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easyJet expands at Belfast International Airport With new route to Rhodes


easyJet, Northern Ireland’s largest airline has revealed its plans for expansion at Belfast International Airport today, announcing that an additional Airbus A320 family aircraft will be based in Belfast this summer.


The airline has also announced it will launch a new summer route between Belfast and the popular Greek island of Rhodes.


The 186-seat A320neo aircraft will be based in Belfast throughout the summer season, and it joins three 156-seat Airbus A319, two 186-seat A320 and two 186-seat A320neo aircraft already serving the airline’s customers in Belfast.



Compared to the current generation of aircraft, the Airbus NEO brings significant environmental benefits and operational efficiencies compared to the previous generation of aircraft, resulting in at least 15% less CO2 emissions and 50% less noise during take-off and landing. easyJet is one of the largest single-brand operator of NEOs in Europe.


The addition of the new aircraft will also create around 35-40 job opportunities at the airport.


The new route between Belfast and Rhodes is scheduled to launch on 3 June 2023, with twice weekly departures on Tuesdays and Saturdays, offering customers in Northern Ireland even more choice when it comes to picking a beach holiday destination with easyJet and easyJet holidays. Seats go on sale at easyJet.com and via the mobile app from 7th December.



For holidaymakers looking for the complete package, easyJet holidays operates to over 100 hotels in Rhodes. All beach holidays include 23kg of luggage per person, flights, hotels and transfers, and are covered by the easyJet holidays Protection Promise. The package provide has recently launched its Summer 2024 season which allows customers to plan and book their holidays in advance, all the way until 31 October 2024.


The airline has also revealed results of a survey of 2000 UK consumers today, which has shown that almost two-thirds (64%) are planning on flying abroad in 2023. Holidays topped the list of most important things people planned to spend on in 2023, with two-thirds (66%) saying this was the most important.


70% of people surveyed agreed that they will prioritise a holiday over other expenditure in their yearly budget and three quarters said it was one of their most important plans for next year. To prioritise their holiday, people will be cutting back on other discretionary spend like eating out (46%) or new clothes (40%) and on big purchases such as new cars or home improvements (33%).



Consumers are also looking at the way they holiday to prioritise a holiday, with two thirds of people saying they will be booking with a low-cost carrier (66%), while three quarters of people will fly short haul instead long haul (74%) and holiday in closer to home destinations in Europe (70%) to protect their holidays. The majority (80%) also believed that holidaying in the UK can be more expensive.


Around half of respondents said they still plan to go on the same number of holidays that they usually plan for and spend the same amount, while around a quarter of people plan to go on more and spend more on holidays compared to last year. Half of Brits are planning on taking at least one holiday in 2023, while almost a third will take at least two.


Perhaps unsurprisingly, almost all surveyed (94%) agreed that going away on holiday is one of the most enjoyable experiences. 86% said having a holiday is a priority for them, with 57% saying this is because of the quality time it allows them to spend with friends and family and the opportunity it provides to recharge (48%), while the significant majority of people (83%) said holidays are crucial to their emotional wellbeing. 



Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK Country Manager, said:


“I am delighted to be announcing our plans for expansion at Belfast International Airport today. The addition of another aircraft will help us to deliver growth in Belfast and offer customers an even wider range of destinations, like our new route to Rhodes, which will provide our customers in Northern Ireland a direct connection to one of Europe's most popular beach destinations this summer, all with low fares and great service.


“We know that holidays are important to people, not only does travelling connect friends and family but it offers a wealth of benefits, from promoting wellbeing to experiencing new cultures. The results of our survey revealed today just go to show what a priority it is for people, with so many determined to protect their holidays. With our low fares and unrivalled European network, easyJet is ideally placed to offer a fantastic value and great quality holiday that people don’t have to compromise on. It is fantastic to see that so many consumers plan to travel next year already, and we look forward to welcoming them onboard."



Uel Hoey, Business Development Director, said:


“We are delighted to acknowledge easyJet’s ongoing robust commitment towards air connectivity to and from Northern Ireland with their investment of significantly higher capacity in 2023 – and particularly welcome the addition onto their Belfast network of the beautiful Greek island of Rhodes for the benefit of those forward planning their next Summer break.”


Over 27 years ago easyJet’s first-ever flight took off for Belfast from London Luton. Since then, easyJet has remained committed to the airport by maintaining a continuous operation and flying over 67 million passengers to and from Belfast.


Today, easyJet is the largest airline in Northern Ireland and operates up to around 670 flights a week on 29 routes across 8 countries in the UK, Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. easyJet connects Belfast with more London airports than any other airline, offering up to 178 flights to key London airports including London Gatwick, London Luton and London Stansted.


For more information on easyJet’s network from Belfast, visit easyJet.com.

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