easyJet mark 15th anniversary in Northern Ireland by announcing two new routes
easyJet, Northern Ireland’s largest airline, has today (9 September) celebrated its 15th anniversary at Belfast International Airport by announcing two new routes and staging a water arch salute for arriving aircraft.
From summer 2014 easyJet will introduce new flights to Bordeaux in south west France and Jersey in the Channel Islands. Seats for both routes will go on sale next month and today easyJet held a celebration at the airport with 15 themed cakes and Bordeaux wine.
Since introducing their first flight to London Luton 15 years ago easyJet has flown over 32 million passengers to and from Belfast International Airport and is now Northern Ireland’s largest airline.
Ali Gayward, easyJet’s Head of Northern Ireland, said: “We’re pleased to mark this important anniversary for easyJet by announcing two new routes for Northern Ireland. From summer 2014 we will introduce flights to Bordeaux and Jersey to offer a range of new holiday and business connections to and from Northern Ireland.
“Since we launched our first flight to Belfast in 1998 over 32 million people have chosen to fly with us. Today we’re saying thank you to all those passengers who have helped make easyJet Northern Ireland’s largest airline. Belfast was one of our first bases outside Luton and we look forward to celebrating many more anniversaries here.”
Today easyJet has 6 aircraft based permanently at Belfast International Airport and employs over 200 crew and pilots at the airport. Well over 3 million people fly to and from Belfast International Airport with easyJet annually.
John Doran, managing director, Belfast International Airport said, “Since their first flight from Belfast International Airport in 1998, easyJet have grown rapidly and now carry more passengers into and out of Northern Ireland than any other airline.
“One of the main reasons for their success is that easyJet provide low fares to the destinations to which both business and leisure passengers want to travel. It was not uncommon in the mid-nineties to be charged fares of over £300 to travel between Northern Ireland and significant UK cities such as Edinburgh, Liverpool and Bristol. easyJet singularly changed all of that, as well as adding direct access to European cities from Belfast, and for that alone the Northern Ireland public owe them a huge debt of gratitude.
“In this 50th anniversary year of Belfast International Airport we would like to wish easyJet a very happy 15th birthday in Northern Ireland, and we look forward to many more successful years working with them.”
Gerry Lennon, Chief Executive of Visit Belfast, said: “Throughout the last 15 years, Belfast’s tourist offering has been transformed. A modern, vibrant city with unrivalled world class attractions and events, hotels, restaurants, pubs and shopping, annual visitor numbers have increased from around 1.5 million in 1999 to more than 7.5 million today.
“In continually investing in its services from Belfast International Airport, easyJet has played a pivotal role in assisting us in our strategic efforts to drive this tourism growth over this period and I would like to pay tribute to its longstanding commitment to Belfast and for its contribution to the city’s tourism success.
We wish easyJet continued success and we look forward to greeting thousands more visitors over the years to come.”
Timeline: How easyJet took off at Belfast International:
September 1998: First easyJet flight arrives from London Luton
July 1999: New route introduced to Liverpool
October 2000: easyJet increase flights between Northern Ireland and England
January 2001: New service to Amsterdam introduced
October 2001: New services to Glasgow and Edinburgh introduced
October 2002: easyJet establishes a base in Belfast
February 2003: New services added to Newcastle and London Gatwick
June 2004: Significant growth in international routes including Paris, Spain and Portugal
June 2006: Celebrates 16th million customer at Belfast International Airport
November 2007: Sixth aircraft arrives at Belfast and five new routes launched
October 2011: New route to Manchester
October 2012: New route to Birmingham
September 2013: easyJet celebrates 15th anniversary at Belfast International Airport
Spring 2014: New routes to Bordeaux and Jersey launch
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