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Ryanair unhappy at delay in Belfast runway extension
April 10th, 2010 by elisa

Ryanair has blasted the Northern Ireland government for referring a runway extension decision at Belfast City Airport to public enquiry. Ryanair say that the move would cost Belfast 500 jobs and its airport half a million passengers.

The carrier said it had been in discussions with Belfast about five new European routes and up to 500,000 extra passengers a year, which would create 500 new jobs in and around the airport; but the public enquiry puts a spanner in the works by postponing any runway extension by 18 months so the low cost airline says it will now take its business elsewhere.

Said chief executive Michael O’Leary: “While obviously we respect the decision of the NI government to refer the runway extension to a public inquiry, this 18 month delay will mean that Belfast have lost out on 5 new routes, 500,000 passengers and up to 500 new jobs here in Northern Ireland.

“Sadly Belfast City’s loss will now be gained by other Spanish and Italian airports, who are able to offer lower costs and unrestricted airport facilities to capture Ryanair’s growth. We will continue to work with our partners in Belfast City Airport to assist the public inquiry, but want to apologise to the people of Northern Ireland that the low fare access to Continental Europe, which Ryanair’s new routes would have delivered at Belfast City Airport, will now be delayed by at least 18 months.”


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