“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?