Date: 22 Dec 2022Matthew Hall, Chief Executive at Belfast City Airport, said:
“The most wonderful time of year is once again upon us, and Christmas 2022 sees the welcome return of the usual hustle and bustle synonymous with the festive period that has been muted over the past couple of years due to the pandemic.
“With travel very much back on the cards for many as they reunite with friends and family for yuletide celebrations, Belfast City Airport is expecting to welcome thousands of passengers through its doors this week, with up to 10,000 on 23rd December alone.
“This return to travel is a positive indication of the aviation sector’s recovery, and whilst the airport is not quite back to the passenger volumes of 2019, we do expect to achieve these in the early part of 2023.
“As in years gone by, Belfast City Airport has invested in additional staff for the peak travel period and delivered a varied programme of Christmas activities across the patch to ensure those travelling to or through the airport have a convenient and joyful experience.
“Throughout December, passengers have enjoyed choir performances from our adopted schools, carolling with Santa and Mrs Claus, gift wrapping stations, and an in-terminal competition with flybe, whilst the Christmas spirit also spread to our own staff with many participating in Christmas Jumper Day and charity events in aid of our charity partner of the year, AWARE.
“We appreciate that we are still living and working in challenging times but as a responsible business, it is a privilege to be able to provide some light-hearted fun and laughter this Christmas period.
“Looking back on the last 12 months, we are proud to acknowledge and celebrate the progress Belfast City Airport has made as a business.
“2022 saw us welcome three new major airline partners; Aer Lingus Regional, flybe, and one of Europe’s largest airlines, Lufthansa, which will operate a four times weekly service to Frankfurt, subsequently providing Northern Ireland’s only air link with Germany.
“Existing airline partners also expanded their offering from Belfast City Airport, most notably easyJet which added Bristol, Liverpool, and Glasgow to its portfolio, later increasing capacity on both Bristol and Liverpool due to popular demand and performance to date.
“Moving into 2023, we now boast a robust route network of 26 destinations across the UK and Europe, offering passengers plenty of choice, convenience, and flexibility when it comes to travel to and from our shores.
“We will continue to work closely with each of our airline partners to support current operations and explore further opportunities for growth that will benefit our customer base and drive economic benefits for the whole of Northern Ireland.
“As we close out this year, we would like to take the opportunity to sincerely thank our passengers, our stakeholders, and the local community for their continued support, and extend our warmest wishes for a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year.”