easyJet’s newest route from Liverpool started this morning with passengers jetting off on the airline’s inaugural flight to Antalya in Turkey.
An art sculpture to the 96 people who died at Hillsborough has been officially unveiled in its new home at Liverpool John Lennon Airport.
The Band of Life – commissioned by Mayor Joe Anderson in conjunction with the Hillsborough Family Support Group to mark the 25th anniversary of the disaster in 2014 – has been relocated from the atrium in the Liverpool ECHO building on Old Hall Street where it has been for the last three years.
The Band of Life is a simple band representing the bond between the families, friends, survivors and fans who were brought together in a time for the love of the lost ones. The band is a link between them, representing a continuous circle of love bringing the city of Liverpool together to remember. It has 96 lights, each representing a person who died, with the illumination symbolising a commitment to continue to bring light to their life.
It was officially unveiled in its new home at the airport in a special ceremony on Thursday 15 March attended by Lord Mayor, Cllr Malcolm Kennedy, representatives of the families and senior airport managers.
The Lord Mayor said: “I am pleased and privileged to have unveiled the Band of Life at Liverpool John Lennon Airport.
“It is a poignant symbol of the 96 innocent football fans that needlessly lost their lives, and a constant reminder of the long fight for truth and justice by their families.”
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson said: “The Band of Life’s new home at Liverpool John Lennon Airport will mean it will be seen by millions of people every year, which is really important as we are committed to forever remembering the 96 lives that were lost.
“It will give people the opportunity to reflect not just on those who died, but also the incredible bravery of their families.”
Hillsborough Family Support Group chair, Margaret Aspinall, said: "The Band of Life is hugely symbolic, not just to those who died and the families who've lost loved ones, but also the survivors and those who've supported us for so many years.
“I’ve wanted it to go somewhere that it would be seen by many, many people and Liverpool John Lennon Airport is an excellent location given the large number of people who pass through their doors every year."
Robert Hough, Chairman of Liverpool John Lennon Airport commented: “When we heard that a new home was being sought for the Band of Life, we were naturally only too happy to offer space for this to be relocated close to the Arrivals area in the Airport terminal building.
“This will help to ensure that the millions of arriving passengers at the Airport, be they visitors to the City Region or those returning home, will continue to remember the 96 lives that were lost.”
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Loganair, Scotland’s Airline, has announced plans to take up the Liverpool to Isle of Man route formerly flown by Flybe. The service will operate between Liverpool and the Isle of Man up to 19 times per week initially, with plans to increase this to three times daily from the end of March.