The new service between Derry and Stansted commenced in style yesterday, with passengers getting a champagne reception to mark the occasion.
Those departing from Derry and arriving from London on bmi regional’s inaugural flight were also treated to entertainment, goodie bags and certificates to mark the occasion.
Bmi regional welcomed the Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District Council, Alderman Hilary McClintock, on board their inaugural flight, which departed City of Derry Airport at 6.45am.
The Mayor was joined by members of the media who were also among the first to experience the high quality service, with prices inclusive of a 23 kilo baggage allowance, while there is also complimentary drinks and snacks on board the 49-seater plane.
Speaking in advance of her departure, the Mayor said that she was delighted to have bmi regional operating the London service from City of Derry Airport and is confident the service will be a huge success for business and leisure travel.
“The route runs twice daily on a 49-seater jet aircraft with an early morning departure each day that is particularly suited to business travellers and commuters from the region to arrive in Central London early in the morning and complete a full day’s business before returning back on an early evening flight.
“Maintaining frequent, convenient and competitively priced air services to and from London is vitally important to the Council and the Airport and we believe that this route is vital for the future development of our regional economy and the social development of our region. I would like to extend my best wishes to bmi regional and wish them every success for this route,” she commented.
Roy Devine, Chairman of CoDA Operations Ltd stated: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome bmi regional to City of Derry Airport – this is a very welcome boost for both the Airport and the wider North West region.
“A direct air link with a London airport is imperative for this region - and its business community”.
Mr Devine stated that “the double daily service between City of Derry Airport and London Stansted, (exception Saturday when there is one service) has already proven very popular with business and leisure travellers throughout the North West with bmi regional indicating strong sales to date”.
Jochen Schnadt, Chief Commercial Officer of bmi regional, said: “The launch of this important new route, bmi regional’s first to/ from Northern Ireland, connects business and leisure travellers from the capital and East Anglia to the North West region of Ireland.
“Given Derry’s recent and sustained period of economic growth, significant investment in new jobs and the various future growth projects, we are positive that the enhanced double-daily connectivity bmi regional’s new service offers will generate additional activity in the market. It has become one of our fastest selling route launches and we are very pleased with customer acceptance of our latest service.
Regional & City Airport’s Contracts Director, and representative of the management company at the Airport, Clive Coleman, outlined that the new double daily service will enable travellers within the local area to depart CoDA early morning and return the same evening as well as acting as a catalyst for in-bound tourism to the region.
Mr Coleman concluded by stating that CoDA has become the airport of choice for the North West of Ireland, offering both convenience and excellent customer service and that he would encourage all travellers within the local catchment to think about flight options from their local airport when making future travel arrangements, asking air passengers to “Think Local and Choose CoDA” whenever they can.
“We have fantastic facilities on our doorstep and it is essential that everyone takes advantage of their local airport for their travel plans when possible”.
Commercial and Marketing Manager, Charlene Shongo outlined that fares start from £44 one way and all fares include 23kg of hold luggage, allocated seating and complimentary in-flight drinks and snacks.
Customers can book flights today by visiting www.flybmi.com.
Tourism Ireland also warmly welcomed new flight from London Stansted to City of Derry Airport.
The flight, will certainly help boost tourism from the all-important GB market, offering more choice to prospective visitors travelling from London.
Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said this was “good news for tourism to Northern Ireland, and the North West in particular, for 2017.
“We look forward to working with BMI Regional, to maximise the promotion of this new service from London. As an island, the importance of convenient, direct, non-stop flights cannot be overstated – they are absolutely critical to achieving growth in inbound tourism. Tourism Ireland is committed to working with BMI Regional and all our airline partners, through co-operative marketing, to drive demand for flights to Northern Ireland.”