Loganair to operate new London Stansted route from City of Derry Airport
Loganair will operate a new route flying from the City of Derry Airport to London Stansted after Flybmi went into administration.
Derry City and Strabane District Council, which owns the airport, announced it had agreed to appoint Loganair to operate the London Stansted route.
The twice-daily service will begin on Wednesday February 27 using an Embraer 145 jet aicraft.
SDLP councillor Martin Reilly said: "I am extremely pleased that the much relied upon Derry-Stansted route as been restored. Citizens and businesses in the North West are heavily reliant upon this service and the news that Loganair quickly moved to take up the tender is most welcome.
"The SDLP look forward to hearing plans about the forthcoming Derry to Manchester route, which will be an added development for our local airport and our local economy. I would like to thank all those who were involved in the intensive negotiations over the past week to ensure this route was saved."
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: "It is a testament to the hard work of Derry and Strabane Council, the City of Derry Airport and my department that we have been able to secure a replacement airline so quickly.
"This route is vital because it strengthens the Union, protects choice and boosts trade and travel opportunities - enabling business trips to and from Derry-Londonderry within a day."
Jonathan Hinkles, Loganair's managing director, said: "We're extremely pleased to be selected to operate the essential Derry to Stansted air service following completion of a competitive tender process.
"I know the news about flybmi created great uncertainty, so we're focused on recommencing operations as quickly as possible."
Gareth Scott, regional officer for Unite, speaking on behalf of City of Derry Airport staff, said: “This evening’s announcement came after workers left City of Derry early today but will be a huge relief to those who feared for their jobs as a consequence of the fact that BMI Regional (FlyBMI) had gone into administration over the weekend. The Stansted service is central to the long-term viability of the City of Derry airport.
“Given the fact that an airline has agreed to take on the Derry-Stanstead route and the confirmation that its PSO status will be extended to 2021, this represents a tremendous platform for future growth.
"This provides the perfect spring-board for City of Derry to seek additional flights into the airport and securing its place as a leading regional air-hub.
"This is good news for Derry/Londonderry and for the northwest in particular."
Flybmi announced on Saturday it was ceasing all operations with immediate effect, citing difficulties created by Brexit, including increases in fuel and carbon costs.
Belfast Telegraph Digital