The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Glasgow Prestwick Airport starts
Ryanair routes to Belfast and Budapest

AYRSHIRE'S Glasgow Prestwick Airport added two more capital cities to its route network this week as the inaugural flights to Belfast and Budapest lifted off.

Ryanair’s new daily service to Belfast started on Tuesday (October 30) and connects Glasgow Prestwick with George Best Belfast City Airport, which is only two miles from the city centre.

[Early birds: left to right, Sam and Tom Wyatt, both from Essex; Nancy Gallagher from Coatbridge; Michael Cavanagh and Elaine Thomson from Ayr; Roni Fitzpatrick from Kilwinning.]

The Northern Irish capital has prospered in recent years, a strong economy helping it to become one of Europe’s most popular short break and conference destinations. In 2006 the city welcomed nearly seven million visitors.

Arnold Dragsnes was among the passengers travelling on the inaugural flight. The 61-year-old, from Dumfries, visits Belfast often to see his son and grandson and was travelling with his daughter Suzanne, 28, from Cumbernauld.

[Picture shows: Arnold Dragsnes (left) and his daughter Suzanne (right) at check-in with Glasgow Prestwick Airport's Pamela Vicencio (centre)].

Arnold said: “I was glad when I heard Ryanair were starting flights from Prestwick. The fact it’s so much more handy plus the cost of the flights mean I will be able to get to Belfast a lot more often.”

The passengers travelling on the first scheduled flight out of Scotland to Budapest arrived to check in early this morning (Thursday November 1).

[Eary birds: Arthur Murphy and Sheila Pollock from Dumfries.]

The early signs are that Ryanair’s three times a week service to Hungary’s cultural capital will be a great success.

Made up of ‘Buda’ and ‘Pest’ which occupy opposite sides of the River Danube, the city welcomes more than 20 million visitors each year and is the third most popular destination in the world for a weekend break.

Kev Mcenaney and Rory Kerr, both 25 from Hamilton, were among the first passengers to check in. They were visiting Kev’s brother, who is currently working in Budapest.

[Picture shows: left to right, Rory Kerr, Kev Mcenaney and Glasgow Prestwick Airport's Anne Jakubowski.]

Kev said: “I’ve been over to Budapest before but had to fly from Manchester which was an absolute nightmare. This is much easier and cheaper.”

Glasgow Prestwick Airport chief executive Mark Rodwell said: “The introduction of these new flights to popular destinations shows there is clearly a market for increased services from Prestwick.

“Ryanair have once again shown that they are serious about developing the Scottish market and giving passengers the best choice of destinations at the best prices.

“We are confident that the direct services to Belfast and Budapest will appeal to business and leisure travellers alike, resulting in plenty of people travelling in both directions.

“As of January 2008, we will cover a total of 32 European destinations through scheduled flights, all operated by low cost airlines.”

[Celebrating the new routes, Linda McKechnie, Theresa Havan, Sandra McIntyre and Donna Caven – all of whom work at Scottish Enterprise in Glasgow – are flanked by Glasgow Prestwick Airport’s Gemma Rooney and Alan Murray.]

Fares on Ryanair’s new routes, including Kaunas which launched on Sunday October 28, can be had for as little as £10, including taxes and charges. These fares are available now from

December sees the return of Ryanair’s winter service to Grenoble, which provides winter sports enthusiasts with access to some of Europe’s best ski resorts, and a new daily service to Cork.

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