Isle of Man airline, Manx2, has unveiled a new route from Belfast International to the city of Galway in the Republic of Ireland. The airline claims that the connection will help boost commerce and tourism in the two cities, and open up the west of Ireland to the rest of the country.
Despite a week of relative calm in the aviation industry, parts of Ireland are still struggling to cope with the effects of the recent ash crisis. The country was besieged by Eyjafjoll’s lingering ash clouds earlier this month, forcing a nationwide flight ban on the 5th May, and causing significant disruption to the Republic’s airports on the following day.
Whilst the ash clouds have now moved into continental Europe, closing airports in Spain and Portugal, the extent of the damage caused by flight cancellations is still making itself known in the UK. The Irish Aviation Authority recently posted an €8m (£6.8m) loss for the weeks between the 15th April and the 10th May.
Manx2’s renewed commitment to Irish airports should go some way to repairing the country’s damaged aviation industry. The airline has added 32 flights to the city of Galway – 12 from Belfast, 6 from the Isle of Man, and 14 from Cork. Manx2 chief, Noel Hayes was optimistic about Ireland’s future –
‘We have enormous confidence in Ireland’s future prospects. The Galway route re-opens direct air links between Ireland’s second and fifth largest cities, eliminating a five-hour road or rail journey.’ Belfast’s new route was launched last week by a ‘Manx cat,’ otherwise known as Mellissa Magee, a catsuit-clad model.
Tickets for the route can be purchased online, priced at £39 each way.