Ryanair has revealed it will be returning to Belfast International Airport. After a painful couple of years for the travel and tourism industry – and in particular for aviation – the carrier will be reopening its Belfast base from Summer 2023.
The return of Ryanair will result in an investment of around $200m in Belfast, including supporting more than 60 jobs at the airport and some 750 indirect local jobs. It will include two aircraft based at the airport and will deliver 12 new routes, with more than 115 flights per week.
Ryanair’s new routes will serve domestic customers for business and leisure purposes, with connections to Manchester, East-Midlands, Edinburgh and London-Stansted airports. They will also serve families looking for some sunshine, with international destinations including Milan-Bergamo, Paris-Beauvais, Barcelona-Girona, Malaga, Alicante and Faro, in Portugal’s Algarve.
Keen to give cash-strapped families something to look forward to next year, Ryanair is holding a seat sale for holidays booked between April and June 2023, provided they are booked before the end of July 2022. It means that those booking flights from Belfast International Airport can benefit from fares as low as £19.99.
As well as opening up international destinations for holidays, the new routes also bring with them the possibility of second home ownership overseas. Both Spain and Portugal are popular locations for holiday homes. As well as providing abundant sunshine, fabulous beaches, world-class golf courses and delicious food and wine, both destinations also offer property prices that can feel very attractive to buyers in the UK.
In Spain’s Costa Blanca, for example, a two-bedroom/two-bathroom apartment with terrace at Amara, from Taylor Wimpey España, costs from just €190,000 plus VAT. The development has a communal pool, pretty landscaped gardens and a playground, as well as stunning sea views from many of the homes.
In Portugal, meanwhile, two-bedroom apartments at Amendoeira Golf Resort, which are available through Kronos Homes, cost from €290,000. Buyers enjoy access to two 18-hole golf courses, an illuminated 9-hole course, a golf academy, a driving range and putting green, a grass football field, two five-a-side football pitches, six tennis courts, two padel courts, a fully equipped gym, a one-kilometre jogging track and two outdoor swimming pools, as well as a lovely clubhouse with restaurant and sports bar.
The long-term investment that Ryanair’s Belfast base signifies is excellent news for holidaymakers, second home owners and the local workforce alike. As Ryanair’s Director of Commercial, Jason McGuinness, observes: “We are delighted to have reached a long-term agreement with Belfast International’s management, which will underpin future Ryanair growth at the Airport over the coming years.”