Belfast loses only transatlantic link
Today (9 January 2017) United Airlines is terminating its five per week B757 service between New York Newark and Belfast, Northern Ireland. The step comes after the European Commission (EC) ruled government subsidies allocated to the route earlier last year would give United an unfair advantage over other airlines.
In April 2016, the Northern Ireland Executive (NIE) said it would contribute two-thirds of the GBP 9 million subsidy to United in a bid to retain the flights, Belfast's only transatlantic route. At the beginning of November, however, the EC ruled that as a public entity, the NIE could not offer financial assistance to one company to the potential detriment of another.
"This is a bad day for the Executive and a bad day for Northern Ireland", the airport's managing director Graham Keddie stated. (ah)