Vital flight route between London and Derry to continue as government agrees £4.3 million funding boost

  • government announces £4.3 million to keep vital Northern Ireland to London route running
  • funding will allow the route to operate 13 return flights a week for an additional 2 years
  • forms part of the government’s wider ambitions to build back better through regional investment

The government has today (10 March 2021) announced that it will provide £4.3 million to fund a vital flight route between City of Derry Airport and London Stansted.

The route, which is jointly funded by the Department for Transport and the Northern Ireland Department for the Economy, provides critical connectivity from the north-west of Northern Ireland to the capital, boosting the region’s economy.

The 2-year extension, which begins on 1 April 2021, will be funded through around £4.3 million over the course of the contract. Loganair is set to continue operating 13 return flights a week.

This comes as the government announces up to £20 million to accelerate the development of high-quality transport projects that will vastly improve union connectivity while boosting local economies.

Aviation Minister Robert Courts said:

Regional connectivity is at the heart of our plans to build back better after the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and the agreement secured today is a vital step towards this.

The route will provide vital connectivity from Northern Ireland to the capital, supporting economies on both sides, and helping us deliver on our commitments to level up across the UK.

National restrictions introduced on 5 January 2021 remain in place, meaning everyone must stay at home unless travelling for a very limited set of reasons. Those in breach of the rules face penalties starting at £200 and rising to a maximum of £6,400.

Last week, the Prime Minister announced that the relaunched Global Travel Taskforce will deliver a report on 12 April 2021 outlining a framework to restart international travel, as wider restrictions are lifted over the coming months.

Throughout the pandemic, the government has pledged around £7 billion of support to the sector, including a number of targeted initiatives such as extending the ’80:20′ slot waiver rule, providing grants of up to £8 million for airports and ground handlers, and creating an online jobs centre to help skilled workers regain high-value positions across the sector.

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