Belfast Telegraph

Ryanair's new Belfast to Malta service will take off in the autumn

By John Mulgrew

Ryanair is growing its Belfast network by adding direct flights to Malta. The low-cost airline announced its return to Belfast last year. It now flies from the International Airport to locations including Gatwick, Malaga, Berlin and Milan.

It will start the twice weekly service in October as part of its winter 2017 schedule, tickets for which will go on sale soon.

Belfast International's Uel Hoey said: "We are delighted to see Ryanair continue to grow from Belfast International Airport with the addition of their 14th route since commencement of operations in summer 2016.

"A new service to Malta is a particularly pleasing development as it has traditionally been a good seller from Northern Ireland, and we believe that its popularity will be even more enhanced given the prevailing strength of the western and central Mediterranean holiday markets."

Ryanair's Robin Kiely said: "We are pleased to announce a new route from Belfast to Malta, with a twice-weekly service starting in October."

Last week Belfast International confirmed it had secured two new routes to the US, after United Airlines pulled its service to Newark (New York).

Norwegian Air will fly to TF Green Airport in Providence, Rhode Island, which is about 60 miles from Boston.

It will also fly to Stewart International in upstate New York, around 70 miles from the Big Apple.

It is being given financial support - understood to be a six-figure sum - towards its marketing budget.

Meanwhile, Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary warned of flight disruption if the UK opted for a "cliff-edge" Brexit.

He said the current open skies arrangement hinged on recognising the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice, which Prime Minister Theresa May said the UK would no longer be subject to.

Mr O'Leary believes it will take more than the two-year time frame from triggering Article 50 to put agreements in place with EU nations.

He said: "In the airline industry we could be heading for a very difficult divorce with Europe.

"There is a possibility, unlikely, but nevertheless a possibility, that there may be no flights between the UK and Europe in March 2019 if the UK walks off this cliff that they seem determined to walk off."

Belfast Telegraph

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