Belfast International Airport has recorded a fantastic start to 2016, with record passenger numbers.
The airport has seen 20% more passengers using the airport in January, compared to the same month last year.
The rise has been attributed to many of the airport’s popular airlines increasing frequency and larger aircraft on busy, high demand routes. As well as several airlines adding new routes to their schedules. And 2016 is set to continue to be a record year as Ryanair start their new service between Belfast and Gatwick in March, which will operate four times a day.
Speaking about the fantastic start to 2016, Managing Director, Graham Keddie, said, “Our January figures are a tribute to our existing airlines which have added hundreds of thousands of seats. EasyJet, Jet 2, United, Wizz are all enjoying increases in passenger traffic. Some of our airlines are keen to expand the route network to mainland Europe and are only waiting on Tourism Ireland, Invest NI and the Government to come up with appropriate levels of marketing support.”
As a result of airline commitment to the airport, and anticipated marketing support by the Government, the airport is looking to exceed its annual passenger numbers of 4.5 million a year in 2015 to 5 million by the end of 2016.
Mr Keddie also added, “We’ve also got the Air Route Development Fund which has been years in the making and which may appear by the end of March. We will obviously welcome such a Fund and seek our fair share of it. For the fund to be effective, it must be earmarked for new routes that will deliver in-bound tourists from key markets such as Germany and Scandinavia.”