Belfast International has released passenger numbers for 2015, with positive results.
The airport saw a 9% rise in passengers last year, which equates to 4.4 million passenger using the airport.
The successful year was attributed to a number of airlines increasing their capacity after the airport saw an increased demand for new and existing routes.
The airport looks forward to an even more successful 2016, with a spokesperson commenting, “We expect 2016 will see further passenger growth with existing airlines adding capacity and, of course, the imminent arrival of Ryanair, which will base three aircraft at the airport and expects to carry up to one million passengers in the first full year of operations.”
However, the airport’s Managing Director, Graham Keddie, took the opportunity to state how the controversial air passenger duty (APD) tax was hampering the UK’s aviation economy, saying, “If we can make advances such as this with the drag of APD impeding progress, think what we could achieve for the Northern Ireland economy if we didn’t have this regressive tax,” an airport spokesman said.
Something cited by Nathan Stower, BATA Chief Executive, who said last week, “Even allowing for growth in passenger numbers over the same period, this is still a huge burden on UK businesses, the travelling public and UK aviation. ”
APD brought in a whopping £3.1 billion for HMRC last year.