Aer Lingus' new route sells but a third capacity

Aer Lingus's move to Belfast in question

Travel Insurance News - 12/01/2008

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It's been a good while coming since Aer Lingus ruffled feathers last August by announcing it would be using Belfast's International Airport for its daily routes to Heathrow instead of Shannon in the Irish republic; a route that has existed for 60 years.

The new routes from Belfast started yesterday with a dismal performance- with the airline selling only a third of the tickets for its thrice daily flights. This puts into question the plans to bump up the schedule to four times a day if more tickets aren't sold.

Proponents of the move are quick to point out the benefits of the new route, reminding the press that for the first month's bookings return flights from Heathrow to Belfast are on offer for £1 as opposed to the £80 one-way flights to Shannon. Will the geographical difference pay off in the end? Are people staying away form the route out of sheer spite?

Only time will tell, but there are no doubt many happy Northerners, since there Belfast- Heathrow route hasn't been in direct connection since 2001, when British Airways terminated service.

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