Aer Lingus drops London-Belfast route due to Brexit rules

Airline says it is ‘very keen’ to resume the service in future

Ella Doyle
Monday 24 October 2022 17:22 BST
<p>The airline says the move is ‘Brexit-related’  </p>

The airline says the move is ‘Brexit-related’

Aer Lingus is ceasing flights between Belfast City and Heathrow at the end of this month, the airline has announced.

The company confirmed that it will end its service between the Belfast and London hubs at the end of October, and described the decision to be “Brexit-related”.

Aer Lingus is an Irish Airline and does not hold the right to operate domestic flights in the UK.

It confirmed that it had been operating under a temporary licence, which has now ended. Staff members for the service are to be deployed to other positions within the business, ITV News has reported.

This is the only mainline service that is operated by Aer Lingus from Belfast City. All other flights under the brand from Heathrow are operated by Emerald Airlines, which is Aer Lingus’ franchise partner.

The last service from the airline will be in the early morning of Sunday, 30 October. From that moment on, British Airways will be operating three flights every day from Belfast City to Heathrow.

A statement from Aer Lingus reads: “Aer Lingus is very keen to continue operating the Belfast City – Heathrow London service, which we have been operating since 2007.

“We are engaging with the relevant authorities in order to allow us to continue to serve this route into the future.

“For the upcoming winter season we will be working with our sister airline, British Airways, to ensure there is continuity of service and no impact to any of our passengers’ journeys.”

Simon Calder, travel correspondent of The Independent, said: “The concept of ‘open skies’ was first pioneered in Europe decades ago by the UK.

“Since then, allowing competition to flourish has brought huge benefits to airline passengers across Europe – as well as British businesses.

“It’s ironic that Brexit is now bringing about a reduction of choice and, in all likelihood, a corresponding increase in fares.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in