Release Date: 31 Oct 2014

Flybe has launched its new routes from Belfast City, Edinburgh, Inverness, Aberdeen, Exeter and Dublin to London City Airport in a major expansion, providing direct links for customers throughout the UK and Ireland to the heart of London's financial district. 

Six purple Flybe planes were christened in the "Spirit of the Regions" theme and a naming ceremony took place at Belfast City Airport by the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Cllr Nichola Mallon and the Regional Development Danny Kennedy MLA, alongside Paris Anatolitis of Flybe. Together they unveiled   "Spirit of Belfast aircraft, ahead of the inaugural flight's take off.

                     Spirit of Belfast, Belfast City to London City, Flybe

Speaking at the event the Lord Mayor, said: "This is a first for Belfast to have an aircraft named in its honour and I am delighted to have been able to perform the ceremony.  Whilst "Spirit of Belfast's" first stop is in London, in future it will be a unique way of promoting the City throughout Flybe's network across the UK, Ireland and the rest of Europe."

Regional Development Minister, Danny Kennedy, said: "I welcome the launch of this daily service to the centre of London's business community. As we continue to recover from a challenging financial climate, being able to connect to key markets is vital. Establishing a route like this, not only provides local business people with an opportunity to commute much more conveniently, but also enhances Northern Ireland's ability to attract inward investment."

Enterprise Trade and Investment Minister, Arlene Foster, added: "Today's official launch of 'The Spirit of Belfast' is excellent news for the Northern Ireland business community who have been seeking this service to London City for some time.  I welcome Flybe's continued commitment to Northern Ireland and its business community by offering a direct flight to the heart of the financial capital. With three daily services, the new flights offer greater flexibility for those travelling to London for a full day's business or, indeed half a day, if that is all that is required."

Saad Hammad, CEO of Flybe, said: "From today, purple Flybe aircraft will be a regular feature in the skies between Belfast City and London City as we begin our new regular daily services.  This can only benefit our brand profile and reach over the longer term as knowledge of Flybe's role in connecting Northern Ireland with London becomes more widespread.

"Our new London City routes provide direct links for customers travelling to the heart of London's financial district. They also offer City of London and Canary Wharf customers faster and more efficient access to the UK regions and neighbouring European destinations than travelling via Heathrow or Gatwick, or travelling by, ferry, road or rail."

Flybe expects that 98,000 passengers annually will fly on the new route. The airline will offer up to three flights a day between Belfast to London with prices starting from £39.99 one way.

As announced on 10 October, Flybe customers will also be able to collect Avios travel rewards from today.

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