At the beginning of 2010, a route from Belfast International (Aldergrove) to London Luton Airport was cancelled, following operator, easyJet’s, assumption that Irish travellers would prefer to fly to George Best Airport, otherwise known as Belfast City.
The reasoning behind the transfer was sound (City is much closer to the centre of Belfast), but the move made little sense from a financial point of view. EasyJet was supporting two bases within 20 miles of each other, one of which, Belfast City, had just one route on its schedules, namely the twice-daily service to Bedfordshire’s Luton Airport.
Almost eighteen months later, easyJet has abandoned the convenience of flights to City, for the security of its much larger base at Aldergrove. "Our other routes operate from Belfast International. We are now consolidating our overall operation by reinstating our Luton flights from there as well", explained Ali Gayward, commercial manager at easyJet.
The Luton route, which operates three times a day, will become easyJet’s eighth UK domestic route from Belfast International. The carrot-coloured airline also offers flights from Belfast to Stansted and Gatwick in the southeast, Glasgow and Edinburgh in Scotland, and the popular regional hubs, Liverpool, Newcastle, and Bristol.
EasyJet had previously said that its solitary flight from City could be supplemented with flights to other destinations. Whether that outlook will now be transferred to Belfast International is debatable, but not completely impossible, given Aldergrove’s emerging status as a provider of ‘sun and sea’ routes to Spain and Portugal.
Flights to Luton begin at £39.94, taxes included, for a one-way trip departing Belfast on June 7.