The daily flight service from Belfast to New York provided by United Airlines daily service has been saved with a last minute nine million pound deal.
There are reports that suggest that the Northern Ireland Executive has agreed a multi-million pound support package – somewhere in the region of £9m over three years – to keep Northern Ireland’s only existing air link to the USA via New York going with the bulk of the money is reportedly coming from the Stormont budget.
A spokesman for Belfast International Airport declined to reveal the amount of financial support that has been made available, but was in a position to confirm that “a significant support package” had been agreed to save the United Airlines daily service to Newark.
This has been a tense time for the Belfast International Airport as the United Airlines’ transatlantic route has had a chequered history in the past few years. In 2015, it was suspended leading to the airline preparing to axe the service within weeks, believing its aircraft could be profitably used elsewhere so this new deal with bring a great deal of relief. A broken link between Belfast and New York would have ended the only link between Northern Ireland and the United States which could have created great problems for tourism here and the NI Economy by putting off investment from the States.
Further details of the financial support package for United or how the deal came about have not yet been officially made public.