Ryanair Ends Services From George Best Belfast City

Ryanair will axe the five routes it currently operates from George Best Belfast City Airport on October 31.

The airline's Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said the decision had been taken because of ongoing delays to the start of a public inquiry into the controversial proposal to extend the airport's runway.

The extension would allow Ryanair to open a network of routes to Europe from Belfast City. At present, the runway length imposes restrictions on how it uses its fleet of Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

It is currently unable to operate even its routes to Great Britain with full payloads because of the restrictions. This means some seat rows are blocked off on these flights depending on how many passengers are travelling.

Mr. O'Leary said it "made no sense" for Ryanair to continue to invest in Belfast City Airport with less than full aircraft unless there was a "clear and immediate prospect" of being able to safely operate longer European routes which required the runway extension.

The Chief Executive said Ryanair will "continue to work" with City Airport management and wished them success in ensuring the extension.

He thanked the airport's Chief Executive Brian Ambrose and his team for their help and support in "developing a successful route network".