New easyJet routes from Belfast to add 175 jobs

Written by: Felicity Stredder |
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The arrival of three new easyJet routes from Belfast International airport to Spain, Italy and the Isle of Man could create as many as 175 new jobs.

The carrier is adding new connections to Valencia in Spain, Naples in Italy, and the Isle of Man from Belfast, to begin operation as of June next year. The new Isle of Man flights will operate twice a week, while Naples and Valencia will run during the summer season.

Ali Gayward, UK Country Manager at easyJet, said: "While we have five aircraft, we are now adding a sixth. Belfast is huge to us. In addition to the three new routes, we are adding capacity, adding extra rotation on key domestic markets."

The added capacity includes greater frequency on routes to England and Scotland and an extra flight each week to its French routes in Paris and Bordeaux.

Gayward explained that, while the airline doesn't put an exact figure on direct jobs created, it is usually in the region of 30 staff per additional aircraft. "That's pilots and cabin crew but there is also the ground handling," she said.

The new routes come as the airline continues efforts to lobby both the UK and EU, Gayward added, to ensure there is a suitable replacement to the open skies agreement, once Brexit has taken place.

Graham Keddie, Managing Director of Belfast International airport, said the airport hopes to serve six million passengers next year with the help of added capacity from easyJet - Northern Ireland's biggest carrier. The three new routes and one additional aircraft, courtesy of the low cost carrier, will result in a predicted 300,000 additional passengers through the airport in 2018, and lead to a possible 175 new job positions opening up.

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