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Belfast City Airport urges London to act to ease burden on aviation amid pandemic

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Belfast City Airport

Belfast City Airport

Belfast City Airport

Belfast City Airport has called for government intervention to alleviate the current strain on the aviation industry across the UK.

It comes after countless flights were grounded as efforts to slow down the spread of Covid-19 gather pace and just weeks after the collapse of Flybe.

EasyJet said on Monday that flight cancellations would continue on a rolling basis "for the foreseeable future" and that they could result in the grounding of the majority of its fleet. Ryanair has announced it may suspend all flights except those providing "essential connectivity" due to the coronavirus, with more than four out of five flights to be cancelled until March 24.

A spokesperson for Belfast City Airport said that government intervention would "significantly alleviate the current strain on the aviation industry".

Belfast City Airport remains in a strong position to re-establish a comprehensive route network, create jobs and return to previous passenger levels post Covid-19 Belfast City Airport spokesperson

"As a member of the Airport Operators Association, we back its call for support measures outlined in a letter to the Prime Minister earlier this month," the spokesperson added.

"We will continue to be in close contact with the AOA, the Northern Ireland Executive and the UK Government in the coming days and weeks.

"Belfast City Airport remains in a strong position to re-establish a comprehensive route network, create jobs and return to previous passenger levels post Covid-19."

On Tuesday Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that a package of measures would be agreed to alleviate the impact of Covid-19 on aviation. After March 24 Ryanair said that it "expects that most if not all Ryanair Group flights will be grounded".

An exception will be "a very small number of flights to maintain essential connectivity, mostly between the UK and Ireland".

Jet2.com has suspended flying until at least next month.

Belfast City Airport was already reeling from Flybe's collapse at the beginning of this month before the impact of the coronavirus was felt.

The carrier narrowly avoided going bust in January but continued to lose money since then.

Flybe accounted for 80% of routes out of Belfast City Airport and had 14 UK destinations from the airport. Its collapse left the airport flying to just four other destinations before a new service to Teesside was announced by Eastern Airways. Scottish airline Loganair also took over two former Flybe routes to Aberdeen and Inverness.

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