The offer is intended to close a gap, as there are currently no direct flights from Belfast across the Atlantic. By 2030, around 1,000 jobs should be created with the airline and 20,000 more in tourism, for example. The aim is for Fly Atlantic to eventually fly to 35 destinations.
The fleet will initially consist of six aircraft and is expected to grow to 18 aircraft by 2028. Negotiations are currently underway with Boeing and Airbus.
Direct competition with Ireland
Airline boss Andrew Pyne said the Northern Irish capital had prevailed against strong competition in the UK. “Our vision is for Belfast to be a strong aviation hub connecting Europe and North America,” said Pyne. “The lack of direct transatlantic air services has clearly been a hindrance to Northern Ireland’s economic and tourism development. We now want to remedy that. The project can be a game changer.”
This means that Belfast is also competing with Dublin Airport in Ireland, a neighboring EU country, from where there are already direct flights to North America. Tens of millions of people in the US and Canada have Irish roots.