George Best Belfast City airport has been sold to UK-based private equity and venture capital company 3i Group PLC.

The facility has been acquired from current owners Eiser Infrastructure Partners, along with a portfolio of assets including Italian gas transporter and electricity network provider East Surrey Pipelines, and two bus terminal interchanges in Madrid.

The sale price has not been disclosed, but 3i said that £700 million will be made available to fund the initial acquisition and “to provide capital for a number of significant follow-on investments across the portfolio”.

George Best Belfast City is the closest of two airports to Belfast’s city centre, and last year served 2.7 million passengers.

Routes from the airport include London Heathrow with British Airways and Aer Lingus, Brussels with Brussels Airlines, Amsterdam with KLM, and several services with Flybe including Aberdeen, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Liverpool, London City and Manchester.

The airport is also set to welcome a new one-stop New York service via Reykjavik with Icelandair from June 2017.