Chamber hopeful of new London operator

Sinead McLaughlin, chief executive of the local Chamber of Commerce. Brian Lawless/PA Wire
Sinead McLaughlin, chief executive of the local Chamber of Commerce. Brian Lawless/PA Wire

The Chamber of Commerce in Derry says they ‘deeply regret’ Ryanair’s decision to reduce its services from City of Derry Airport.

Sinead McLaughlin, Chief Executive of the Chamber, said the ending of the service to Stanstead was particularly bad news.

“The decision, although unwelcome, comes as no surprise given Ryanair’s recent announcements concerning its broader UK strategy, as well as its commencement of operations from Belfast International Airport,” she said.

“We are delighted however to hear that Derry City & Strabane District Council have already applied to the Department for Transport (DfT) in London to have the CoDA to London route designated as a PSO route funded by DfT, which if successful could lead to a new operator serving a London airport from CoDA in the Spring of next year.

“We wish CoDA and the Council success in their efforts in the process of securing a replacement airline to open a new Derry to London route, as this is of the utmost importance to our economy.

“The Chamber remains steadfast in its support of the City of Derry Airport. It is widely recognised that investors require four elements when considering an investment in any regional economy.

“Those requirements are good road connections, an airport with appropriate destinations, a well skilled and educated labour market and a full sized university. The Chamber will continue to lobby in support of ensuring that our city and region have all four.

“Our Chamber strongly believes that the airport is essential to our efforts to make the North West of Ireland a successful economy that serves all its people and businesses. Despite its cost to the ratepayer, the airport has consistently generated much more in terms of Gross Value Added to the region than it costs.”

“We are fully supportive of the efforts of City of Derry Airport to recruit a regional airline that can provide the appropriate routes and flight frequencies required by our economy.”