A Belfast travel firm has signed a deal with easyJet - one of the first of its kind in the UK - which could mean up to 10,000 additional business passengers using the airline to fly from Belfast to destinations across Europe.
The partnership with Selective Travel Management is the first such arrangement that easyJet has put in place with a travel management company in Northern Ireland.
Selective, which employs more than 40 people at Murray's Exchange in the south of the city, will act as easyJet's sales and booking representative, helping it make further inroads into the business travel market.
The deal covers easyJet's entire route network, including its new route from Belfast to Birmingham.
Established in 1972, the firm is Northern Ireland's biggest independent travel management company, with clients including government departments, businesses, health trusts, councils and higher education establishments, focusing primarily on long-haul travel.
Selective Travel Management already holds a number of similar contracts with major international airlines for long-haul travel.
The company recently announced a number of significant deals, including being appointed travel supplier to the Southern Universities Purchasing Consortium (SUPC), which includes around 250 universities and higher education departments across the UK. Selective was also recently appointed Queen's University Belfast's sole corporate travel supplier.
Greg Woodley, easyJet's senior business partner for Northern Ireland, said that he is looking forward to being part of a very strong partnership.
"Northern Ireland is very important to our plans for the corporate market, and the deal represents good business sense and value for easyJet, Selective Travel Management and, most importantly, the corporate traveller," he said.
Mukesh Sharma, managing director of Selective Travel, added: "We are delighted that easyJet has chosen Selective Travel Management as its first corporate travel partner in Northern Ireland and we are confident that we can help easyJet significantly grow its share of the local business travel market."