Eastern Airways is to introduce its first ever service from Cardiff Airport to Belfast City Airport, as Wales regains its air service connection to Northern Ireland.
Image courtesy Eastern Airways
The UK’s regional airline will commence services from 11th January 2021 between the two cities, which will be the only air service linking Wales with the entire island of Ireland -a former route operated by Flybe - operating a daily weekday and a Sunday service.
Roger Hage, General Manager Commercial & Operations for Eastern Airways, said: “As the UK’s regional airline serving all four home nations, ensuring the right services and frequencies are offered as passenger confidence returns is essential. The introduction of a Belfast City service from Cardiff is one so many have been asking for so connectivity between Wales and Northern Ireland is in-place as the appetite for travel increases. Eastern Airways is all about supporting the regions of the UK, connecting people and places, so adding further services at hubs we already serve is another crucial part in the economic recovery and prosperity of Wales and Northern Ireland.”
Spencer Birns, Interim CEO at Cardiff Airport said: “Today's announcement is a hugely positive step and we are delighted that Eastern Airways has stepped in to re-instate a regular service between Cardiff and Belfast, offering vital connectivity between Wales and Northern Ireland.
“Belfast has been one of our most in-demand routes since Flybe entered administration for both customers travelling for work, or to visit friends and family. We’d like to thank Eastern Airways for their continued confidence in regional connectivity from Cardiff.”
Katy Best, Commercial Director at Belfast City Airport, added: “Today’s announcement that Belfast City Airport will once again operate flights to Cardiff is not only a positive development for the airport itself, but also extremely welcome news for passengers who regularly travel to Wales. The popular route to Cardiff was previously operated by Flybe before the airline entered into administration in March 2020, and there has been huge demand since for it to be reinstated.
“Despite the challenging aviation environment of recent months, we continued exploring options to secure connectivity with the Welsh capital, and we’re very happy that our partner Eastern Airways has committed to this service.”
Eastern Airways’ services continue to be carefully reintroduced since Covid-19 restrictions were easing with extensive cleaning measures on-board and throughout all aspects of the airport for the safety of all passengers. Also in January the airline aims to restart the Welsh Government PSO internal route from Cardiff to Anglesey.
The independent UK-based carrier was formed in 1997 and had returned quickly in March to a standalone identity including booking facilities after its former franchise partner, Flybe, went into administration. Eastern Airways already serves Southampton and Teesside from Belfast City plus Anglesey from Cardiff.
Last month, Eastern Airways also became the only regional airline to start operating services into London Heathrow with its new Teesside service restoring a link absent for over a decade offering over 180 world-wide connections through Europe’s biggest airport hub, while earlier this week also announcing a codeshare partnership with Aurigny, Guernsey’s airline, to focus on increased passenger connectivity to the channel islands.