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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Flybe Secures Partnership With World's Largest Student Travel Booking Agency

  Belfast student Clare Minne helps Flybe announce the airline’s partnership deal with STA Travel, the world’s largest student and youth travel company, at its store in Botanic Avenue.  Also in the picture is Flybe Regional Sales Manager Ken Harrower and STA Travel Expert Joseph Toner.

Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline, is delighted to announce a landmark deal with STA Travel confirming its status as the ‘Preferred Partner for Student and Youth Travel’ which will see a range of affordable seat fares offered for sale across Flybe’s extensive 180+ route network to STA Travel’s customer base.

STA Travel is the world’s largest student and youth travel company, operating in over 63 countries including Northern Ireland, and has more than 230 retail stores globally in addition to its web booking engine that offers 24/7 global travel help. It has a high profile through a number of promotional tools including the wide use of social media channels, a database of more than 2.4 million and knowledgeable in-store travel experts who provide peer-to-peer advice to customers.

This, with a product range that matches the price and performance expectations of its customers and weekly ‘hot deals’ displayed across all 50 of STA Travel’s UK stores, means that Flybe will be afforded the benefit of high prominence within this relatively untapped and hugely active travel sector.

Commenting on the new partnership, Flybe’s Chief Commercial Officer, Paul Simmons said:
 “The global student and youth travel market offers enormous potential and we are delighted to have secured a presence into this fast growing sector of the travelling public through our new preferred partnership relationship with STA Travel. Customers will have access to an extensive selection of dynamic fares across Flybe’s network that includes routes offered by our two franchise partners, Loganair and Stobart Air.

“Our regional sales team is looking forward to supporting this partnership by working closely with STA Travel’s own extensive retail network.

“In this exciting fast-moving sector, and with a passenger commitment of being ‘the fastest way from A to Flybe’, we greatly look forward to working with our new partners at STA Travel and to becoming the preferred regional airline of choice for millions of additional young travellers.”

Tim Fryer, STA Travel’s UK Product and Marketing Director, added: “We are delighted to be working closely with Flybe. The new partnership will give our travel-savvy customers even more choice when it comes to planning their perfect itinerary to start their adventure.”

The World In Pictures - Siobhain Danaher Exhibition

Siobhain Danaher has traveled over 58,200 air miles to bring her stunning travel photography exhibition to George Best Belfast City Airport.View it in arrivals from August 3rd 2014.

What is your exhibition about?

Clouds and Sky Mont Blanc Italy 
My Travel Photography Exhibition gives an insight into the beauty of many destinations around the world and the vibrant and welcoming people that call these places home.
The world is a magical place and I have been very fortunate that my travels have taken me form the heights of the Himalayan Kingdom of Bhutan to the winding canals of Venice.
This exhibition is a collection of images from those travels including Bhutan, Cuba, India, New York, Venice and Vietnam. 
This exhibition for me is a realisation of my dream of becoming a Travel Photographer which I have been working towards over the past 4 years.
I would like to think my exhibition will inspire others to travel, create art and pursue their own dreams, no matter how big or small.

What is your favourite picture and why?

Havana Cuba
 My favourite image is  - Aerial view - Havana, Cuba.

This image was taken in my favourite destination and one I will return to someday - Cuba.
A mixture of raw beauty and unique sights, sounds and aromas makes this a most wonderful place to photograph.
Cuban people are incredibly welcoming and even though they may not appear wealthy in monetary terms, they possess a wealth of spirit that is both admirable and humbling.
As with all photographs they tend to jog our memory of times gone by and some images will stay in our memory longer than others. This is by far by most favourite memory as it was shot as I took my first steps to becoming a Travel Photographer.
I was in Cuba to attend Lorne Resnick's Travel Photography workshop and captured this image taken on my first day as I leaned out of the balcony of my 'Casa Particular' (Cuba's equivalent to a B&B).
The scene was set as I watched Cubans go about their daily business, the classic blue car in the background, the deteriorated street, the people walking by unaware of the captivated audience above them.
I waited patiently as the sun moved to align the shadows and just as this happened the two ladies walking by carrying their shopping entered the image which became the focal point of the image.

