George Best Belfast City Airport has received international recognition for its Excellence in Airport Marketing at the Routes Europe Marketing Awards in Bilbao.

The airport claimed the ‘Highly Commended’ award for airports under 4 million passengers at the Routes Europe Marketing Awards which recognise new air route successes from across the globe and reward airports for outstanding marketing activity over the last 12 months.

An eagerly anticipated event within the aviation industry, the Routes Marketing Awards are entirely unique as it is the airlines that nominate the airports they believe should be rewarded for best practice marketing activity.

Upon receiving the award in Euskalduna Conference Center and Concert Hall in Bilbao, Katy Best, Commercial Director at Belfast City Airport, said:

“Throughout the nomination process, airlines from across Europe recommend airports which they believe have provided exceptional marketing support during the launch of new routes or support for existing services, and which have excelled in marketing and negotiating potential new routes.

“To have our work recognised as best practice within the industry and receive a nomination is fantastic but to be named Highly Commended by a panel of senior international airline executives is an incredible accolade for Belfast City Airport.

“Our approach is very much to be a ‘partner in market’ for our airlines allowing them to benefit from our expertise and knowledge, not only our own passenger base, but also of the local market, to best support their routes.

“We spend a lot of time ensuring our route development and airline marketing strategies are aligned with the brand and values of the airline itself and are tailored specifically to include activity that will have a direct impact on awareness and growth of the routes from Belfast City.”

In the last 12 months, Belfast City Airport has welcomed Eastern Airlines, secured additional capacity on Cardiff and London City routes as well as announcing a new route to Doncaster Sheffield, the arrival of Loganair which will operate a 6 times weekly service to Carlisle Lake District Airport from June. This is in addition to longstanding partner airlines Aer Lingus, British Airways, Flybe and KLM.

The 2017 Routes Europe was hosted in Belfast and was one of the most successful Routes Europe events to date.

Katy Best continued:

“Co-hosting Routes Europe last year provided us with a wonderful opportunity to showcase Belfast and Northern Ireland to airlines from across Europe, and further afield. Hosting Routes Europe was a real triumph for Northern Ireland. It certainly thrust the city and Belfast City Airport into the limelight to be recognised and applauded by so many airlines.

“We have capitalised upon this momentum with the meetings and conversations that took place at both Routes Europe this year being invaluable. This dialogue with airlines and partner airports will very much continue over the coming months as we ensure Belfast City Airport remains firmly on the radar of potential new airlines.”

The sought after Routes Europe Marketing Awards saw Belfast City Airport stave off competition from Cork Airport, Groningen Airport Eelde and Liege Airport, with Billund Airport the overall winner.