Belfast International Airport is predicting further airline and passenger growth during ‘the monumentally successful’ Routes Europe Forum which is taking place in Belfast.
Airport Managing Director, Graham Keddie, who is one of the hosts of Routes Europe, said they were revising their passenger figures for 2017 as a result unprecedented growth.
Mr Keddie said: “A few months ago, we budgeted for 5.4 million this year. That looked like a realistic figure, but in the intervening period, we’ve set the bar even higher at 5.6 million.
“To put this into context, two years ago, we recorded just over 4 million passengers. Our airlines are piling on capacity. There’s greater destination choice. Prices are competitive, and passengers are coming to us because there’s real value for money.
“The flow of passengers to Dublin has slowed as our fightback shows results. Choice and price are crucial, but currency exchange rates also play a part.
“Routes Europe is monumentally successful. We are hosting 114 airlines, about 370 airports and around 40 tourism organisations and showing them what Northern Ireland has to offer and why they should have us on their destination screens.
“Success will follow from this showcase event. I’m confident we will add new routes and witness an increase in international airline activity.
“That will lead to the creation of hundreds of new jobs and significant multi-million pound investments at or near Belfast International Airport.
“We’re a major regional economic hub with enormous potential.
“We are reinventing ourselves as a city and region of the 21st century when technological innovation, entrepreneurship, tourism and hospitality will define who we are and what we do.
“It is my great honour to be one of the hosts of Routes Europe 2017 in the most exciting city in the entire island of Ireland.”