Belfast Telegraph

Flybe new routes are boost to Belfast City airport

David Elliott

THE choice of destinations from George Best Belfast City Airport could be about to widen after Flybe announced it would be adding 38 new routes to its European network over the next three years.

Chief executive Saad Hammad wouldn't confirm whether the expansion would include an extra Belfast service but said the airport hadn't been ruled out of its plans.

He said: "Now we have the firepower to grow with confidence in terms of new routes, new bases and new white label opportunities. We've got about 38 new routes in our sights that we would like to launch over the next three years."

The firepower Mr Hammad refers to is the £150m it hopes to raise through a share placing in the coming weeks.

Around £35m of the fund raising will be used to build new routes, £82m to pay for an expansion of the airline and £23m to boost the "white label" part of the business which flies routes on behalf of other airlines.

The move is the latest shake-up of the airline by the former chief commercial officer of easyJet since taking over the reins in August.

Having announced 500 redundancies in November – including 52 at the Belfast base – he has since put that back to 450.

Flybe operates a total of 506 flights a week to and from George Best Belfast City Airport on 13 routes including Edinburgh, East Midlands and Southampton.

Belfast Telegraph