Ryanair has chosen to base two 737s at Belfast International Airport shortly before the UK passenger tax reduction takes effect.
Northern Ireland’s Belfast International Airport (BFS) announced yesterday, March 28th, that it had welcomed a Ryanair base. The base will hold two aircraft and service 16 destinations. The airline sees this as an excellent opportunity to profit from the upcoming reduction in passenger airfare tax, while the airport will benefit from expanding tourism and economy. The base will also give Belfast residents another air transit option which is predicted to help keep travel costs low.
Ryanair’s northern base
With the addition of the new base, Ryanair will seat two Boeing 737 airliners at BFS. It will also be stationing additional maintenance personnel at the airport to accommodate the airliners. With these two planes and more flying in from other destinations, it plans to service 16 routes across the UK and Europe. The airline intends to operate over 140 weekly flights from BFS.
These routes will be some of the first opened since the UK passed a law cutting the tax on passenger airfare in half. The cut will bring the duty on domestic flights within the UK to just under $8. This may not seem like a big cut for flights with more expensive carriers such as British Airways, but when flying on an ultra-low-cost carrier such as Ryanair, it is a considerable cost reduction.
The airline predicts that the reduction will stimulate ticket sales and give its new base at BFS a substantial boost in business. The tax cut will go into effect on April 1st. Those traveling between Ryanair’s new base at BFS and Manchester, Edinburgh, East Midlands, London Stansted, or Cardiff will benefit from this tax reduction beginning this weekend.
The addition of a base at BFS will benefit both parties considerably, as Ryanair anticipates high demand for travel to and from the airport for years to come. It has invested over $200 million into creating the new base but believes this will pay off as it sees the airport as a long-term strategic partner.
Photo: Tom Boon
The airline’s Director of Digital Marketing, Dara Brady, stated the following concerning the new base addition,
“We are pleased to announce the start of operations at our Belfast International Airport base for Summer’23 to the exciting destinations such as Budapest, Palma, Paris and Valencia. Ryanair will operate 16 total routes this Summer with 2 based aircraft representing an investment of $200m and the creation of over 950 total jobs at Belfast International Airport.”
The airport believes the new base will significantly benefit the community by adding nearly one thousand jobs while offering residents an affordable travel option. It anticipates that it will help Belfast stay better connected with the rest of Europe and boost its tourism industry. The Business Development Director for BFS, Uel Hoey, shared,
“Today is a significant day on many fronts. As we continue to rebuild the business post pandemic, to be able to welcome Ryanair back on such a significant scale is testament to the hard work that the team in Belfast has invested in securing this new base. Ryanair will bring low fares, high frequency and great choice to the local market and this significant investment and job creation is positive news for this region.”
What do you think of this new base? Let us know in the comments below.
- IATA/ICAO Code:
- Airline Type:
- Low-Cost Carrier
- Dublin Airport, London Stansted Airport, Milan Bergamo Airport
- Year Founded:
- Airline Group:
- Ryanair Group
- Eddie Wilson