Belfast Telegraph

Bmi takes over route abandoned by Ryanair

Low cost airline bmibaby is to fly from George Best Belfast City Airport to London Stansted - the first airline since the departure of Ryanair to take on the route.

The new bmibaby flights will take off from March 28 and run three times a day from Monday to Friday and once a day on Sunday.

The carrier recently announced it would start flying from Belfast City to Manchester, Birmingham, East Midlands and Cardiff Airport after relocating from Belfast International Airport.

Sister airline bmi already flies to London Heathrow while easyjet operates a Stansted service from Belfast International.

The route from Belfast City to Stansted was operated by Ryanair until it pulled out over delays on a runway extension. The route had not been restored until bmibaby's announcement.

Julian Carr, managing director of bmibaby, said the new route would offer passengers more choice.

"Our new frequent service from Belfast City to Stansted will provide convenient links to London from the heart of Belfast," he said.

"We currently offer a range of domestic routes from Belfast to key UK regions and this new London route will complement these services providing our customers with even more choice.

"With up to 16 services a week with convenient flight times, this route will be ideal for both business and leisure customers wishing to travel to London."

Katy Best, business development director at George Best Belfast City Airport, said bmibaby's news was "an early Christmas present" for travellers.

"2011 looks set to be an exciting year for the airport with the arrival of bmibaby and its five new routes," she added.

Nick Barton, London Stansted's managing director said: "We are delighted to welcome bmibaby to Stansted and we wish them every success with this new service to Belfast. I'm sure this link will be extremely popular and will further enhance our network."