Describe the benefits of having your exhibition displayed in an airport?

Bhutanese Dancers
Displaying my exhibition in an airport has many benefits.
It enables me to reach a wide audience and in most cases an audience that shares the same love of travel as I do.
Most people have some spare time at airports, whether waiting for their own flights or waiting for loved ones to arrive and my exhibition gives them an opportunity to see the sights of the world and maybe take some inspiration to book their next adventure.
The airport is the perfect place to display my exhibition as it is through airports that most journeys to the world of travel begin.

Why should people stop and take a look in arrivals?

I hope people will stop to view my exhibition as one of my aims is to inspire people to travel more, to experience the beauty of the world we all inhabit and to see how cultures as different as they may seem are also very much the same.
I sincerely hope viewers in George Best Belfast City Airport enjoy my exhibition as much as I have enjoyed creating it.

Find out more about Siobhain Danaher 

Monday, 14 July 2014

Ten things you only do at the airport

1.   Splash out at World Duty Free, so many bargains and tax savings it's hard to resist that perfume, make-up, the nail polish oh and the Ray Bans.
2.   Look out for a celeb! Loads of famous faces have passed through Belfast City Airport from Jamie Dornan to Little Mix.
3.   Buy more books than you can possibly read on holiday at WH Smith. From the latest Robert Galbraith (aka JK Rowling) to Clive Cussler, you've got to get your hands on those crisp new pages.
4.   Have a pint and a full Ulster Fry before your flight, even if it’s early, fuel for the journey.
5.   Stock up on mini toiletry products at Boots because you can’t possible fit the normal size product in your hand luggage. Then you remember you've forgotten after-sun, insect repellent and party feet.
6.   Walk around with a newly purchased Toblerone and a tin of short bread. You’re buying it as a gift, a gift for yourself! 
7.   You've had this holiday booked for months but you haven't got round to changing your money yet. It's a good thing Travelex has some of the best currency exchange rates on the market. 
8.   Use the free Wi-Fi to look up holiday phrases. You can't learn the whole language in 50 mins but you can master the basics  uno más amigo bebida (one more drink please)!
9.  Down a bottle of water quickly (to stay hydrated) then need the loo as soon as you step on the plane.  
10.        Show off you mismatching socks. The socks looked to be the same when you put them on this morning but when asked to remove your shoes at security you discovered they are in fact completely different.

Friday, 20 June 2014


Flybe, the largest airline operating out of George Best Belfast City Airport has paid a unique tribute to the 1974 British and Irish Lions Squad.
The event coincided with the 40th Anniversary reunion of the Squad organised by the Wooden Spoon Children’s Charity of which Willie-John McBride is currently President. The legendary players who were flown in from Scotland, England and Wales by Flybe, lined up to watch the unveiling and included Fran Cotton, Alan Morley, JPR Williams, Phil Bennett, Andy Irvine, Alan Old, Roger Uttley, Gareth Edwards, JJ Williams, Phil Bennett and Billy Steele. The Irish stars comprised Willie-John McBride, Syd Millar, Mike Gibson, Fergus Slattery, Tom Grace, Jonny Moloney, Stewart McKinney and Dick Milliken.
“The Invincibles”, a specially named Q400 aircraft, has been unveiled in the presence of the squad members including team captain Willie-John McBride, by Fred Kochak, Flybe Routes Director accompanied by Andrea Hayes, Flybe’s Regional Manager North.

Fred Kochak explains, “In May 1974 a squad of 34 rugby players from Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales formed the British and Irish Lions Squad to travel to South Africa. They were to play against a country not beaten in 78 years. When they returned in July 1974, having won 21 of their 22 matches and drawing the other, they returned as “The Invincibles” and are widely regarded as the greatest northern hemisphere side of all time. Their passion, commitment and determination is legendary and we are delighted to make our own unique tribute to what they achieved and the values they continue to represent.

