BRITISH Airways has taken over the route between Leeds Bradford Airport and Belfast City Airport following the collapse of Stobart Air.

Stobart Air went into liquidation over the weekend, meaning several Aer Lingus routes including the one from Yeadon to Northern Ireland's capital were cancelled causing misery for travellers whose plans were scuppered with no notice.

But now British Airways has taken over the route, and services began on Wednesday.

Tom Stoddart, managing director of BA CityFlyer, which will operate the new routes, said: "We’re delighted to announce these new services from Belfast, which will enhance our regional network and maintain vital connections between Northern Ireland and other key UK destinations.

“We're sure these routes will be popular with customers getting away for a UK holiday this summer, as well as those visiting friends and relatives, and we’ll continue to listen to their feedback about where they want to travel.

"We also welcome the recent announcement about the NI Domestic Aviation Kickstart Scheme and await further details with great interest."

Vincent Hodder, chief executive of Leeds Bradford Airport, added:  “We are delighted that this new British Airways route from LBA to Belfast City Airport has been confirmed.

"This has always been a popular route and is an important link between the Leeds City Region, the largest economy in the UK outside of London, and Northern Ireland which has a broad appeal for both business and leisure travellers.

"We look forward to welcoming passengers to our airport.”

Flights are set to run six days a week (no flights on Saturdays) between Leeds Bradford and Belfast City.