British Airways has unveiled a new 285m² lounge with £300,000 investment at Belfast City Airport as part of its £5bn investment programme to make air and ground travel more comfortable.

The British Airways lounge features 87 comfortable seats, work zone, power outlets, complimentary Wi-Fi and complimentary bar.

British Airways parent company International Airlines Group CEO Willie Walsh said: "The Belfast City to London Heathrow route remains a vital artery for the flow of business and commerce, and is essential to sustain and grow the local economy.

"We recently announced that all our Belfast flights will be moving to our flagship Heathrow home, terminal five, at the end of October.

"Customers connecting to British Airways’ extensive worldwide network from Heathrow will now benefit from being able to connect to more long-haul destinations without having to transfer between terminals, cutting minimum connection times by 30 minutes."

"I look forward to working with the airport and its airline partners."

George Best Belfast City Airport has also announced a decision to provide direct flights to Robin Hood Doncaster Airport. British regional airline LinksAir will operate the service from 11 April.

Northern Ireland Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster said: "It not only strengthens our own access to the North of England and the greater east midlands, but also makes it easier for people to get to Northern Ireland for business or a holiday.

"I look forward to working with the airport and its airline partners as we welcome more visitors to the region throughout 2014."

Belfast City Airport business development manager Ellie McGimpsey said: "With Belfast City Airport just minutes from Belfast City Centre and Doncaster-Sheffield Airport located less than an hour’s drive from cities such as York, Sheffield, and Hull, this new connection provides passengers with quick, direct access to the East Midlands.

"At Belfast City Airport, we regularly invest in our own facilities to enhance the customer experience and will continue to work closely with our partner airlines to develop our already strong route network and ensure connectivity to key UK and European destinations."

Image: Tourism Ireland Co-operative marketing manager Sinead Murray, Visit Belfast director of marketing and communications Anne McMullan and Belfast City Airport business development manager Ellie McGimpsey. Photo: courtesy of Belfast City Airport.