United Airlines to operate Belfast to US service through winter
Belfast's only flight connection to the US is to operate throughout this winter, an Aldergrove airport spokesman said.
United Airlines flies from the Co Antrim airfield to Newark, New Jersey. T he service didn't run for nine weeks from January to March.
Airport Managing Director, Graham Keddie, said: "United's commitment is both welcome and substantial. This is wonderful news."
He said the decision by United to return to full year-round service is of great significance to the Northern Ireland economy.
"Our one and only direct, scheduled trans-Atlantic service to Newark Liberty is a lifeline for US-owned firms and adds massively to efforts by Invest NI to attract additional and highly prized US investment."
Dublin airport provides stiff competition in the market for transatlantic services.
Mr Keddie added: "United have a wonderful product that is clearly very popular. There are challenges, however, one of which is how to encourage more business passengers to use the main local airport for the transatlantic trip rather than go elsewhere.
"Clearly, United looked at the market and saw sufficient justification for a year-round service which is a further statement of confidence in Northern Ireland. Now, it's up to all of us to make it even more successful."
Sinn Fein MLA Mairtin O Muilleoir said: "Not only will this allow American travellers, including business people and tourists, to travel to and from Belfast but it will also help secure jobs at the International Airport."
He added: "I have no doubt that if we want to double our tourism numbers and become a magnet for international business then we need to take the bold step of transferring all air passenger duty powers to Stormont.
"Then we can make the best decisions in relation to APD based on maximising the benefits to our economy and community."