Dedicating an aircraft to such sporting icons is our special way of saying congratulations and a thank you to “The Invincibles”. As she flies across the Flybe route network, we hope that “The Invincibles” will act as an inspiration to others”.

From today the Flybe Q400 OE will feature a life size image of Willie-John McBride framed within a set of rugby posts. Below the cross bar are listed the 34 names of the full 1974 British and Irish Lions Squad. Alongside the image is the new name of the aircraft, “The Invincibles”.

Adds Mr Kochak, “The Invincibles celebrate their 40th anniversary today and Flybe recently marked its 30th year operating out of George Belfast Belfast City Airport. Two very different milestones but both demonstrating a strong legacy of achievement and commitment which is assured well into the future, both here and throughout the rest of the UK.”

Flybe has previously named five other aircraft to honour local sporting heroes – George Best and Mary Peters in Belfast, Kevin Keegan in Newcastle, Matt le Tissier in Southampton and Adam Stansfield in Exeter.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Enjoy gadgets during take-off and landing

You can now use electronic devices all the way through flights as long as they are set to 'Flight Safe' mode.

The recent change to the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) regulation that covers the use of portable gadgets on flights means you can now play games, read an e-book or check your saved emails from tablets and phones during take-off and landing.

The only exceptions are laptops, DVD players and Bluetooth accessories, which can be used during boarding and during your flight, but need to be stowed away for taxi, take-off and landing.

Always be aware of your airlines' individuals guidelines. Ask cabin crew if you are unsure. Wi-Fi, text and phone call functions are not permitted.

Whenever you are using a device make sure they are carefully secured in your hand or pocket and that headphones do not obstruct the aisle.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Queen's Baton Arrives In NI

The Queen's Baton was presented to Northern Ireland's First Minister and Deputy First Minister on the steps of Stormont by Dame Mary Peters on Tuesday.

Our adopted schools Knocknagoney PS, St Joseph 's PS & Mitchell House joined St Ita's in passing the Queen's Baton down the Stormont hill.

The baton has, so far, traversed the world as it visits the Commonwealth countries ahead of the opening of Glasgow 2014 on 23 July.

GRAHAM Facilities Management secures £2m contract with Belfast City Airport

George Best Belfast City Airport has awarded GRAHAM Facilities Management with a substantial £2 million contract to last three years.

The contract will see a team of 22 GRAHAM members of staff provide a mix of services including grounds maintenance, cleaning, energy management and electrical and mechanical services.

Speaking on behalf of Belfast City Airport, Capital Projects and Engineering Manager, Chris
Horner, said: “The airport welcomed over 2.5 million passengers in 2013 and with new routes to London City and Doncaster-Sheffield recently announced it is vital that the facilities are maintained to support the smooth running of our operations and accommodate future growth.

“The airport supports the on-site employment of around 1,200 in the airport and provides contracts to around 40 local businesses.

“GRAHAM Facilities Management has an impressive skill set spanning both hard and soft services and we look forward to working with the team as they help us to retain our excellent customer satisfaction levels.”

Development and Technical Director of GRAHAM Asset Management, Gareth Smyth, said: “GRAHAM Facilities Management has worked hard to build on its strong reputation as a capable and reliable provider for all facilities management and maintenance services.

“By drawing upon our innovative service delivery models we are able to offer the benefits of a one stop solution shared ultimately with our clients, such as Belfast City Airport, through continuous improvement and cost reduction.”

For more information about the facilities and amenities available at Belfast City Airport please visit

Queries can also be directed to the airport’s social media channels:

Monday, 19 May 2014

Single male 30-something? You’re the perfect passenger!

A survey of more than 700 international cabin crew members, from 85 countries by Skyscanner has revealed their perfect airline passenger, and it’s a surprising result.

