The Isle of Man based company CityWing will begin operating twice-daily flights from City of Derry Airport to Dublin, by April 2016.
Speaking about the new service, Clive Coleman, Contracts Director for Regional & City Airports at CoDA stated, “This is very welcome news for the airport. The benefits of this new Dublin service, through enhanced inter-regional and international connectivity, to the local economy and travelling public are significant. Furthermore, they are aligned with the UK Government’s objectives of encouraging the growth of regional airports by making better use of their infrastructure, reducing the need for long-distance travel to and from airports, providing air passengers with greater choice and finally attracting new or more frequent international connections to attract new business activity to support the growth of a more balanced regional economy.
Sinn Fein MLA for Foyle, Raymond McCartney, said the news was a “welcome development”.
“This is a welcome development for Derry and the North West economy. Sinn Féin has long maintained that connectivity between Derry and the major centres of population including Dublin is crucial if we are to achieve our full potential for economic development.
Commenting on the news Sinead McLaughlin, chief executive of the Londonderry Chamber of Commerce, said, “It is great news that we will again have a direct flight connection between Derry and Dublin. It is particularly positive that there are to be two flights a day between the two cities. For businesses here it is essential that they have good transport links to the local capital cities of Dublin, London and Belfast. While more work still has to be done on our road links with Belfast and Dublin, a reliable and frequent flight connection with Dublin is a very important step forward for our members. We hope the new route will be followed by others and help to attract more investment to our city.”
Visit Derry’s General Manager, Odhran Dunne, also welcomed the news.
“Visit Derry, as the city’s official tourism organisation, recognises the importance of air connectivity to grow the tourism economy of the North West region. In global tourism terms air route development is vital if we are to enhance our reputation as one of the top leisure and business tourism destinations to visit on the island.
“The establishment of this double daily Dublin-Derry air route service will ensure stronger connectivity with the Greater Dublin catchment area and our international markets. The growth of inbound visitor numbers to the North West is supported by increasing direct air connectivity to the region.
“By continuing to invest in and develop our infrastructure the destination will create greater opportunities to use the unique assets of our people and the place to deliver a sustainable all year round tourism economy.”