Image: Easyjet Corporate 

Yesterday Easyjet before the House of Commons Northern Ireland affairs committee to give evidence on the Air Transport Strategy for Northern Ireland , and highlight easyJet’s long term commitment to serving the region.

The Easyjet UK Director Paul Simmons said “EasyJet started its Belfast operation on 18 Sept 1998; we have a local base located at Belfast International Airport and we directly employ over 230 local people. In Northern Ireland easyJet has grown over the past 14 years to become the largest airline in the region with a market share of 46%, serving 23 destinations direct from Belfast International Airport.

easyJet also fly to 4 London airports offering passengers the best access to London. By way of comparison Aer Lingus has 8% market share, and with BMI taken into account British Airways has 7% of market share.

Northern Ireland has seen several airlines come and go from Belfast, but easyJet’s consistence in the Northern Ireland market and experience of carrying over 34 million passengers since its launch in the region makes it well placed to give evidence on matters affecting local people and the local economy in terms of air transport.

Airport Passenger Duty (APD) however, remains one of the most significant barriers to growth in Northern Ireland, with local people being disadvantaged when they fly to UK destinations such as London, Manchester and Scotland as they are hit twice with tax. This is an unfair tax overall, but it’s especially unfair for the people of Northern Ireland. And if this tax is increased, it will have a serious impact on tourism”.

Easyjet has six Airbus A319s based at Belfast International Airport operating 23 domestic and international routes and is to launch a new route to Birmingham effective 22nd October operating double daily and this winter is adding extra frequencies on routes to Edinburgh, London, Manchester.

Irish Aviation Research Institute © 13th September 2012 All Rights Reserved.