Release Date: 11 Nov 2009

Speaking following remarks in which Christoph Mueller, Aer Lingus Chief Executive labeled the City Airport as a half airport rather than a real one, Mr Ambrose said:

"It is a bit rich for Mr Mueller to try to tell the people of Northern Ireland which airport they should fly from.

"The people of Northern Ireland in increasing numbers have voted with their feet and choose to fly from Belfast City due to our location and continuing investment in enhancing the airport's facilities

"Belfast City Airport does not seek public funding as Mr Muller's comments suggest. Over the past decade successive owners of Belfast City Airport have invested tens of millions of private finance to build an airport with 1,500 employees, with 41 different businesses now based on site.

“Continued private investment by our owners in a key element of Northern Ireland's infrastructure is making a significant contribution to the region's economic success.

"Mr Mueller's comments that "more restrictions exist there than opportunities and all the advantages lie with Belfast International", flies in the face of the decision by bmi, flybe, Ryanair and other airlines that choose to fly from Belfast City including the announced arrival of easyJet from Belfast International.

“These airlines don't view our operating hours as a disadvantage. People don't wish to fly late at night as Aer Lingus own timetable suggests.

"For years Belfast International has competed with Belfast City on domestic routes, now that we seek to capture 15% of the European market and break their current monopoly, Mr Mueller and his friends at Belfast International seek to complain."

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