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Belfast International Airport to London Gatwick now busiest air route in UK

By John Mulgrew

Belfast now boasts the busiest domestic air route in the UK, according to new official figures.

Belfast International Airport's Gatwick link, which is operated by both easyJet and Ryanair, has overtaken Edinburgh to London Heathrow, according to figures released by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).

In January more than 77,000 passengers used the Belfast-Gatwick services, which was more than 1,600 ahead of Edinburgh-Heathrow.

And Belfast has overtaken Gatwick to become the UK's fourth largest airport for domestic operations.

Belfast International Airport's managing director Graham Keddie said: "These figures give us cause for celebration.

"These are impressive numbers and we see our performance strengthening as the year progresses.

"We remain firmly on course for a record year with more than 5.4 million passengers, and that's down to our airlines and our commitment to do everything we can to expand.

"We've had the breakthrough we all wanted with confirmation that Norwegian will operate two new transatlantic services to New York and Boston. They will help boost long-haul passenger traffic and be pivotal when it comes to attracting greater numbers of American tourists to Northern Ireland.

"We're the only Northern Ireland airport experiencing growth, and we see that pace being maintained and accelerated."

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