The Ulster Unionist Party Leader, Steve Aiken OBE MLA, has urged the UK Government to do all it can to help Flybe find a way through the current economic difficulties the company is reportedly facing.
Steve Aiken OBE MLA said:
“Flybe is so important to the general connectivity of Northern Ireland with the UK mainland, that it is imperative that no stone is left unturned in helping it find a way through its current economic difficulties.
“I understand Flybe has been in discussions with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Department for Transport seeking Government assistance in providing or facilitating any emergency financing.
“Flybe is the UK’s biggest regional carrier, with 16 routes from Belfast and employs a large number of staff in high quality jobs at the George Best Belfast City Airport.
“Other parts of the United Kingdom can avail of road and rail links as an alternative to flights if necessary, but we in Northern Ireland do not have that option, and rely on air links to cities such as Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester and Birmingham. It is crucial that this option is maintained and that Flybe continues to serve Northern Ireland.
“It is hard to overstate the importance of Flybe to the George Best Belfast City Airport, and the airport itself is crucial to the local economy. It is incumbent on everyone to do all we can to ensure that the company receives whatever help and assistance it needs going forward.”