A fund managed by 3i Group, a leading international investment manager, has taken ownership of George Best Belfast City Airport.

Confirmation of the deal, which was first announced last December, comes after it was given EU Commission merger approval.

London-based 3i focuses on northern Europe and North America and the Belfast airport acquisition is part of a wider transaction with owner EISER Global Infrastructure Fund to acquire a portfolio of assets.

The EISER Global Infrastructure Fund has owned the airport company since 2008.

Confirmation of the change in ownership came as Belfast City Airport’s new route to Reykjavik with Icelandair, which will open up connections to North America, was launched.

Brian Ambrose, chief executive of Belfast City Airport, said: “3i’s arrival is another important landmark in what has been an exciting period of expansion for the business.

“We have a stellar airline portfolio, including blue-chip brands such as KLM, Flybe, British Airways and Aer Lingus, and we are confident of continuing to grow our route network and the profitability of the business in years to come.”