Ryanair adds routes and demands APD be scrapped

Ryanair is adding ten new destinations by basing three aircraft at Belfast international airport for next summer amid a call for Air Passenger Duty to be abolished.

New routes to Faro from Aberdeen, Cardiff and Newquay have also been unveiled by the low-cost carrier as part of its 2017 summer schedule.

A total of 11 routes will be served from Belfast, including Lanzarote, Malaga, Tenerife, Warsaw and four flights a day to Gatwick.

Airport managing director, Graham Keddie, said: “Three based aircraft underlines Ryanair’s clear intention to go for growth in Northern Ireland. It’s a hugely significant investment in its new hub and one that is based on clear passenger demand.

“Ryanair said they would carry one million passengers in the first year of operation and I’m delighted to see that figure revised upwards.”

He added: “The potential is considerable, but it would be much more if we dealt with the regressive Air Passenger Duty tax that serves to slow down airline expansion and growth.

“Again, I make the appeal to ministers in the Northern Ireland Executive to realise the damage that APD is causing and move to reduce or remove it so that we can go on to create thousands of new jobs and open up new business opportunities.”

The airline is to fly to Faro, Alicante and Malaga from Aberdeen next summer; to Faro and Tenerife from Cardiff and to Faro, Alicante and Frankfurt Hahn from Newquay.

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