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Ryanair to expand in Dublin but no word about Belfast


Ryanair has unveiled plans of its expansion of services from Dublin Airport but has made no further mention of a return to Belfast.

Ryanair has unveiled a significant expansion of its services from Dublin Airport but has made no further mention of any possible return to Belfast.

The budget Irish airline is increasing weekly flight numbers by 15% at the airport from next summer, with extra flights on services to destinations such as Berlin, Brussels, London Gatwick, Madrid, Malaga, Manchester and Venice.

The airline will also launch a much-anticipated route between Dublin and Amsterdam from October 27 and will add extra flights on 14 routes next summer.

It will operate a total of 83 routes from the Irish capital next summer.

It expects to carry 11.75 million passengers in and out of Dublin next year, which is 1.1 million more than it will in 2015. The airline will have 26 aircraft based at Dublin next summer.

Ryanair has just delivered two record months of passenger traffic, with more than 10 million flyers carried during both July and August.

But yesterday's announcement made no mention of a return to Belfast - something which could soon be on the cards.

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Ryanair could be set for a grand return to the city as it bids on sought-after slots freed up amid the Aer Lingus sell-off. Its chief marketing officer Kenny Jacobs told the Belfast Telegraph in July it was in "discussions with both airports with a view to operating flights to/from Belfast in the future".

The expansion at Dublin comes as IAG completed its €1.36bn (£1bn) takeover of Aer Lingus. IAG boss Willie Walsh is set to detail his plans for the Ireland-based carrier in November.

Meanwhile, holidaymakers jetting off to take advantage of the strong pound and escape last month's rain helped easyJet notch up a record August, and is set to see the airline deliver better-than-expected profits. Earlier this year the airline announced new routes from Belfast to Split in Croatia, Lanzarote and Lyon in France - bringing its Belfast route numbers to 28. The Split route started during the summer, while Lanzarote starts in November.

Lyon is a winter service operating once a week on Saturdays. A spokesman said: "Our new Split service has performed well during its first summer which and in line with our expectations. As customers return from their holidays and look towards the winter, we are seeing strong demand for our t new routes to Lanzarote and Lyon."