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British Airways launches four new routes from Belfast City Airport

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As we covered over the weekend, Aer Lingus Regional – run as a franchise by Stobart Air – collapsed into administration on Friday evening.

The airline was currently running twelve routes. Six were from Dublin, mainly providing connecting traffic to Aer Lingus services, and six were from Belfast City.

BA CityFlyer, which runs services from London City Airport using a fleet of Embraer E190 aircraft, has stepped in to fill some of the gaps from Belfast City.

British Airways launches four new routes from Belfast City Airport

These are the new routes being launched by BA CityFlyer:

  • Belfast City – Leeds Bradford, 6 flights per week, 16 June – 31 August 2021
  • Belfast City – Exeter, 4 flights per week, 16 June – 30 August 2021
  • Belfast City – Newquay, 2 flights per week, 3 July – 28 August 2021
  • Belfast City – Glasgow, 6 flights per week, 2 August – 31 August 2021

The existing routes between Belfast City and Heathrow (BA mainline) and Belfast City and London City (BA CityFlyer) will continue.

Aer Lingus will operate the ex-Stobart Art services between Belfast and Edinburgh, Manchester and Birmingham using larger mainline aircraft.

What happens after 31st August?

Good question.

The new Aer Lingus Regional franchise contract with Emerald Airlines isn’t meant to begin until the end of 2022.

As BA CityFlyer will still not be operating a full schedule from September, it is presumably cheaper for IAG to continue these routes using a group company – eg CityFlyer – rather than pay someone else to run them. That said, as these routes don’t provide any connecting traffic, they will stand or fall on their ability to sell point to point tickets.

It makes little sense for BA CityFlyer to run, long term, four regional routes from Belfast to the UK whilst Aer Lingus runs three other UK regional routes alongside them.

What COULD happen is that BA CityFlyer begins to run triangular services. It could, for example, fly from Belfast City to Leeds Bradford, and then Leeds Bradford to London City, and then back to Belfast City, and vice versa. Exeter and Leeds Bradford could (re)gain British Airways flights to London.

Is it likely? Frankly, I don’t think anyone has a clue how aviation demand will look next year, but with the furlough scheme winding up a decision will need to be made on the size and shape of the BA pilot and cabin crew fleets.

Tickets for the routes above are now bookable at ba.com, for cash or Avios.


How to earn Avios points from UK credit cards

How to earn Avios from UK credit cards (June 2022)

As a reminder, there are various ways of earning Avios points from UK credit cards.  Many cards also have generous sign-up bonuses!

In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards.

Until 18th July 2022 there is an astonishing special offer on these cards. You get 50,000 Avios on the Avios Plus Mastercard and 10,000 Avios on the free Avios Mastercard. You can apply here. We strongly recommend getting the Avios Plus card whilst this offer is running.

You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:

Barclaycard Avios Plus card

Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard

50,000 Avios for signing up (A CRAZY SPECIAL OFFER!) and an upgrade voucher for spending ….. Read our full review

Barclaycard Avios card

Barclaycard Avios Mastercard

10,000 Avios for signing up (SPECIAL OFFER) and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review

There are two official British Airways American Express cards with attractive sign-up bonuses:

British Airways BA Premium Plus American Express Amex credit card

British Airways American Express Premium Plus

25,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable card perk – the 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review

British Airways BA Amex American Express card

British Airways American Express

5,000 Avios for signing up and an Economy 2-4-1 voucher for spending £12,000 Read our full review

You can also get generous sign-up bonuses by applying for American Express cards which earn Membership Rewards points.

SPECIAL OFFER: The sign-up bonus on Amex Gold is increased from 20,000 Membership Rewards points to 30,000 Membership Rewards points until 19th July 2022. This card is free for the first year.

American Express Amex Gold

American Express Preferred Rewards Gold

Your best beginner’s card – 30,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review

American Express Platinum card Amex

The Platinum Card from American Express

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Run your own business?

We recommend Capital On Tap for limited companies. You earn 1 Avios per £1 which is impressive for a Visa card, along with a sign-up bonus worth 10,000 Avios.

Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa

10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company Read our full review

You should also consider the British Airways Accelerating Business credit card. This is open to sole traders as well as limited companies and has a 30,000 Avios sign-up bonus.

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express card

British Airways Accelerating Business American Express

30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review

There are also generous bonuses on the two American Express Business cards, with the points converting at 1:1 into Avios. These cards are open to sole traders as well as limited companies.

Amex Platinum Business American Express

American Express Business Platinum

40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review

American Express Business Gold

20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review

Click here to read our detailed summary of all UK credit cards which earn Avios. This includes both personal and small business cards.

(Want to earn more Avios?  Click here to visit our home page for our latest articles on earning and spending your Avios points and click here to see how to earn more Avios this month from offers and promotions.)

Comments (27)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • Sam says:

    Hi, what is BA’s meal service like from LCY to GIB in Club Europe on their E190s?

    Surely not just a box of cold plates? Any pictures from the passed two weeks worth of first flights?

    Also, any decent grog on the go?

    • Rob says:

      I was on it on Friday. Cardboard box of cold items. Decent stuff, to be fair, but still served in a cardboard box. Champagne etc available.

      The joke is that the Heathrow flight I went out on had a full hot meal which was very good.

      If food is your concern, take Heathrow.

      • Sam says:

        Thanks for the intel, Rob.

        Was the quantity sufficient to leaving you feeling satisfied?

        No afternoon tea service then?

        • Sam says:

          Shame re. vs. LHR, as pre pandemic the food offer from LCY in BACF was a real boon…

        • Rob says:

          6pm departure.

          In truth, meal was good quality, just no choice and in a box.

          Woman sat opposite me was a little confused as to why her veggie meal came with a parma ham and melon starter but apparently special meal requests only cover the main course!

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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