Northern Ireland has provided funding to prevent United Airlines axing its Belfast-New York route.

Financial assistance of around £9 million has come from the Northern Ireland Assembly.

According to The BBC, the US airline was set to axe the route, believing its aircraft could be more profitably used elsewhere.

The managing director of Belfast International Airport, Graham Keddie, said: “Two weeks ago we had lost it.

“It was a Northern Ireland team effort to get it back,” he added.

Economy minister Simon Hamilton said the executive had backed the rescue package.

“It is public money being spent to ensure we keep this very important route in place,” he added.

 He said the route was crucial to attracting US-inward investment.

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