By Ian McConnell

Business leaders from Glasgow and Belfast yesterday welcomed the launch of Scottish airline Loganair’s new service between the two cities, with the importance of connectivity for cities amid the coronavirus crisis and beyond flagged.

Glasgow Chamber of Commerce chief executive Stuart Patrick crossed the Irish Sea on Loganair’s first flight on its new route. He was greeted at George Best Belfast City Airport by Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Ann McGregor.

Mr Patrick, who was joined on the flight by Loganair chief executive Jonathan Hinkles and the airline’s chief commercial officer, Kay Ryan, said: “Connectivity and resilience are important for every city during the present crisis and beyond. This new route from Loganair provides both for Glasgow and Belfast. There are many business connections between the two cities and this service will be invaluable for the companies involved.”

READ MORE: Developer ready to push button on biggest retail and residential development in Inverness city centre for years

Ms McGregor said: “Northern Ireland’s economy relies heavily on good connectivity to both near and far markets. Maintaining and indeed growing the number of routes from our airports will be key for economic recovery.

READ MORE: Opinion: Ian McConnell: Perilous and offensive myths of furlough and home working

“We very much welcome the introduction of this Belfast to Glasgow service, which will help facilitate easy commercial travel between the two cities. Businesses across Northern Ireland already enjoy strong working relationships with customers and partners in Scotland and this service will go some way to ensuring that this can continue in the crucial months ahead.”

Katy Best, commercial director at Belfast City Airport said: “The commencement of a double-daily service from the heart of Belfast to Glasgow is not only positive news for Belfast City Airport but for the many passengers who rely on connectivity with Scotland."