EasyJet Adds Derry to Network with Liverpool and Edinburgh Flights

EasyJet, one of Europe's leading low-cost carriers, has announced a significant expansion of its network with the addition of new routes connecting City of Derry Airport (LDY) in Northern Ireland to Liverpool and Edinburgh.

EasyJet Adds Derry to Network with Liverpool and Edinburgh Flights
Photo by Omri Greenberg / Unsplash

EasyJet Adds Derry to Network with Liverpool and Edinburgh Flights

Key Takeaways

  • EasyJet introduces new routes from City of Derry Airport to Liverpool and Edinburgh.
  • Flights commence on November 4, 2024, operating twice weekly.
  • The expansion aligns with EasyJet's strategy to serve underserved markets.
  • Significant economic and social benefits anticipated for Derry and surrounding regions.

EasyJet's Expansion Strategy

EasyJet, one of Europe's leading low-cost carriers, has announced a significant expansion of its network with the addition of new routes connecting City of Derry Airport (LDY) in Northern Ireland to Liverpool and Edinburgh. This move marks EasyJet's first foray into Derry, enhancing connectivity for the northwest region of Ireland and opening up new opportunities for both business and leisure travelers.

The new year-round flights are set to commence on November 4, 2024, operating twice weekly on Mondays and Fridays. This development represents a major boost for City of Derry Airport and the surrounding area, promising increased accessibility and potential economic benefits.

EasyJet's Expansion Strategy

EasyJet's decision to launch services to Derry aligns with its broader strategy of identifying and capitalizing on underserved markets. By introducing these new routes, the airline is not only expanding its presence in Northern Ireland but also strengthening its position in the UK domestic market.

Ali Gayward, EasyJet's UK country manager, highlighted the airline's commitment to offering competitive fares, with one-way tickets starting from as low as £18. This pricing strategy aims to stimulate demand and make air travel more accessible to a wider range of passengers.

The addition of Derry to EasyJet's network brings the total number of airports served by the airline in Northern Ireland to three, complementing its existing operations at Belfast International and George Best Belfast City airports. This expansion underscores EasyJet's confidence in the Northern Irish market and its potential for growth.

Impact on City of Derry Airport

The introduction of EasyJet flights is expected to have a transformative effect on City of Derry Airport. Steve Frazer, the airport's managing director, expressed enthusiasm about the development, emphasizing the significance of EasyJet's brand credibility and customer confidence.

The arrival of a major low-cost carrier is likely to boost passenger numbers and potentially attract other airlines to consider Derry as a viable destination. Currently, the airport is served by Loganair, operating routes to London Heathrow and Glasgow, and Ryanair, with flights to Manchester and Birmingham. The addition of EasyJet's Liverpool and Edinburgh routes will significantly expand the airport's connectivity, offering passengers more choice and potentially more competitive fares.

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Meeting Market Demand

The selection of Liverpool and Edinburgh as destinations from Derry is not arbitrary. Brenda Morgan, the airport's head of business development, noted that there has been substantial demand for services to these cities from both business and leisure travelers in the Northwest. This sentiment is echoed by airline schedule analyst Sean Moulton, who pointed out that Derry has historically seen significant demand for routes to Edinburgh and Liverpool, which were previously served by Ryanair and Loganair.

The reintroduction of these routes by EasyJet is expected to cater to this existing demand while potentially stimulating new traffic. The twice-weekly frequency provides a balance between serving the market and allowing EasyJet to assess and potentially grow the routes based on performance.

Economic and Social Benefits

The launch of these new routes is anticipated to bring numerous benefits to Derry and the surrounding region:

  • Enhanced Connectivity: The flights will improve links between Derry and major UK cities, facilitating business travel and tourism in both directions.
  • Economic Stimulus: Increased air connectivity often correlates with economic growth, potentially attracting investment and supporting local businesses.
  • Tourism Boost: Easier access to Derry may encourage more visitors from Liverpool, Edinburgh, and their surrounding areas, benefiting the local tourism industry.
  • Strengthening Ties: The routes will facilitate familial connections and friendships between the regions, as highlighted by local authorities.

