Unite hopeful new carrier can be found for Derry Stansted route

City of Derry Airport.
City of Derry Airport.

The trade union, Unite, has said it's hopeful another carrier can be found to run the Derry to London Stansted air service following Flybmi's shock fall into administration at the weekend.

Gareth Scott, Regional Officer for Unite, said the Stansted connection was critical to the sustainability of City of Derry Airport (CoDA), which contributes £8.3m annually to the local economy in gross value-added (GVA).

Mr. Scott said: “Unite represents workers at CoDA. The announcement over the weekend that BMI Regional (Flybmi) was going into administration and would cease all operations including the London-Stansted service operating from the airport came as a bolt from the blue. The Stansted service is central to the sustainability of CoDA and must be sustained come what may."

He voiced the opinion that the extension of the route's Public Service Obligation (PSO) just last week meant that the Stansted service was highly attractive to potential alternative airlines.

“The announcement comes only days after the European Commission confirmed the extension to 2021 of PSO status for the Stansted service from airport.

"The good news is that this decision will make the service highly attractive to other airline operators. As such, we are hopeful that a replacement can be found in the coming days.

“CoDA is a vital to the wider economy of the Northwest. The airport itself is estimated to generate £8.3m annually in gross value-added (GVA) to the local economy as well as sustaining a further £7.4m GVA through tourism and business connectivity.

“The unions will be meeting with CoDA management tomorrow and the safeguarding of this service, the airport’s future and the jobs of our members will be a paramount concern," said Mr. Scott.