Birmingham Airport is to see the introduction of a service to Belfast City Airport from 14 September 2020 it was announced today.
Stobart Air, operator of Aer Lingus Regional, will base five ATR72-600 aircraft at Belfast City Airport.
The airline will operate up to four daily return flights from Birmingham Airport to Belfast City Airport with fares starting from £29.99 one way including taxes.
Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Stobart Air, operates four routes from Birmingham including Dublin, Cork, Shannon and now Belfast City.
Stobart Air, following guidance from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), has implemented a number of enhanced health and safety measures to protect staff, crew and passengers. New measures include:
Enhanced aircraft cleaning:
To ensure the wellbeing of our passengers and crew, enhanced cleaning and disinfection procedures have been introduced for the aircraft cabin, which are in addition to the existing aircraft cleaning schedule. Each aircraft, including seats, armrests and tray tables will be subject to a daily disinfection process which provides surface protection from viruses for 24 hours.
On board measures:
Face coverings or masks are mandatory on all flights operated by Stobart Air for customers and cabin crew respectively, with the exception of small children and those who are unable to wear a face mask for medical reasons. The face coverings can be in the form of a reusable cloth mask or a disposable mask and it is recommended that these are worn from the time passengers enter the departure airport to the time they leave their destination airport.
Initially, when flights resume, the in-flight service will be suspended to reduce interaction between our crew and passengers. Passengers will be encouraged to remain seated while on board.
At the airport:
Stobart Air have introduced new boarding and disembarkation procedures to reduce passenger interaction. Passengers will board and disembark the aircraft in small groups and according to seat row numbers. At the boarding gate, customers will scan their own boarding card and show their passport or ID to the staff member, making this process contactless.
Commenting on the announcement, Stobart Air Managing Director Andy Jolly said: “As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, Stobart Air has been challenged and we have worked hard over the past number of months to protect our airline and to position us for the future, once restrictions ease and passenger demand increases.
“Working with Belfast City Airport and Birmingham Airport, along with our partners, Aer Lingus we are pleased to establish a base at Belfast City to service flights to Birmingham.
“High frequency day-return flights from Birmingham to Belfast City Airport will cater for both business and leisure travellers for direct, convenient and cost-effective flights.
“We continuously strive to provide our passengers with frequent, convenient and affordable services. We look forward to welcoming our passengers on board this new route from Birmingham from 14 September.”
Tom Screen, Aviation Director for Birmingham Airport, said: “This is really fantastic news for Birmingham Airport and the Midlands region. Belfast City has always been a popular route due to the location of the airport and strength of business and leisure traffic between the two cities. After such a challenging year, we are delighted to receive the news that Stobart Air has chosen to expand its network into Birmingham, and we look forward to welcoming the fights starting in September.”