An air route between City of Derry Airport and London Stansted has been secured until March 2024 with support from the UK Department for Transport and the Department for the Economy.
The UK Government has funded the air route since 2017, bolstering connections between Northern Ireland and England whilst supporting thousands of jobs and providing a significant boost to Northern Ireland’s economy.
The Aviation Minister Baroness Vere has announced the Department for Transport will continue subsidising the route alongside the Department for the Economy in Northern Ireland, with both Departments providing £1.1 million in 2023/24 to maintain the connection.
The announcement will secure the future of the route for another year until March 31st 2024 and enable up to 19 return flights every week.
Crucial travel link
Aviation Minister Baroness Vere said: “Thousands of people and businesses depend on this crucial travel link, which is why we remain committed to securing the route.
“Our funding will maintain this vital connection between Derry/Londonderry and London, with 19 services operating every week for at least another year, supporting jobs, and providing a boost to Northern Ireland’s economy.”
Funding has been secured using a Public Service Obligation (PSO), which allows Government to protect vital air connectivity into London, with Loganair once again being selected to operate the route.
The funding of £1.1million from the NI Department for the Economy is a ringfenced allocation from the Northern Ireland Office specifically for this City of Derry Airport PSO and which cannot be used in any other DfE policy area.
The UK Government recognises the importance of maintaining a thriving and competitive aviation sector in the UK to deliver union connectivity, while supporting our levelling up agenda.
Regional airports serve our local communities, by supporting thousands of jobs in the regions and acting as a gateway to international opportunities, alongside maintaining social and family ties and strengthening the bonds across the UK.
New domestic band
Welcoming the announcement, Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Councillor Sandra Duffy, said: “This is extremely positive news and I am pleased to see this further commitment to promoting regional connectivity which will be widely welcomed, particularly by the local business community.
“Regular, reliable services to London are critical to the North West economy in terms of both business and leisure, and a key component of our strategic plans to make this region more appealing and accessible for international investors.”
From April 1st 2023, a new domestic band will apply to flights between airports in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, cutting Air Passenger Duty by 50% to bolster UK connectivity and ensure passengers have access to more affordable flights.
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