Officials are warning of possible job losses amid reports that Aer Lingus will move its operations in Belfast.

Airport news for Belfast,Travel on 18/06/2012.

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Officials are warning of possible job losses amid speculation that Aer Lingus will move its operations in Belfast.

Reports surfaced last week that the Dublin-based airline would be shifting its Northern Ireland base from Belfast International Airport to George Best City Airport within a few weeks time. Now, airport bosses are being asked not to cut each others’ throats amid the speculation.

So far Aer Lingus and operators have declined to offer specific insight into the reports, but UUP MLA Danny Kinahan appealed to airport heads at the weekend amid concerns that the situation could lead to substantial job losses. All parties involved have said that no final decision has been made on the move and that a formal announcement would be issued next week.

The news comes just after Belfast City lost operations from BMIbaby amid the recent takeover by BA parent firm IAG. An official from Belfast City airport said in the carrier’s absence – which amounts to some 400,000 passengers annually – that it was confident that new airlines would be attracted to the facility and that this position “had not changed” amid the Aer Lingus speculation.

Experts say if the move does happen that Aer Lingus will likely offer routes from George Best to Gatwick, Edinburg, Glasgow, Birmingham, Manchester as well as the only link between the Northern Ireland capital and Heathrow.

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