No big queues, no chaos: Derry airport bucks trend as popularity soars

Current routes from City of Derry airport have been hailed as a great success as increasing numbers of people from across the north west choose to fly local rather than risk huge queues and cancellations eslewhere.

Derry’s airport - which retained all staff during the pandemic - has largely escaped the major disruption and uncertainty being experienced by travellers at other airports, with the only issues to date being some aircraft arriving late from elsewhere.

Airport managing director Steve Frazer said he was delighted with feedback from passengers who have given the airport a huge thumbs up over recent times as increasing numbers opt to fly local for ease, comfort, reliability and security.

Footfall through the airport - which recently received a colourful external make-over to celebrate what the region has to offer visitors with help from Tourism NI - has picked up considerably since restrictions have ended, and the current summer routes to Faro and Majorca are proving very popular, Mr. Frazer told the ‘Journal’.

City of Derry Airport has received a colourful make-over to celebrate all the north west have to offier visitors.

“It is ever so pleasing to see so many happy people and families heading off again after what has been a horrible couple of years and seeing them come back again with their lovely suntans,” he said.

“We haven’t had an inch of disruption that is allocated to us. Of course, we are not immune because there are flights come from other airports to us, so we are seeing some aircraft coming in late, which obviously then impacts on our travellers, but as soon as they are here they are cleared and back out again as quickly as possible. We have no delays attributed to us but we have suffered a bit with aircraft coming in late to us, but certainly nothing that was caused here or coming from this side.”

Mr. Frazer said that since the end of restrictions ‘people are telling us they want to travel local’, citing ease of access, friendly staff, and competitive parking rates.

“The time taken from the car park to departure gate is under 15 minutes for the majority of flights. Even the popular summer sun flights to Palma and Faro at the peak of check-in are taking less than 20 minutes on average. For those living in the North West, there’s nothing better at the end of a great trip to arrive back, have your luggage within five minutes, be a couple of minutes’ walk to your car and a short drive home.


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Steve Frazer, managing director at City of Derry Airport.

“They don’t want that time in shared transport and longer journeys to get to airports, they want to minimise that. There is a real change in behaviour in wanting to fly local, and so it is up to us to have the routes and the frequency that they are looking for. People genuinely now want to fly local and once they experience it they are saying, ‘oh this is great’, no queues, friendly, fast experience.

“We are blessed so many people have been coming along giving great feedback about the staff, great feedback about the service, and now that they are using us more they are going to stay using us so it is great that people do want to use their local airport now. It is their preferred option whenever they can.”

Flights with Ryanair start at £11.99 one way, while flights with Loganair start at £49.99 one way (all Loganair flights include 1 x free checked in 15kg bag).


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Travel Solutions Algarve & Majorca Holidays from City of Derry airport are proving popular.