Belfast Telegraph

Aldergroveairport's a winner for Aer Lingus

Irish airline Aer Lingus has said it has sold two million seats in the three years since it began operating at Belfast International Airport.

The flag carrier said one million passengers had flown to the Continent while just over 750,000 customers were flown on the flagship Heathrow route since the firm started business at Aldergrove on December 10, 2007.

Christoph Mueller, the airline's chief executive, said that the company has succeeded despite some of the most challenging years ever experienced in the airline industry.

"We continue to exceed targets and deliver real choice and competition to the marketplace and in just three years of operating from our Belfast base we are clearly delivering value for money to our customers," he said.

"In June, we were rated in the top two airlines in Europe in a customer satisfaction survey and most recently we were voted best airline to Europe from Belfast at the Northern Ireland Travel and Tourism Awards.

"We've created 100 jobs, invested millions, offer 10 routes and have carried nearly two million passengers who are attracted to our high service and low fares.

"But there is still plenty of room for growth," said the airline boss.

The Belfast performance update comes after Aer Lingus announced a profit of €60m in the first nine months of this year, compared to a €34m loss in 2009.

But Mr Mueller has expressed caution about what 2011 holds due to economic uncertainty in its primary markets.

The airline employs 100 people in Belfast.