Belfast International Airport confirmed today that the only direct service to the United States from Northern Ireland will no longer go ahead.

The airport said the ruling by the European Commission to block the funding package to protect Northern Ireland’s one and only scheduled trans-Atlantic service “defies logic” and is an example of “abysmal Brussels decision-making.”

Graham Keddie, who is the airport manager has said in a statement, said: “You could hardly get a worse example of process-driven madness. To block a support package for an airline that delivers direct access to the United States is almost beyond comprehension.

“This is a vital link for business and losing it will be a body blow to Executive Ministers who use it to promote Northern Ireland to would-be investors from the United States.

“This is a bad day for the Executive and a bad day for Northern Ireland, which is still finding its feet after a generation lost to conflict. The United service was well supported and only recently carried its one millionth passenger.

“We have worked tirelessly to safeguard the service, but Brussels took a different view, believing the support package gave United an unfair advantage over services from elsewhere.

“That, on its own, is bizarre as the package in no way competes or conflicts with competitors within the United Kingdom. The EU decision-making process is abysmal, biased and unfair and has resulted in the loss of this service.

Representatives from the airport confirmed that they are now working towards finding another airline to operate a service to the US.

Looks like the Aircoach hasn’t seen the last of us yet.

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