Ó Muilleoir welcomes restoration of Belfast - US air link
Sinn Féin MLA Máirtín Ó Muilleoir has welcomed the announcement United Airlines are to reinstate its direct service between Belfast and New York during the months of January through March.
Mr Ó Muilleoir, a frequent user of the service, said,
“This announcement that the direct route between Belfast and New York is to be reinstated is great news given the number of people here who travel to the U.S. throughout the year and the business lifeline it provides for foreign direct investment.
“Not only will this allow American travellers, including business people and tourists, to travel to and from Belfast but it will also help secure jobs at the International Airport. On my visits to meet management & staff at the airport, I am left left in no doubt about their resolve to grow this business dramatically.
“The transfer of Airport Passenger Duty on long-haul journeys to the Executive helped ensure the long-term viability of the U.S. Route. I have no doubt that if we want to double our tourism numbers and become a magnet for international business then we need to take the bold step of transferring all Air Passenger Duty powers to Stormont. Then we can make the best decisions in relation to APD based on maximising the benefits to our economy and community.
"At present APD is a tax, like so many others, which benefits London but penalises Belfast."