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Same old routes a pointless move for City

"you can have any colour - as long as it's black" was Henry Ford's famous quote regarding the availability of his legendary Model T car.

I fear that the Northern Ireland travelling public will be left with a similarly limited choice if reports that Aer Lingus is to move to George Best Belfast City Airport prove to be accurate.

As a regular traveller, it is somewhat depressing that the routes being touted for the Irish carrier are to Gatwick, Birmingham and Edinburgh, among others.

All are destinations that are already served very well from both our airports by Easyjet and Flybe, thank you very much.

Bringing in a third airline to serve the same cities will add nothing to the business or tourism infrastructure of the province.

Surely what Belfast really needs, if our economy and tourist trade are to grow, are services to places like Copenhagen, Brussels, Frankfurt and Vienna.

If George Best Belfast City Airport offered any incentives to encourage Aer Lingus to relocate (and why move if it isn't?) then conditions should have been attached to encourage a focus on new routes that actually enlarge the airport's reach. A degree of competition to key destinations is undoubtedly a healthy state of affairs.

But unless and until our two airports - International and City - complement each other on a wide range of other routes, then people will continue to choose Dublin.

MARK WALSH

Jordanstown, Co Antrim

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