Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline today (19th April) started a new service from Ireland West Airport Knock to Edinburgh in Scotland. The new route, which was officially launched today by Minister for State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, Mr. Michael Ring T.D., represents a major milestone in the airports history as it adds a new airline brand and new Scottish destination to the airports network. The new service will operate three times a week on Tuesdays, Thursday’s and Sundays and five times a week in July and August with additional flights added on Friday’s and Monday’s.
This new service is expected to have a positive impact on the region as a whole and is expected to bring in an additional 10,000 tourists to the region annually generating additional spend of upwards of €3,000,000 to the local economy.
Flybe are Europe’s largest regional airline and also the UK’s Number One domestic carrier. They operate 188 routes from a total of 75 departure points. The addition of the Flybe brand is a major coup for the airport and the region as Ireland West Airport Knock is the only airport outside of Dublin in the Republic of Ireland that Flybe are currently flying from which is a major vote of confidence in both the Airport and the regions in which the airport serves.
The new route is a significant boost to flight access from the West of Ireland as the Airport is now connected to a key city in Scotland and compliments the significant access already available to major regions in the UK including Birmingham, Bristol, East-Midlands. Leeds, Liverpool, London (Stansted, Gatwick and Luton) and Manchester.
Edinburgh is the second largest city in Scotland and the city attracts 1 million overseas visitors a year, making it the second most visited tourist destination in the United Kingdom, after London. Edinburgh is a truly unique city combining the magic of the historical old town with the buzz of the cosmopolitan new town. 'Edinburgh,' said writer Robert Louis Stevenson, 'is what Paris ought to be'. Edinburgh is the perfect short break destination. For further information about Edinburgh go to www.edinburgh.org
Joe Gilmore, Managing Director, Ireland West Airport Knock, commenting on the exciting addition of the Flybe brand to the airport said: ‘We are delighted to welcome Europe’s largest regional airline, Flybe, to Ireland West Airport Knock and wish them every success with this new service to Edinburgh. This is an important day in the airports history adding such a strong airline brand as Flybe who become our 5th scheduled airline partner and Edinburgh our 10th UK destination. The new service to Edinburgh will come as welcome news to all those visiting friends and family in Scotland, which has strong traditional links with the West and North West of Ireland and we look forward to welcoming the thousands of tourists from Scotland on this new service over the coming months’.
Chief Commercial Officer for Flybe, Mike Rutter said: “Our brand new route from Ireland West Airport Knock has already been well received by passengers and strong ticket sales indicate ongoing demand for this direct, affordable and convenient service between the West of Ireland and Edinburgh. Flybe remains committed to expanding its regional network and to contributing to the growth of the local business and tourism economies of the destinations we serve we look forward to bringing many thousands of additional visitors to the West of Ireland.”
Airport Chairman Liam Scollan, speaking at the launch of the flight was critical of Tourism Ireland’s record on promoting tourism from the UK into the West and North West of Ireland. “We now have ten different UK destinations being served into this airport from the UK and if this capacity was effectively marketed by Tourism Ireland it would bring in 270,000 tourists, spending €85m and supporting 1,000 jobs. Instead evidence tells us here that awareness in the UK of the opportunities to holiday here is abysmally low and unless major changes are made to the way Tourism Ireland markets the West and North West of Ireland then these routes could well be lost.”
The Chairman called on the government to slice €1.5 m from Tourism Ireland’s €17m UK budget and give it to a group of west based tourism entrepreneurs who would use it more cost effectively and attract more tourists with it.
Flights from Ireland West Airport Knock to Edinburgh Airport will depart on Tuesday and Thursday at 12:40pm and Sunday at 15:45pm. Additional flights on Fridays and Mondays will operate in July and August departing at 11:45am and 13:00pm respectively. With fares starting from just €36* one way. For further airport information log onto www.flybe.com.
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