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|Posted: 2020-11-15 10:28:57 Post subject: Covid-19: Belfast International Airport only opening when fl
|Covid-19: Belfast International Airport only opening when flights operate
Belfast International Airport (BIA) has said it will close for several hours on certain days this month as a result of the coronavirus
The airport will be closed when there are no scheduled commercial flights.
Its managing director Graham Keddie said decisions by easyJet and Ryanair to reduce their routes left the airport with little choice.
BBC News NI understands the airport has requested urgent financial assistance from the Northern Ireland Executive.
"When the first lockdown was announced and all commercial flights were grounded, we were committed to keeping the airport open
24/7," said Mr Keddie.
"This was to keep Northern Ireland connected and to ensure that we remained open for all medical emergency flights, all military
and PSNI traffic, the Royal Mail and all cargo flights, including the delivery of online purchases.
"This cost us roughly £65k per day," he said.
Mr Keddie said the decision to cut its operating hours was not taken lightly.
Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon was "disappointed" by the development, said her department.
But it added: "[The minister] understands how this reduction in the operations will help the airport reduce its cost base in light of
reduction in scheduled services because of the Covid-19 measures."
The department said Ms Mallon was committed to working with other Stormont ministers "to explore what the executive can do
to support the industry through this time of challenge".
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