A transatlantic game changer
That's how Fly Atlantic, a new transatlantic airline set to launch from Belfast in 2024, is being hailed. The airline will offer "affordable fares" from Belfast International to 35 destinations in North America and Europe and, if it succeeds, could be a huge boost to tourism and connectivity on this island.
But there will be challenges, as Simon Calder writes. He invokes WOW air, the Icelandic budget airline that failed in 2019. Ireland has a much bigger population than Iceland and is closer to continental Europe as a hub, but Belfast already faces competition from Dublin Airport and Fly Atlantic will be fighting other airlines - not least Aer Lingus. (I'd also point out another low-cost Icelandic airline already offering cheap transatlantic flights from Dublin, via Reyjkavik - Play).
"I hope my pessimism is misplaced," Calder concludes. But we'll have to wait and see if Fly Atlantic has the wow-factor.
Deals of the week (Black Friday edition)
Black Friday is much more than a day by now - especially when it comes to travel. I've just published 25 of the best hotel, airline and holiday deals and discounts (newsletter readers, you heard it first!). They range from 15pc off a Camino holiday to €100 off North American flights and 20pc discounts on hotel stays. A word of caution, of course: approach travel bargains as you would any other purchase – buying what you really want, paying attention to applicable dates, minimum spends or blackout days (eg. bank holidays), and checking the T&Cs.
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Safe travels, Pól