in Aerospace

UK Government to safeguard vital GB and Northern Ireland air links

Posted 1 May 2020 · Add Comment

Air passenger services between Great Britain and Northern Ireland will be safeguarded through a £5.7 million government investment, announced today by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

Image copyright Shutterstock

The funding will ensure lifeline services are maintained, protecting key air links across the Union which are vital for connecting critical workers and ensuring that those who need to travel at this time can continue to do so.

The package is being funded by the UK Government and the Northern Ireland Executive and will temporarily support airlines and airports that are currently operating, allowing them to continue running air passenger services along two routes from Belfast City, and City of Derry, to London during the Coronavirus pandemic.

The package will:

  • Maintain two lifeline passenger services (Derry-Londonderry to London and Belfast to London)
  • IAG Group (Aer Lingus) will maintain the Belfast to London route, which would be at risk without financial assistance given low passenger numbers
  • Belfast City Airport will provide airport services for the flight to and from London
  • Increased subsidies to Loganair to continue operating the City of Derry Airport (LDY) to London route
  • Support for City of Derry Airport to continue to provide airport services for this route

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Maintaining air links between Great Britain and Northern Ireland is vital. We must ensure that critical workers can continue to fly over the Irish Sea, and today’s investment in these lifeline services guarantees that.”

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Brandon Lewis MP said: “Today’s announcement is great news for people and businesses in Northern Ireland, it means that crucial air services to and from London, Belfast City Airport and City of Derry Airport will be safeguarded, thanks to this multi-million pound Government support package.

“Alongside the recent £17 million support package the UK Government announced to ensure essential ferry routes were maintained - this additional commitment to safeguard the connectivity of the entire United Kingdom will guarantee the continued supply of critical goods, such as food and medical supplies and ensure key workers are able to carry out their roles.

“The UK Government has promised to do everything in its power to defeat coronavirus and to protect people, jobs and livelihoods across the United Kingdom. As part of our efforts, we have been working closely with the Northern Ireland Executive and the Department for the Economy to deliver this new air connectivity support package and we will continue to work closely with them in the weeks and months ahead as we tackle this pandemic.”

Northern Ireland’s Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said: “I am delighted that I and my Executive colleagues have worked together with the British Government to secure this critical package of support of £5.7million for City of Derry Airport (CODA) and Belfast City Airport (BCA) to help with their operating costs when so much of their business has been affected by the impact of the Covid -19 virus. This assistance will also provide financial aid to keep the remaining flights operating out of CODA and BCA during this difficult time.

“Our airports have been badly affected by the dramatic drop in passenger numbers but, like me, they recognise the need to keep our island connected. This is a unique payment that will offer much needed support in the short term during the crisis. I wish to express my thanks to CODA and BCA who offer routes for essential travel and to Belfast International who keep our air freight moving. Working with Executive colleagues I will continue to do all I can to protect our people and businesses as we get through and recover from this crisis.”

In addition to the funding announced today, the UK Government also recently announced a £17million package to safeguard vital sea routes between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, helping ensure critical freight and essential supplies continue to move across the Union.


* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Latest News

Aerobility launches Armchair Airshow

Scheduled for 20th June and free to view, the Armchair Airshow 2020, organised by disabled flying charity Aerobility, promises live pilot interviews, walk-throughs and never before seen air-display and in-cockpit footage.

Kaman delivers 80,000th F-35 rear fuselage packer to BAE Systems

Kaman UK has delivered its 80,000th rear fuselage packer to BAE Systems for its F-35 manufacturing programme.

Kromek awarded $5.2m DARPA contract extension

County Durham headquartered Kromek has been awarded an extension to its contract by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), an agency of the US Department of Defense, to detect and identify pathogens in an urban

Aircraft deliveries hit record low for April

Global aircraft orders and deliveries in April were heavily affected in the crisis caused by the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

Thales and Skyports partner on NHS drone delivery trial in Scotland

Thales and Skyports have partnered to conduct a drone delivery trial for the NHS in Scotland, to support the UK's COVID-19 response.

New report explores development of UK UTM

A new report from Connected Places Catapultís explores the steps the UK has taken to be at the forefront of commercial drone development and identifies the steps yet to be taken in order to remain in the global race towards Unmanned Traffic

ODU 0201311219
See us at
SMI favws BT0602040620DVD 2020