Ryanair have used the delay in approval to extend the runway length at Belfast’s George Best City Airport as an excuse to pull out of the airport entirely.
The airline currently bases one Boeing 737-800 aircraft there and serves Bristol, the East Midlands, Prestwick, Liverpool and Stansted. It carries around 800,000 passengers a year from the airport.
Ryanair‘s Chief Executive Michael O’Leary said that ‘it is very disappointing that the promised runway extension at Belfast City Airport has still not materialised more than three years after we opened the base there.’ He said that ‘in these circumstances, sadly, we have better alternative airports elsewhere in the UK and Europe, all of whom are willing and able to provide us with the runway infrastructure and low-cost facilities we need’. He also said if permission was granted in the future, then Ryanair would come back.