BA CityFlyer adds London City – Belfast City; Belfast – London had ~3 million seats last year

BA CityFlyer adds London City - Belfast City; Belfast - London had ~3 million seats last year

BA CityFlyer is to begin a six-weekly service between London City and Belfast City on 1 September, increasing to 18-weekly from 26 October. 

Using 98-seat Embraer 190s, the 527-kilometre service will not initially be designed for London-bound passengers, with a 0700 departure to Belfast City.  This will change from 26 October, when an aircraft will overnight at the Northern Irish airport and arrive London City at 0820.

This route was last operated by flybe, which it began in 2014.  At its peak, in 2019, flybe had 277,000 seats between the two airports, and up to 34 weekly flights.

Routing Start date Weekly frequency Direct competition (weekly frequency) Indirect competition (weekly frequency; week starting 1 September, week starting 26 October)
London City – Belfast City 1 September 6, then 18 from 26 October None None from London City to Belfast International;

Aer Lingus: Heathrow – Belfast City (21, 21);

British Airways: Heathrow – Belfast City (24, 27)

easyJet: Gatwick – Belfast BFS (26, 42); easyJet: Luton (12, 24); easyJet: Stansted (14, 35);

Ryanair: Stansted – Belfast BFS (2, 2)

Source: OAG Schedules Analyser and each airline’s website. Note: easyJet’s frequencies are based on those bookable at the time of writing. Others are listed by are appearing as ‘sold out’, i.e. given coronavirus, it is not expected to operate. The situation may change.

Up to 151 indirect weekly frequencies

While BA CityFlyer will have no direct competition or indirect competition (to Belfast International) from London City, indirect competition will be significant from other London airports. 

In the week starting 1 September, 99 weekly frequencies will be offered from other London airports.  Come the week of 26 October, it will be up to 151.  This gap is almost completely from easyJet’s lower-than-normal frequencies.  

A city-pair with three million seats; easyJet now has 54%

At city-pair level, Belfast – London had almost three million seats last year, data by OAG Schedules Analyser confirms.  This was down 1% YOY from Ryanair dramatically cutting its Stansted – Belfast International service to just twice-weekly last June.

With this cut, city-pair capacity was 123,000 seats fewer last year than in 2010.

Between 2010 and 2019, easyJet grew its share of the Belfast – London market from 27% to 54%.

BA CityFlyer adds London City - Belfast City; Belfast - London had ~3 million seats last year

Source: OAG Schedules Analyser.

Belfast City had a 39% share of London seats last year

Belfast City – London had just over 1.1 million seats last year, meaning it had a 39% share of London seats. 

These 1.1 million were up 8.6% YOY, carved up among British Airways (40% share), Aer Lingus (35%), and flybe (24%).

Somewhat ironically, flybe added the most seats last year (36,000, +15%) – but of course ceased operating this year, cutting almost one-quarter of Belfast City – London seats.

Yet, Belfast City – London seats have fallen from a high of almost 1.8 million in 2010, a year in which bmi served Heathrow, bmibaby Stansted, easyJet Luton (as a short-term experiment), flybe Gatwick, and Ryanair Stansted.



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