Owen Paterson (Secretary of State, Northern Ireland; North Shropshire, Conservative)
I have discussed the matter with Willie Walsh, the chief executive of International Airlines Group, and also with ministerial colleagues in the Department for Transport and in the Northern Ireland Executive.
Maintaining Northern Ireland's domestic and international air links is of huge importance for business and tourism. I note the commitments given by Mr Walsh that IAG will maintain:
“a comprehensive domestic schedule including Belfast.”
The Northern Ireland Regional Development Minister, Mr Danny Kennedy, has registered with the Secretary of State for Transport, my right hon. Friend Justine Greening, the importance that Northern Ireland is connected to a hub airport. We will ensure the DFT Aviation Framework addresses Northern Ireland needs when it is put to consultation in the summer.