First flight from Newark to Belfast
First Flight From Newark To Belfast
The first ever non-stop scheduled air service between Newark and Belfast recently touched down at Belfast International Airport. The new route, operated by Continental Airlines between Belfast and Newark Airport, was made possible through a joint investment by Air Route Development (NI) Ltd, (a subsidiary of Invest NI) and Belfast International Airport.
Speaking at the Airport before the take off of the first flight, Enterprise Minister Angela Smith said "This is a very significant development and tremendous news for business travellers and tourists alike. It is also a wonderful expression of confidence in the future of Northern Ireland.
"The commencement of the new direct service is a result of a great team effort involving many organisations, including Invest Northern Ireland, the NI Tourist Board and Tourism Ireland. I must congratulate Belfast International Airport and Continental Airlines our partners in this venture, for their commitment to make this happen."
Alan Clarke, Chief Executive of NITB, said "The impact of direct access to Northern Ireland for American Tourists cannot be overestimated. Last year US visitor numbers increased by one-fifth to 100,000, and by 2007 we aim to increase that to 145,000. This is a symbol of future growth potential and a great confidence boost for Northern Ireland tourism. Direct access to New York will certainly help us achieve this ambitious target
Paul O'Toole, Chief Executive of Tourism Ireland, said "We are tremendously excited by the advent of this new route and have worked closely with Continental Airlines on a range of co-operative marketing and advertising actions in the United States to maximise awareness of this direct service to Belfast. Global competition has never been stronger so we need to motivate consumers with compelling offers and reasons to visit Northern Ireland combined with a range of competively-priced access options. The new direct transatlantic air service will be of great assistance in that task and has the potential to provide a significant boost to US visitor numbers"