Belfast International Airport is poised for its busiest winter ever with airlines confirming almost 300,000 additional seats to their existing schedules over the course of the season.
EasyJet, Wizz Air, Jet2 and United are all reporting a surge in demand which the airport says augurs well for growth and jobs.
easyJet accounts for 240,000 of this total, whilst Wizz is boosting seat numbers by 30,000, followed by Jet2 and United which are each adding 10,000 to their winter totals.
Belfast International Airport Business Development Director, Uel Hoey, says the winter ‘15/’16 increase comes on the back of growth for the first three weeks in October of some 16% year-on-year.
The extra seats will be on a range of services across the UK, Europe and North America.
Mr Hoey said: “These numbers point to a real and sustained revival. This will be the busiest winter we’ve ever had and over the five months, we anticipate in the region of 1.6 million passengers coming through the airport.
“Activity levels are climbing and the airlines are responding magnificently. This uplift will see us moving towards 4.4 million passengers by our year-end.
“Of course, increased passenger numbers will lead to jobs being created as handling agents, airlines, retail outlets and the airport itself ramp up to meet demand. This airport has enormous potential to deliver growth and jobs and, of course, the additional employment is at no extra cost to the public purse.
“Our airlines are reporting strong growth, and it is reasonable to expect that if this encouraging trend continues, we will see new destinations added to our Flight Information screens as we head into 2016.”