A total of 20 flights had to be cancelled or diverted in the last two weeks of 2009 at City of Derry Airport due to weather conditions, it has emerged.
New figures released by owners Derry City Council yesterday revealed that in December 2009 a total of 1,655 passengers at the local airport were forced to alter their travel plans.
Twenty flights were diverted due to ice and snow, with a further two flights disrupted due to other factors.
The figures demonstrate the effect that the cold snap had on local services during the festive season.
Many passengers affected were transferred to other airports by bus, while flights were diverted to Dublin and Belfast.
One year earlier, in December 2008, the Eglinton airport reported there had been just three cancellations and one diversion.
Reporting the figures at yesterday’s meeting of the City of Derry Airport Committee, manager Damien Tierney said: “A total of 22 flights were disrupted during December.
“All bar two were due to the snow and ice that began on December 18.
“In the period from December 18 through until the end of December the North West and the north coast were particularly badly affected.”
Overall at City of Derry Airport, flight numbers fell from 819 with 31,275 passengers in December 2008, to 708 flights and 24,077 passengers in December 2009.
However, load factors for certain flights increased slightly this year, with routes to London Stansted and |Birmingham performing |well.
Chartered passenger flights fell dramatically, from 47 in December 2008 to zero last year, while business and private flights similarly dropped from 53 to just two.