A new low-cost airline will offer transatlantic flights from Northern Ireland which will start to operate flights to Europe and Belfast North America in the summer of 2024.
Once Fly Atlantic is fully operational they intend to fly to 35 destinations from Belfast International Airport and will create 21,000 new jobs by 2030.
Flights will go on sale at the start of 2024 and will initially operate six aircraft at Belfast and Fly Atlantic plan to grow to 18 aircraft by 2028.
Fly Atlantic’s chief executive Andrew Pyne said, “Our vision is of Belfast as a strong aviation hub linking Europe and North America.
“The lack of direct transatlantic air services has clearly been an impediment to Northern Ireland’s economic and tourism development, which we now intend to remove.
“The project can be a gamechanger.
“We will be offering affordable fares with brand new aircraft. We already have offices at the airport and will now be building out the infrastructure to support the airline’s launch. We start recruiting for the team early in 2023.
“We looked at many options throughout the UK and Ireland.
“Belfast International and Vinci stood out in terms of the facilities that they offered us and by their enthusiasm for and commitment to making this project a reality.
“Northern Ireland has a proud aviation and engineering history, and we are delighted to be able to build on this tradition as we develop the airline and its support functions.”
Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey Stephen Ross said, “This is a key moment for Northern Ireland and is the most significant local aviation announcement in recent history.
“Belfast International Airport is the ideal hub for Fly Atlantic to base its operations due to its location, drive, and ability to offer unparalleled experience and routes for passengers.”