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Emerald Airlines Sees ‘Huge Opportunity’ At Belfast City
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Emerald Airlines Sees ‘Huge Opportunity’ At Belfast City

Dublin-based Emerald Airlines has confirmed plans to open a base at George Best Belfast City (BHD) in Northern Ireland and launch routes to six destinations in England and Scotland.

The startup, which won a contract last July to operate flights under the Aer Lingus Regional brand, intends to offer “high-frequency” service to Birmingham (BHX), Edinburgh (EDI), Exeter (EXT), Glasgow (GLA), Leeds Bradford (LBA) and Manchester (MAN).

The launch dates and frequencies are expected to be announced once the carrier secures an air operator’s certificate and operating licence for its UK subsidiary from the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority.

Emerald already has an AOC in place from the Irish Aviation Authority for its operations in Dublin (DUB), from where it will open its first base in the coming weeks.

Speaking about the planned BHD operations, Emerald CEO Conor McCarthy (pictured to the right of Aer Lingus CEO Lynne Embleton) said there was a “huge opportunity” for the airline in Belfast, with more routes set to be added from the base later this year.

“We’re confident this news will be welcomed by the business community across the region which depend on connectivity more than ever as the recovery continues, and also to all those looking to get away for a much-needed break or to visit friends and family this year,” McCarthy said.

He also confirmed that Emerald Airlines is in advanced talks with Aer Lingus’ sister carrier British Airways (BA) over a codeshare agreement.

Belfast City CEO Matthew Hall said: “Emerald’s commitment to Northern Ireland will ensure not only the continuity of these regional routes that have been operated by mainline Aer Lingus and British Airways since last summer 2021, but also presents a significant opportunity for new routes and additional frequency”…

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