“Aer Lingus has been planning to open a UK base for some time..”

When, in August last year, Aer Lingus announced the move to set up a hub outside of the Republic of Ireland, and to close down its Shannon-London routes, it was reported that “Aer Lingus chose Belfast over Birmingham for its new UK hub.” Since then things have not run smoothly for Aer Lingus’s plans for Belfast and now, with RyanAir bidding again for control of the Irish market whilst cutting flights elsewhere, those Aer Lingus Shannon-London routes are to be re-opened and a, somewhat confused, Irish Times report tells us that “Aer Lingus is planning to open a base at Gatwick Airport in London next spring, offering short-haul flights to continental Europe.” At Irish Election P O’Neill wonders “if the Belfast base is now endangered.” And what, compared to their initial enthusiasm last year, have our local politicians to say?

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  • Aaron

    I don’t think there’s any reason to think that this affects the Belfast base. Clearly Aer Lingus were playing local politicians and Belfast International Airport for all that they could get – and all credit to them. Was Birmingham ever an option, or was it purely a negotiating technique?

    Get all the freebies you can, wait 12 months, and then open another base in GB. Makes perfect business sense to me.

  • (Not) A Real First Minister

    “And what, compared to their initial enthusiasm last year, have our local politicians to say? ”

    Gie uz mare munni?

  • Plastic Paddy

    Still no pland to announce “Fáilte go Béal Feirste agus go hÉireann”?

  • “what, compared to their initial enthusiasm last year, have our local politicians to say?”

    Unless they took an Aer Lingus flight at least once ex BFS since the opening of the base they should say SFA.

  • Rory Carr

    Is there a question for debate lurking somewhere above or are we merely being led into a Rangers-Celtic cross-venting in which cultural suppositions must always be paramount?

    Surely science must have an answer, must it not? Or is it possible that Pete is having a ‘spiritual’ moment?

    I shouldn’t worry, Pete, it could happen to the bishop.

  • Belfast Gonzo

    Aer Lingus will base four aircraft at Gatwick. AL will take two slots from Dublin Airport (ie flights to Gatwick) to restore the Shannon-Heathrow route. There’ll be two daily weekday return flights between H&S;, one at weekends.

  • gram

    Their planes were full the last time I flew to heathrow with them in October. 1/2 the price of BMI.