LONDON – BA Cityflyer (CJ) has today restored city-links between London City Airport (LCY) and Belfast (BHD). The service returns on a five times per week basis.

BA Cityflyer has taken back this service and is the first time this city-link has operated since the demise of Flybe (BE) back in February.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

A Popular Route


The LCY-BHD link was very popular, especially last year before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the industry. In all, 210,936 passengers used this route, meaning that demand for that market grew 14.7% year-on-year.

This service is well-cherished by those at BHD, as Brandon Lewis, the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland explains. “This is excellent news for Northern Ireland and the connectivity of the entire United Kingdom.”

“It is crucial to the recovery of the economy that vital air passenger services to and from London and Belfast City Airport are maintained. I am delighted that this popular and well-established route will once again be open for business.” added the Secretary of State.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Comments from London City Airport


Also commenting on the news was Robert Sinclair, the CEO of LCY, who expressed happiness over the route re-launching.

“The return of our Belfast City route is great news for passengers, businesses, and both airports during what is a challenging time for everyone. The ability to quickly and easily get in to and out of the heart of two of the UK’s capital cities is only going to help the recovery.
 
The CEO also said that this was LCY’s fastest-growing route last year and that they knew there was strong demand for it to return. He went on to say that passengers could book and travel in confidence, knowing there is a comprehensive range of measures in place to keep them safe at both airports and onboard.

“We’ve worked hard to get to this point and it’s great to see the flight depart. I’m confident this route will be successful and can play an important role in London City Airport’s own recovery,” said the CEO.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Strong Start for London City Airport


Flights out of LCY resumed on June 21, following the closure of operations from March 25. The airport made sure measures such as cleaning regimes, hand sanitizer stations, one-way systems, and more were in place.

International flights to the likes of Ibiza (IBZ), Malaga (AGP), and Florence (FLR) have since been launched from the airport. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the airport has had to re-evaluate its expansion project.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

More Continued Growth at Belfast City Airport


For Belfast City Airport, this is another addition to the plethora of flights that are already operating during this pandemic. Thus, the services are as follows, including today’s BA Cityflyer relaunch:

  • Aer Lingus (EI)
    • London Heathrow (LHR)
    • Edinburgh (EDI)
    • Exeter (EXT)
  • British Airways (BA)
    • London Heathrow
  • Eastern Airways (T3)
    • Southampton (SOU)
    • Teeside International Airport (MME)
  • KLM (KL)
    • Amsterdam (AMS)
  • Loganair (LM)
    • Aberdeen (ABZ)
    • Glasgow (GLA)
    • Inverness (INV)

Additionally, EI will offer further expansion from BHD, including the addition of Birmingham (BHX) and Manchester (MAN) from September 14 as well as East Midlands (EMA) and Leeds Bradford (LBA) from October 1. On top of this, LM will operate services to Dundee starting from September 18.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Looking Ahead


It remains clear that the likes of LCY and BHD are beginning to succeed once again following this horrific pandemic.

For those two airports, it will be interesting to see how much of those markets have been restored, following the measures taken by both sides to restore consumer confidence.

Looking ahead, we caution what has been said in many stories over the last couple of weeks – due to the unpredictability of the COVID-19 virus, we need to just wait and see.


Featured Image: British Airways Embraer E190. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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