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Ryanair returns to Belfast: Live coverage as Michael O'Leary's budget airline comes back to city with new routes

Coverage of Ryanair's return to Belfast

By John Mulgrew

Ryanair is unveiling its long-awaited return to Belfast today - five years after the budget carrier pulled out of the city.

It ceased flights from Belfast City Airport in 2010 following delays to a planned runway extension. It wanted a longer runway so that it could operate flights to a number of European destinations.

Speculation about the move has been growing since new take-off and landing slots became available at London's Gatwick Airport.

But tomorrow the airline is holding a press event, and it is expected it will announce it's setting up a new hub at Belfast International Airport.

It comes after the Belfast Telegraph revealed the airline was making a grand return to the city after five years away.

Ryanair looks set to begin flying to London's Gatwick airport, with around half a dozen other destinations understood to be on the cards.

Ryanair's first indication it could make a return to Belfast came in July, when this newspaper revealed it was eyeing up the new slots.

The airline currently flies to Faro in Portugal and Alicante in Spain from City of Derry Airport.

Its chief marketing officer, Kenny Jacobs, said it was in "discussions with both airports with a view to operating flights to/from Belfast in the future".

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