Belfast International Airport, known by airport code BFS, provides the bulk of the air services to Northern Ireland. The airport provides services to a relatively limited number of airlines.
Aer Lingus, Ireland’s flag carrier, operates a base of operations and a secondary hub at Belfast. This is the Aer Lingus hub outside the Republic of Ireland. The airline operates to nine destinations from Belfast including London.
EasyJet provides the most flights to and from Belfast serving about 20 European and British locations on a permanent basis and another five with season flights. EasyJet’s operations at Belfast include flights to all the commercial airports at London as well other major destinations in England and Scotland. EasyJet began operation in 1995 and has expanded through mergers with other European budget carriers. The airline uses a fleet of about 200 Airbus aircraft to serve about 30 destinations.
Jet2.com airline utilizes Belfast as an operations base but does not consider it a hub of operations. Jet2.com, formerly known as Cannel Express Air Services, operates a fleet of 44 aircraft serving 54 cities including Belfast. Operations at Belfast include permanent scheduled flights to Leeds and Tenerife with a season schedule to about 20 destinations. Jet2.com also operates charter aircraft from Belfast and its other bases of operations.
Thomas Cook Airlines also maintains a base of operations at Belfast International Airport. It operates a limited permanent flight schedule to destinations in the Canary Islands. It also provides seasonal service to about a dozen European destinations as well as Orlando in the United States. Most of its seasonal destinations include resort or tour attractions and can vary with the season.
Several airlines provide seasonal flights to Lourdes, France. These airlines provide transportation for people making a pilgrimage to sites associated with the Catholic faith. Flights of this nature are so popular than no fewer than three airlines provide flights to this destination.
United Airlines offers permanent flights to the United States through its hub at Newark, New Jersey. It is the only airline offering year-around service to America from Belfast. The airline operates a fleet of about 700 aircraft from Boeing and Airbus.
Several cargo airlines operate airfreight operations at Belfast International Airport. All connect to hubs in England with no service to America or Europe. The primary carriers are FedEx Express flying to Birmingham and Paris along with Atlantic, DHL Express and Jet2.com all flying to East Midlands in England.