There are renewed concerns for the future of City of Derry Airport after airline flybmi cancelled all its flights and announced it was filing for administration.

The airline operates two return flights each day from Derry to Stansted (London), except on Saturdays when it is reduced to one flight each way.

The news comes only days after the British Government announced it was to continue to provide funding for the route for another two years.

The public service obligation (PSO) air route, the first of its kind in the North, ,has been in place since 2017. It had been due to expire this May.

In a statement, flybmi blamed increases in fuel and carbon costs challenges "particularly those created by Brexit" for the decision

In statement the company said it made the "unavoidable" announcement "with a very heavy heart."

The company said customers have been advised to contact their payment card issuer to get a refund for flights, while those who have booked through a travel agent or partner airlines should contact their agent or airline for details of their options.

Derry Sinn Féin Councillor Sandra Duffy said the news was "a huge concern" particularly for the economy in the North West.

She added: “One of the reasons cited by the airline is the uncertainty caused by Brexit - yet more evidence of the destruction and disruption that the DUP and the British Government are prepared to cause to our economy with their reckless Brexit agenda.

“This will obviously have implications for the new public service obligation (PSO) flight between Derry and London as well as the new route to Manchester, all of which flybmi was due to operate."

“Of course, the loss of the airline does not mean the loss of the service and I have contacted the chief executive of Derry City and Strabane District Council to ensure every effort is made to find an alternative carrier as soon as possible so there is minimal disruption to this service.”

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