The Department for Transport (DfT) and the Northern Ireland Department for the Economy have agreed a new two-year subsidy for flights between Stansted and the City of Derry airport.

Flights between London and Derry-Londonderry have been subsidised by the DfT and the Derry City and Strabane District Council since May 2017, with regional carrier Flybmi operating the route 13 times per week on a 49-seat aircraft.

The new subsidy means flights can continue until at least 1 May 2021.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling said the decision to extend the subsidy was made because the route “strengthens the union, protects choice and boosts trade and travel opportunities”.

Grayling commented: “It will be welcomed by businesses in the north of Northern Ireland because corporate trips to and from London within a day will remain a possibility. The extension will continue to provide easy access for tourists to visit the spectacular causeway coast line, as well as spectators attending the 148th Open golf championship at Royal Portrush this summer.”

Karen Bradley MP, secretary of state for Northern Ireland, added: “This announcement is hugely welcome and vital for the continued economic growth of Northern Ireland. Connectivity to Derry-Londonderry helps boost the huge potential on offer, including tourism and global business opportunities. I am delighted to have secured this funding and maintained the air link between the thriving city of Derry-Londonderry and London, the financial and cultural centre of Europe.”

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