A new low-cost long-haul airline is set to launch in 2024, and it will target transatlantic routes from Northern Ireland.
The airline, known as Fly Atlantic, plans to base aircraft at Belfast International airport in Northern Ireland and establish a network of 35 routes across Europe and North America.
In doing so, it will create up to 1,000 jobs and bring vital inbound tourism and economic boost to the region, which has seen a renaissance in recent years but is sufering a lack of air links.
At present Fly Atlantic is deciding between a fleet of Airbus A321neo and Boeing 737 Max aircraft to facilitate its route network.
These narrowbody aircraft offer great economics and are equally suited to European routes or longer stretches over the Atlantic.
It plans to source six aircraft for its launch, growing to a fleet of 18 by 2028.
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.