The perfect passenger according to cabin crew is male; he travels alone for pleasure rather than business and he’s in his 30s. And, sorry Beckham but he’s not a celebrity, or at least not one who’d travel premium class as economy passengers top the perfect passenger survey.
For cabin crew operating in UK airspace, it’s English men who are overwhelmingly voted as perfect passenger, with over half the vote. Men from Wales were deemed the least favourite passengers amongst British travellers.
Seen by many as one of the most glamorous and desirable jobs, cabin crew are in the unique position to meet and greet people from all walks of life. However, with nearly 3 million people sitting in the sky every day, some regular habits and requests can understandably get under their skin more than others.
According to the survey, the biggest gripe for a quarter of cabin crew (26%) is passengers who click their fingers at them to get their attention. Other annoying habits at 30,000ft include the scramble to leave the plane before the seat belt signs are switched off (13%), passengers trying to cram too much hand baggage in the overhead lockers (11%) and one in ten say their pet peeve is when passengers talk through the safety demonstration, suggesting that many frequent flyers do not pay attention in spite of increasing requests by cabin staff to do to. Stuffing rubbish in the seat compartments (7%) also completed the list of cabin crew gripes.
Skyscanner’s Sam Poullain said: “This is the first time that we’ve surveyed international cabin crew and the findings give us a real insight into what they really think of passengers. It’s interesting to see that it’s the men who get the vote for the perfect passenger, and while many of us would love to travel business or first class, cabin crew prefer to work in economy.
“It must be frustrating for cabin crew when passengers try and cram as much hand baggage in the overhead locker as humanly possible, however carrying only hand luggage can save passengers quite a lot of money as the cost of putting baggage in the hold can be very expensive.”

The most annoying habits of air passengers

1.Clicking fingers to get your attention
2.Leaving seat at the end before the light goes off
3.Stuffing too many bags into overhead locker
4.Complaining there’s no space for their bag in the locker
5.Talking through the safety demo
6.Asking for more blankets/pillows
7.Stuffing rubbish in the seat pocket
8.Asking for a different meal
9.Ringing the attendant bell to complain about temperature
10.Asking for a specific brand of drink

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Passengers welcome the new Flybe Belfast to London City route!

Flybe are set to fly directly from Belfast to London City Airport from October. Passengers are excited about the new route. Here's what they had to say in the terminal today: 

Michael Gaffney & Martin Green 
Business travellers Michael Gaffney and Martin Green welcomed the new route. 

"It's great to be able to fly right into the heart of a destination and go straight to meetings, " Michael said.  

"From a business perspective we find Flybe routes handy and easy to use. Not to mention the convenience of the self-service check-in, " Martin added. 

L-R Bernie Connolly, Martina Clancy and Tiarnan Daily
Passenger Tiarnan Daily is considering a move to London soon. 

He said the new route will make it easier for him to get to London city centre and for him to fly home.

Passenger John Carson is pleased about the new route: "It will make getting into London so handy. Especially for football fans. If you like Chelsea it couldn't be any better."
Tasha Bradley & John Carson 

Passenger Eoghan McCarthy is happy about the London City news. "I welcome more routes and variety being added to the airports' range of destinations," he said.

Eoghan McCarthy

Find out more about the new Flybe Belfast to London City Airport route 

Fly in for the Giro d'Italia Big Start 2014

Belfast and Northern Ireland are hosting the Giro d'Italia Big Start (Grande Partenza) from 8 - 11 May 2014 with three days of unmissable cycling action and a special pre-race event in Belfast on 8 May: Giro Opening - Come Meet the Riders! 
This is one of professional cycling's three Grand Tour events with over 200 of the top professional cyclists from across the globe taking part.
There will be a range of events and activities before and during the races, including a fabulous celebration worthy of Italian cycling traditions and the maglia rosa (the pink jersey).

