Flight route between London and Derry to continue as UK government agrees £4.3million funding boost

Robert Courts, London Derry

The UK government has today (10 March) announced that it will provide a £4.3 million to fund a “vital” flight route between City of Derry Airport and London Stansted.

The route, which is jointly funded by the Department for Transport and the Northern Ireland Department for the Economy, provides “critical” connectivity from the North-West of Northern Ireland to the capital, boosting the region’s economy, the government says.

The two-year extension, which begins on 1 April, will be funded through c.£4.3million over the course of the contract. Loganair is set to continue operating 13 return flights a week.

This comes as the Government announces up to £20 million to accelerate the development of high-quality transport projects that will vastly improve Union connectivity while boosting local economies.

Aviation minister Robert Courts said:  “Regional connectivity is at the heart of our plans to build back better after the pandemic, and the agreement secured is vital step towards this.

“The route will provide vital connectivity from Northern Ireland to the capital, supporting economies on both sides, and helping us deliver on our commitments to level up across the UK.”

Last week, the prime minister also announced that the relaunched Global Travel Taskforce will deliver a report on 12 April 2021 outlining a framework to restart international travel, as wider restrictions are lifted over the coming months.

Throughout the pandemic, the government has pledged around £7 billion of support to the sector including a number of targeted initiatives such as extending the “80:20” slot waiver rule, providing grants of up to £8m for airports and ground handlers and creating an online jobs centre to help skilled workers regain high-value positions across the sector.

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