Potential for Further Growth

Success on these initial routes could lead to increased frequency or the addition of new destinations, possibly including EasyJet's main hub at London Gatwick.

Operational Details

The new EasyJet services will cover distances of 161 miles from Edinburgh and 211 miles from Liverpool to Derry. These relatively short domestic routes are well-suited to EasyJet's fleet of Airbus A320 family aircraft, known for their efficiency on such sectors.

The initial schedule of two flights per week on Mondays and Fridays is designed to cater to both weekend leisure travelers and business passengers. This frequency allows EasyJet to test the market while minimizing risk, with the potential to increase services if demand warrants.

Competitive Landscape

EasyJet's entry into the Derry market introduces a new level of competition, particularly on the routes to Great Britain. The airline's presence may put pressure on existing carriers to adjust their offerings and pricing strategies. Passengers have previously expressed concerns about high fares on Loganair's services, which operate with smaller aircraft. EasyJet's larger planes and low-cost model could address these concerns, potentially leading to overall fare reductions in the market.

Future Prospects

The success of these new routes could pave the way for further expansion at City of Derry Airport. Airport authorities have expressed hope for increased flight frequencies and additional destinations, particularly mentioning the possibility of a connection to London Gatwick.

EasyJet's commitment to Derry also sends a positive signal to other airlines and investors about the potential of the market. If the routes prove successful, it could attract other carriers to consider launching services, further enhancing the airport's network and importance as a regional gateway.

Challenges and Considerations

While the announcement has been met with enthusiasm, there are challenges to consider:

  • Market Sustainability: The success of the routes will depend on consistent demand from both leisure and business travelers.
  • Seasonal Variations: EasyJet will need to navigate potential seasonal fluctuations in demand, particularly during off-peak periods.
  • Infrastructure Development: City of Derry Airport may need to consider infrastructure improvements to accommodate increased passenger numbers and larger aircraft.
  • Regional Competition: The new routes may face competition from services at other nearby airports, including those in Belfast.


EasyJet's decision to launch flights from City of Derry Airport to Liverpool and Edinburgh represents a significant development for air travel in Northern Ireland. The move promises to enhance connectivity, stimulate economic activity, and provide new opportunities for both the airline and the region.

As the November 4, 2024 launch date approaches, all eyes will be on the performance of these new routes. Their success could herald a new era of growth for City of Derry Airport and potentially transform the air travel landscape in the northwest of Ireland.

The addition of Derry to EasyJet's network underscores the airline's commitment to expanding its presence in key markets and its ability to identify opportunities for sustainable growth. As the aviation industry continues to recover and evolve post-pandemic, such strategic expansions may become increasingly common among forward-thinking carriers.

For residents of Derry and the surrounding areas, including County Donegal in the Republic of Ireland, these new routes offer the promise of improved connectivity, more travel options, and potentially lower fares. As EasyJet's orange-tipped aircraft prepare to touch down in Derry for the first time, they bring with them not just passengers, but also the potential for economic growth and stronger ties between regions.

Q&A Section

Q: When will the new EasyJet flights from City of Derry Airport commence? A: The new flights are set to commence on November 4, 2024.

Q: How often will the flights operate? A: The flights will operate twice weekly, on Mondays and Fridays.

Q: What are the destinations for the new routes from Derry? A: The new routes will connect City of Derry Airport to Liverpool and Edinburgh.

Q: What is the starting price for one-way tickets on these new routes? A: One-way tickets will start from as low as £18.

Q: What aircraft will EasyJet use for these routes? A: EasyJet will use its fleet of Airbus A320 family aircraft for these routes.

Q: What are the potential benefits of these new routes for Derry? A: The new routes are expected to enhance connectivity, stimulate economic growth, boost tourism, and strengthen regional ties.