Manx2.com announced (12-Sep-2010) plans to expand its presence in Northern Ireland, selecting George Best Belfast City Airport as its first permanent base outside the Isle of Man and launching a new twice daily service from Belfast to Cork - see Route Changes Table for more information. From 31-Oct-2010, the carrier will move all Northern Ireland operations from Belfast International Airport to its new base at Belfast City Airport, with the move to more than double the carrier's presence in Northern Ireland. Last month, Ryanair announced its withdrawal from Belfast City, due to a delay in holding a public inquiry into a planned runway extension at the airport (BBC, 13-Sep-2010). At the time, the airport stated it was confident they could "attract other airlines to fill the void". flybe last week also announced plans to launch three new routes from the airport which were previously provided by Ryanair. [more]
Manx2.com: "We have witnessed significant changes in the aviation industry this year with overall passenger numbers declining and many airlines either restructuring or going into liquidation. Whilst challenging for the industry, these changes have presented opportunities for smaller companies like our own which are nimble enough to respond successfully to these fast-moving market dynamics. One such dynamic is capitalising and growing our Northern Ireland operation to introduce Belfast City Airport as our key hub. Our regular passenger surveys confirm that our commuter routes, such as our new twice daily service to Cork, are very well suited to this airport, where speed of transit through the terminal and fast access to the city centre are seen as key benefits", Noel Hayes, Chairman. Source: Company Statement, 12-Sep-2010.