Belfast Telegraph

New Flybe connection between George Best Belfast airport and John Lennon airport, Liverpool

By Lesley Houston

Flybe has unveiled a new connection between George Best Belfast City and Liverpool with a year-round daily service starting in early 2015.

The regional carrier will operate flights to Liverpool John Lennon Airport up to three times a day from February, from £24.99 one way.

The airline said the flights have been introduced as part of its commitment to "unrivalled regional connectivity".

Belfast to Liverpool is also served by year-round flights by easyJet from Belfast International Airport.

Transport Minister Danny Kennedy welcomed the new service. "Today's challenging economic situation makes it even more essential to establish accessible and strong links to key markets," he said.

Paul Simmons, Flybe's chief commercial officer, said the new flights would "deliver a significant time-saving for business travellers" from Liverpool, as the City Airport is just 10 minutes from Belfast's city centre.

"We are committed to providing easy and affordable connectivity throughout the UK at competitive prices with maximum flexibility and choice," he said.

"Flybe has, over the last 12 months, undergone a significant overhaul of the business and this has resulted in a more cost-effective, efficient and flexible operation, enabling us to increase the number of routes we can offer to better serve the travelling needs of both our business and leisure customers from a convenient airport."

Belfast City Airport has welcomed the new route, which follows the launch of Flybe's new route from Belfast into London City Airport last month.

Chief executive Brian Ambrose said the new London link was "already performing particularly well".

Mr Ambrose said the Liverpool link was a welcome addition on top of Flybe's other UK destinations from Belfast, such as Edinburgh, Manchester and Newcastle.

"The frequency and times of the flight is suited to both leisure and business passengers who will also benefit from competitive fares as a result of the increase in passenger numbers the airline has experienced this year," Mr Ambrose said.

"Featuring heavily within their growth strategy, we look forward to continuing our relationship with Flybe and further strengthening our route network from Belfast City Airport."

The carrier already offers 15 other routes from the Belfast city hub, amounting to 526 flights week.

Flybe's Liverpool link is the latest in a litany of new flights from Northern Ireland announced in recent months.

EasyJet is also to start flying to Iceland from Belfast International next month, and from Belfast to Split in Croatia from May.

Belfast International Airport also announced new connections to Florida and Las Vegas from Thomas Cook and Virgin Atlantic - as well as new routes to Prague, Rome, Gran Canaria and Zante in Greece.

British Airways sister airline Veuling will start flying from Belfast City to Barcelona in May.

Belfast Telegraph