By Bev Fearis, published 7/10/20
Eastern Airways is to bring back flights between Wales and Northern Ireland, filling a vital gap left by the collapse of Flybe in March.
Services will operate daily, except for Saturdays, from January 11 2021. Fares start from £79.99 one-way, including taxes and charges, and are now available to book online.
Roger Hage, General Manager Commercial and Operations for Eastern Airways, said: “As the UK’s regional airline serving all four home nations, ensuring the right services and frequencies are offered as passenger confidence returns is essential. The introduction of a Belfast City service from Cardiff is one so many have been asking for so connectivity between Wales and Northern Ireland is in-place as the appetite for travel increases.
“Eastern Airways is all about supporting the regions of the UK, connecting people and places, so adding further services at hubs we already serve is another crucial part in the economic recovery and prosperity of Wales and Northern Ireland.”
Spencer Birns, Interim CEO at Cardiff Airport, added: “Belfast has been one of our most in-demand routes since Flybe entered administration for both customers travelling for work or to visit friends and family. We’d like to thank Eastern Airways for their continued confidence in regional connectivity from Cardiff.”
Meanwhile, Eastern Airways has entered a codeshare partnership with Channel Islands specialist airline Aurigny, focusing on the pair’s Southampton connections.
Eastern Airways operates services from Southampton to Belfast City, Manchester, Leeds-Bradford, Teesside and Aberdeen. In the new year it will add Newcastle and Dublin while other new services are planned for Spring 2021.
Both operators are aligning their booking system by working with the developers of Worldwide by easyJet, to allow a seamless single point of booking.
Commercial Director at Aurigny, Malcolm Coupar, said: “This is great news for our customers as it is often a challenge in small market jurisdictions to offer the regional connectivity desired by all as demand does not justify direct flights. By teaming up with Eastern we are able to provide our customers with more regional choice out of Southampton.
“As we come out of this pandemic, I expect we will see more airlines concentrate their operations out of certain hubs and that agreements between airlines will be more commonplace for the benefit of the customer. We are also working on agreements with other key airlines offering services from the UK to develop ‘Worldwide by Aurigny,’ which will offer customers connecting flights to Worldwide destinations booked via the Aurigny website.”