Ryanair’s announcement of a new £300 million base at Belfast International Airport has been welcomed as a vote of confidence in Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council area.
Basing three aircraft at the airport and operating a Gatwick service, as well as serving five other routes, signals a major ramping up of activity at one of the top employers in the region.
Commenting on the investment, which will see the creation of 750 jobs, the Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Council, Councillor Thomas Hogg, said: “We welcome today’s announcement as Belfast International Airport is a vital and valued enterprise in this area. This development will see in excess of one million additional passengers using the airport and that, in turn, will create investment opportunities and welcome additional employment.”
Councillor David Arthurs, Policy and Governance committee chairman, stated: “This is an unmistakable vote of confidence in the airport and this council area, and we will do all we can to support this and future expansion at Northern Ireland’s principal ‘gateway’.”
Aldergrove DUP Councillor Matthew Magill said: “It is vital for both tourism and our economy as a whole, that Belfast International competes with Dublin Airport and I congratulate them on closing this deal with Ryanair which will be of huge benefit to businessman and tourist alike.”
Echoing these sentiments, South Antrim DUP MLA Pam Cameron said she would continue to press the case for improved transport infrastructure to and from the airport “in order to enhance its tourism and business offering”.
She added: “I wish to congratulate the very focused and management team at the airport, and give Ryanair a very warm welcome where I know they will experience the best that Northern Ireland has to offer.”