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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.


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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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