Despite concerns over the future of Derry Airport after Ryanair decided to reduce its services, the airport is to receive £7 million of funding from the Northern Ireland Executive to ensure it "remains a key gateway to the North-West".
The funding will see £2.5 million spent on route development and the remaining £4.5 million on the airport's infrastructure, reports the Belfast Telegraph.
The airport, which is managed by UK firm Regional & City Airports (RCA), saw its passenger numbers decline by 18.8% to around 284,000 and operates a loss of £2.145 million per year, while Belfast International Airport saw passenger numbers rise to over 4.3 million this year. RCA argued that the decline in passengers was due to the impact of airport departure tax and competition from Dublin Airport.
Ryanair, which re-opened its Belfast base earlier in the year, decided to cancel services between Derry and London Stansted and its summer route to Faro, blaming a variety of reasons such as the impact of Brexit and the success of its new Belfast to Gatwick service.