Belfast City has been added to the network operated by Aer Lingus Regional from Manchester airport.

The Irish carrier’s regional arm now operates to Dublin, Cork and Belfast City from Manchester.

Stobart Air, operator of Aer Lingus Regional, will base five ATR72-600 aircraft at Belfast City airport as part of network expansion from Northern Ireland.

The airline will run up to four daily return flights from Manchester to Belfast City with fares starting at £29.99 one-way including taxes.

A series of new safety measures have been introduced including enhanced aircraft cleaning and the suspension of in-flight food and drink service. 

Stobart Air managing director Andy Jolly said: “We are pleased to establish a base at Belfast City airport and to work closely with Manchester airport, Belfast City airport and our partners Aer Lingus to operate flights to and from Manchester.

“Stobart Air has worked hard over the past number of months to protect our airline during challenging times and to position us for the future. The launch of this service is part of that. 

“This new Aer Lingus Regional route will facilitate key links and connectivity between these cities and ensure we provide choice, value and convenience for our customers.”

Manchester airport aviation director Julian Carr said: “It’s great to see flights to Belfast City take off from Manchester airport today, giving our passengers greater choice and flexibility when accessing the capital of Northern Ireland. I imagine the flights will be extremely popular for all passengers looking to access the city.

“Furthermore, the flights will also provide excellent onward connectivity for the people of Northern Ireland, who will have easy access to our international long-haul network.”