Passenger numbers at George Best Belfast City Airport have fallen for the third year running, while rival Belfast International Airport added 2.2 million in the same period. The latest annual financial report filed by Belfast City Airport Ltd confirmed that air passenger flow fell by just under 50,000 (2%) through its terminal to 2.51 million during 2018. Terminal traffic has fallen steadily at the airport since hitting 2.69m in 2015, according to the Civil Aviation Authority. After setting a record 2.74m passengers during 2010 on the back of Ryanair’s services, the loss of the budget airline the same year resulted in a drop in passengers until Aer Lingus moved in with five new routes in 2012. But a mixture of cutbacks and the cancellation of services has left numbers on the decline once again since 2015. According to the airport, Aer Lingus’ decision to axe its Gatwick route in early 2016 has cost it 250,000 passengers. Aer Lingus now operates just three routes from the City Airport. The airport was acquired by private equity fund 3i in 2017. Spanish carrier Vueling, Brussels Airlines and Air Iceland Connect have also attempted short-lived routes since 2015. City of Derry Airport has experienced… Read full this story
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