Deal ensures cheaper flights for civil servants
Civil servants from Northern Ireland will enjoy cheaper flights on official business after a deal was struck with airlines today.
Aer Lingus, BMI and Flybe won the contracts following an open tendering competition.
The government air programme allows the civil service to take advantage of fare deals on the most frequently used routes.
A spokesman for the Central Procurement Directorate (CPD) said: "CPD's aim is to deliver improved value for money arrangements across all central government bodies through open, transparent procurement solutions including, as appropriate, both local and national collaborative deals.
"The governing principles of the Northern Ireland Civil Service for a number of years have been that all staff should use the most efficient and economic means of travel, taking account not only of the cost of the travel, but also subsistence costs and savings in official time.
"Where it is not possible for the Government Air Programme to deliver this then staff may use other routes and/or airlines. Departments may only consider an alternative to the most economical flight option where there is a clear business reason to do so."
The routes included Aer Lingus from Belfast International to London Heathrow, BMI from George Best Belfast City Airport to Heathrow and Flybe from the City to London Gatwick and other UK regional airports.