A NEW route from Belfast to Southampton has been launched in time for summer.

Emerald Airlines, exclusive operator of Aer Lingus Regional, has announced two new services to Cardiff and Southampton from its Belfast base.

The start date for the flights will be July 7.

Passengers will be able to fly from Belfast to Southampton at 3pm or from Southampton to Belfast at 5.10pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday.

On Saturday, passengers can fly from Belfast to Southampton at 9.55am or Southampton to Belfast at 12.05pm.

Ciarán Smith, head of commercial at Emerald Airlines said: “As we near the peak summer months, the launch of our Cardiff and Southampton services will provide those travelling from Belfast with more choice when planning their holidays.

"When quick getaways are on the top of everyone’s mind, we are offering convenient timings and low fares, increasing connectivity to and from Northern Ireland. "We are extremely pleased with the feedback we have received since beginning our operations from Belfast City Airport and believe Cardiff and Southampton are great new connections that will cater to both business and leisure travellers with direct, convenient and cost-effective flights from Belfast.

"In addition, we will continue to add more routes and increase frequencies over the coming months.”

Passengers can also book flights from Belfast City Airport to Birmingham, Edinburgh, Leeds Bradford, Manchester, Glasgow, and Exeter.

They will be able to earn Avios points on all Aer Lingus Regional flights, enjoying the current benefits offered by both Aer Lingus and British Airways at Belfast City Airport.

Aer Lingus Regional flights will be operated by the ATR72-600.

According to the airline, these "ultra-low fuel burn" aircraft emit up to 40 per cent less CO₂ on short, regional flights.

Tickets can be booked through AerLingus.com and britishairways.com.

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