Aer Lingus today celebrated reaching the half million bookings mark for flights from Belfast International Airport less than nine months after moving its Shannon Airport base to the Northern Ireland base.
The milestone came on the first anniversary of the announcement they were making a £100m (€123m) investment in setting up their first base outside the Republic in Belfast.
The decision to open in Belfast caused enormous controversy as it involved the airline dropping its Shannon-Heathrow route and using the London slots for flights from Belfast.
The airline insisted the decision to locate a base in Northern Ireland was the right one and that business was going as anticipated.
Enda Corneille, the airline’s corporate affairs director, said: “We’re delighted to have reached the half million mark and growth continues to be in line with our expectations.
“The support from the travelling public in Northern Ireland has been fantastic, and with a growing selection of routes on offer to popular sunshine and city break destinations, we hope to build on this success in the months ahead.”
Since moving to Belfast, the airline has added a number of routes. There are now 11 routes in total from Belfast including 3 recently announced additions for the winter to Lanzarote, Munich and Milan.
The Belfast-London route gives North American visitors the option to begin their Ireland vacation in Belfast via connection from AA or BA in Heathrow.