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A Ryanair plane - © Joaquin Corbalan

Ryanair leaves Northern Ireland

Date 25 August 2021
From now on, it will be necessary to take another airline to reach Belfast or Derry airports. Ryanair mentions a restructuring, and a lack of effort from the British government to keep the low-cost airline on the Northern Irish tarmac.


The low-cost airline Ryanair announced yesterday in a press release that it will leave Northern Ireland. From October 30, it will be necessary to use another airline to reach destinations such as Belfast. A decision that will directly impact Belfast airport, but also Northern Irish users and travelers from Europe, used to regularly take the routes of the company.

Ryanair restructures, abandons its positions in Northern Ireland

At issue: Belfast airport taxes on airline tickets, deemed too high by Ryanair

The cutter has fallen: Ryanair will no longer operate in Northern Ireland. While the company had already abandoned Derry airport a few months ago, it has decided to do the same for Belfast airport.

For them, this decision would have been motivated by several factors. To begin with, the Covid-19 crisis would have made the company lose huge amounts of money. Hence the need to restructure and limit costs.

In addition, “the British government’s refusal to suspend or reduce ADP (air ticket tax) and the lack of incentives for recovery after Covid on the part of Belfast airports“.

For Ryanair’s CEO Michael O’Leary, Boris Johnson’s government is the main responsible for this decision. The lack of flexibility on ADP and the policy of Belfast airport would make Ryanair’s presence on the Northern Irish tarmac much too expensive.

The planes that were based in Northern Ireland will be relocated to less expensive airports in the UK and Europe for the winter season starting in November,” Ryanair said.

Belfast Airport, for its part, was disappointed by this decision, but assured that it had anticipated the news, and had already approached other airlines, in order to ensure the continuity of flights previously provided by Ryanair.



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