. Your no-nonsense guide to network news, honest reviews, featuring in-depth coverage, unique research, as well as the humour and madness I only know how to deliver.
Also, remember that we are part of the BoardingArea community, bringing you the latest frequent flyer news from around the world.