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M22 and A6 closed after crash involving bus and car

Traffic is being diverted at junction 2 of the M22 and on the A6 Moneynick in Co Antrim following a crash involving a bus and a car.

The Moneynick Road is closed to Toome following the crash on Sunday afternoon.

The M22 is also closed at junction 2 Ballygrooby to junction 3 Moneynick.

There are no further details on the collision at this time.

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Ryanair pilots planning pre-Christmas strike

Ryanair customers have been warned they may face disruption to pre-Christmas flights as around a quarter of its Dublin-based pilots go on strike.

The one-day industrial action will take place on Wednesday 20 December and mostly involves captains.

Trade union Impact said the dispute was about winning independent representation for pilots in the company.

The union warned the strike would either disrupt flights or generate substantial costs for the airline.

Pilots from the Irish Airline Pilots' Association backed the industrial action overwhelmingly during secret ballots.

Although the action involves around 80 of the 300 plus Dublin-based Ryanair pilots, Impact says it will cause disruption because planes cannot legally or safely fly without a captain.

The company said it was surprised by the decision of less than 28% of Dublin based pilots to strike, when Ryanair's Belfast, Cork and Shannon bases had already agreed these 20% pay deals.

In a statement, Ryanair said its pilots are free to join a union, the company is also free, under both Irish and EU law, to decline to engage with (competitor pilot) unions.

Impact official Ashley Connolly said Ryanair was the only Irish-based airline that refuses to recognise independent pilot representatives.

"Management's failed negotiating model has let down shareholders and tens of thousands of passengers, whose flights were cancelled this year because company-controlled industrial relations proved incapable of recruiting and retaining enough pilots.

"This dispute is about securing a safe space for negotiations, with independent representation that pilots can have confidence in."

Ryanair said they will deal with any disruptions "if, or when they arise", and have apologised to customers in advance of any delays.

Easyjet announces new Belfast routes

Low-cost carrier easyjet has announced three new flight routes will begin operating from Northern Ireland next summer.

New services to the Isle of Man, Naples and Valencia from Belfast International will run from summer 2018.

This brings the total number of easyJet routes operating out of Belfast to 31.

The new flights to Italy and Spain will run twice weekly throughout the summer and the Isle of Man route will continue throughout the year.

Ali Gayward, easyJet's UK country manager, said, "we have been committed to Belfast airport for over 18 years. We are proud to have carried over 50 million passengers in that time."

Graham Keddie, managing director at Belfast International Airport, said, "The addition of twice weekly year-round jet services on key days to the Isle of Man will offer genuine opportunity to grow the market between Northern Ireland and Isle of Man".

"Naples and Valencia are likewise two welcome easyJet additions to the departure boards at Belfast International offering high consumer demand."

Belfast buzzing as Christmas festivities get underway

There’s a real festive buzz in Belfast on Saturday as the Christmas market has opened at City Hall and preparations are underway for the Christmas lights switch-on.

Lord Mayor Nuala McAllister will be joined by special guests including children’s characters and Cavehill Primary School choir for an evening of fun before the big switch-on.

All tickets have been allocated for the event and traffic diversions will be in place in and around the City Hall. Pedestrians will have access until 5.30pm when it becomes a ticket holder zone.

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