For more information, go to

Giro Opening Event - 8 May

This is your chance to see your cycling idols up close and personal. The nine riders from each of the 22 teams will be presented along with a range of entertainment to celebrate the Big Start in Belfast. This event at Belfast City Hall is free to attend but will be ticketed access. Tickets will be limited to two per person. Find out more >>

Free tickets will be released to the public on a first-come, first-served basis at 9am, Thursday 24 April via:

  • online at
  • in person at Visit Belfast Welcome Centre, opposite Belfast City Hall (9 Donegall Square North, Belfast, BT1 5GJ) - view map
There will be a designated accessible viewing area within the event site. Tickets for this area are limited and only available by telephone booking from 9am on 24 April 2014. To book, please call Visit Belfast Welcome Centre 028 9024 6609. Accessible tickets are limited to one per person and an accompanying guest.

Stage One - 9 May 

Stage One of the Giro d'Italia in Northern Ireland is a team time trial (21.7km) through Belfast, taking the following route. Find out more >>

Stage Two - 10 May

Stage Two begins and ends in Belfast with a 218km route via the Causeway Coast.Find out more >>

Stage three - 11 May

Stage Three starts in The Mall, Armagh and finishes in Dublin city centre. Find out more >>

Get on Yer Bike! Festival

An eight-day Giro festival, from 3-11 May, will celebrate all things Giro including films, exhibitions, tours, street entertainment, cookery classes and much more. Find out more >>

More information

Road closures - Traffic Watch NI 

Public Transport Diversions - Translink
For further information, visit or follow @girostart2014 on Twitter (hash tag #girostart2014) and

Useful telephone numbers

DRD Traffic and Travel Tel: 028 9025 3000
PSNI (Police) 
Tel: 101

Flybe Announces New Route From Belfast To London City Airport

Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline, is delighted to announce that it has signed a five-year agreement with London City Airport which will see the introduction of a new direct service from George Best Belfast City Airport into the heart of London.

From Monday 27th October 2014, Flybe will offer three times daily services between the two city centre airports.   This brings the total number of direct destinations offered by Flybe from Northern Ireland to 14 making it the largest airline operating at George Best Belfast City Airport.

Flybe expects that the new route will appeal to both business and leisure passengers in Northern Ireland and those based in the City of London and Canary Wharf whose travel plans are time-critical and who will appreciate the reduced transfer times compared to flying from / to Heathrow, Gatwick or Luton.   London City airport is conveniently located in the heart of the financial capital with connections offered every ten minutes by Docklands Light Railway, meaning that passengers can be in Canary Wharf in 12 minutes – and, via the London Underground, in Westminster in just 24!

Flybe is also aiming to Europe’s most punctual airline. It recently launched a new world-first 60:60 guarantee that promises its customers if a flight arrives more than 60 minutes’ late at its destination due to a delay within Flybe’s control, they will qualify for a £60 voucher towards their next flight as long as they book within 60 days.

Saad Hammad, Flybe’s Chief Executive Officer, said: "We’re delighted to announce this new service between Belfast and London City Airport.  Today’s news is a significant landmark in the re-birth of Flybe. The decision to re-enter the London market at its most convenient airport follows a rigorous profitability analysis utilising our strict ‘Route Assessment Model." 

"Flybe is today already connecting over 7 million passengers a year throughout the UK and Europe.  With this new major London connection from Belfast City, we are not only cementing our position as Europe’s largest regional airline but also upholding our customer promise to be ‘The Fastest Way from A to Flybe." 
Welcoming today’s announcement, Arlene Foster MLA, Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment said: “This is excellent news for the Northern Ireland business community who have been seeking this service to London City for some time. It will provide access to the heart of London as well as offering passengers a greater choice in terms of price and flight times. I welcome Flybe’s continued commitment to Northern Ireland.”

