Belfast could lose the opportunity to offer flights directly to New York due to rising prices.Managing Director for Continental UK and Ireland, Bob Schumacher, said the Belfast route is making a loss.

"In order to compete with our own routes from Ireland we are paying the difference," Mr Schumacher said.

"We see a direct correlation between the amount of money we are losing on the route and the size of the cheque we are writing to Westminster.

"We came to Belfast as we believed that it was a sensible and strong proposition but as these taxes continue to rise it continues to be less of a viable option when it is right next door to a different tax regime where we can offer lower prices," he added.