Derry Council to propose plans for air link to London

The UK government has invited Derry City & Strabane Council to put forward proposals to sustain the Londonderry to London air route, following the recent announcement by Ryanair that it would stop serving the route and the end of March 2017.

The news comes as the government has hinted that it would step in to financially support the vital air link in order to keep the route open.

The council can now undertake a tender process to appoint an airline to maintain the operation of this route, which is used by more than 125,000 people a year, with support from the UK government.

Minister for Aviation Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon said: “Our airports are vital in supporting local economies, providing connections in the UK and opening up new opportunities.

“That is why the UK government has agreed in principle to support the air route between City of Derry Airport and London. In terms of process, it is important that Derry City & Strabane District Council take forward the tender process to secure this route.

Secretary of State for Northern Ireland James Brokenshire said: “This is good news for travellers in the north-west and the wider regional economy. Having talked to local business leaders I know the air link with London plays a vital role.

“I am pleased the UK government has been able to step in to help, as part of our commitment to build a Northern Ireland that works for everyone.”

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