Alliance Economy spokesperson Stewart Dickson MLA has said he is disappointed but not surprised after Ryanair announced it would be ceasing its operations at local airports by the end of October.
The airline, which only recommenced flights at Belfast City Airport in May, currently flies to routes including Krakow and Milan from Belfast International Airport.
“This decision will have a real impact for local passengers, both holidaymakers and commuters, and will be hugely disappointing for the aviation and travel industries, who have had to bear the brunt of the pandemic’s worst effects for over a year now,” said East Antrim MLA Mr Dickson.
“Whilst disappointing, this has not come as a surprising news because Ryanair has quite the track record for leaving airports in the lurch when purse strings tighten. In 2010, they pulled out of the City Airport over a dispute about runway size.
“As the aviation and travel industries look to recover from the pandemic, and passengers resume travel, Northern Ireland requires direct, convenient, and competitive national and international access. I hope the gaps Ryanair’s departure will leave can be filled quickly by other providers, but in the meantime my thoughts are with the staff affected and the passengers inconvenienced.”