Brian Ambrose, Chief Executive of George Best Belfast City Airport added: "For over 30 years Flybe has worked alongside Belfast City to offer passengers a UK wide route network.  I have no doubt that London City will prove a popular service especially with business passengers. Flybe’s distinctive brand refresh and new service to London City signals a new era for our business partner and we wish the airline every success."    
One way fares including taxes and charges start from £39.99 and are now on sale at

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Fllybe Celebrates First Flight Of Flagship Purple Plane Into Belfast

    • Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline, celebrates the first landing of its distinctive signature purple Bombardier Q400 aircraft into George Best Belfast City Airport. The newly branded aircraft showcased the cabin crew’s new purple uniform and on-board purple mood lighting, both of which will be rolled out across Flybe’s entire fleet. 
      Welcoming the aircraft to Belfast, Andrea Hayes, Flybe’s Commercial Manager, said, “Flybe’s brand refresh is not only reflected in the look and style of the purple graphics and stylish new uniforms, but also in a new approach to customer service and delivery. Core to our customer promise is providing time-saving efficient travel captured in our new strapline ‘The Fastest Way from A to Flybe’. That commitment is backed by our flagship 60:60 guarantee product which gives passengers a £60 credit towards their next flight booked within 60 days if, through the fault of the airline, their flight arrives more than 60 minutes late.”

      The Flybe refresh also includes a new-look website and re-named ticket options stating exactly what they offer: ‘Just Fly’; ‘Get More’; and ‘All In’.

      “It’s a brand new era for Flybe,” continued Ms Hayes, “and we look forward with confidence to becoming the UK’s local airline of choice with a focus on time-saving and punctual travel for our regional customers.”


      Pictured: Flybe Cabin Crew & Andrea Hayes (centre) Flybe’s Commercial Manager

Wednesday, 9 April 2014


A brand new lounge experience is coming soon to George Best Belfast City Airport.

Whether you are flying for business or leisure, discover the secret to happy travel with a visit to the Aspire lounge opening in May 1st 2014.

The lounge, formerly for Flybe corporate passengers will be closed from April 09 to undergo a complete refurbishment. Once the transformation is complete it will reopen to the public.

Conveniently located close to the departure gates but away from the drama and fuss of the main departure hall the Aspire lounge is the perfect place to catch up on some work or completely relax with a drink and a bite to eat before your flight.

Take your pick from a selection of complimentary snacks and treats, complimentary hot and soft drinks and a great choice of beers, wines and spirits. Find a comfortable seat and log on to the free wifi to catch up on some emails or surf the net, or choose one of the complimentary newspapers or magazines to read, or simply sit back and take in the fantastic views of the airfield.

Food, Drink and Facilities
Choose from a selection of snacks, treats and light bites, all complimentary of course. Help yourself to as much or as little as you like.

The Aspire lounge contains a wide range of complimentary premium brand wines, beers, spirits and soft drinks which are available throughout the day. So whether it’s a pre-flight Gin and Tonic or just simply a cappuccino, you're sure to be well catered for within the lounge.

Charging facilities, free wifi, newspapers and magazines are also available in the lounge with our compliments.

However you wish to spend time before your flight, you'll find everything that you need in the Aspire lounge at Belfast City Airport.

For booking details find out more:

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Come in tights to win some flights!

Robin Hoods, Maid Marians and Merry Men are invited to don a pair of tights or medieval attire and strike a heroic pose to win return LinksAir flights for you and a friend to Doncaster Sheffield airport & a one night stay at the Crown Hotel in Bawtry.

The top three photos voted by the public will win! Enter our photo contest now:

Direct flights to Doncaster-Sheffield Airport from George Best Belfast City Airport commence on Friday 11th April 2014. The twice daily service, operated by UK regional airline LinksAir will allow passengers to access the whole of Yorkshire.

The Crown Hotel in Bawtry is just a 5 minute drive from Doncaster-Sheffield Airport.

You can stay in a  fabulous executive bedrooms with mood lighting, photographic wallpaper, sunken bed and rainfall shower.

Enjoy dinner in the Crown restaurant with a choice of locally sourced dishes including grills, pasta, fish and our famous sharing platters.

Finally set up your departure day with a Crown full Yorkshire breakfast. The hotel will throw in a nice chilled bottle of Prosecco to your bedroom on arrival at the Crown.

LinksAir Hotel Offer

Special LinksAir accommodation rates are available at the Crown from £70 per night – please contact package coordinator Katey at and quote ‘LinksAir’ to enquire about rates on your travel dates.