Newcastle Airport has come out on to top at the 2015 Wanderlust Magazine Travel Awards, winning the gong for Top UK Airport.
TV presenter Julia Bradbury presented the awards, held at the Destinations Travel Show at Olympia in London, which were voted for by almost 3,000 of the publication’s readers.
Over 30 airports were nominated in the UK category and a satisfaction rating of 86 per cent saw Newcastle Airport claim first place for the first time.
Janet Collins, General Manager Terminal Operations at Newcastle Airport, said: “We were one of over 400 airports that Wanderlust Magazine readers visited in 2014. They are experienced travellers and they know what makes an excellent airport.
“To come first as the Top UK Airport for these readers, with a satisfaction rate of over 80 per cent, is a fantastic achievement and a real testament to the hard work of all of our staff who strive to make us the most welcoming Airport in the UK.”
This is the latest award in what has been a very successful twelve months for Newcastle Airport. In August 2014 Which? magazine readers voted Newcastle the top large airport in the UK for the second year running.
The aviation industry has also been delighted with the performance of Newcastle Airport. Last year the airport was named the best base for customer service by easyJet, the best for on time performance by Thomas Cook, and the top performing base for 2014 by Jet2.
“It's great to see the smaller regional airports coming out on top," said Wanderlust Editor Phoebe Smith. "Reporting a high satisfaction level, our readers clearly love Newcastle Airport, whether using it to travel within the UK or heading further afield. Well done to the whole team there – a well-deserved winner.”
Wanderlust magazine was launched in 1993. It caters for adventurous travellers who want fresh and authentic travel experiences abroad.
Leading holiday brand celebrates the launch of Thomson Scene with a #MyScene event hosted by Chelsea TV stars
- Event celebrated the launch of a bespoke collection of holidays aimed at young sun seekers
- Hosted by Chelsea TV stars Lucy Watson, Oliver Proudlock and Binky Felstead
- 15 Scene destinations available from Newcastle airport
- Celebratory voucher code launched to be used online or in Thomson shops such as Northumberland Street and the Metro Centre
Chelsea’s hottest ‘Scenesters’ hit the red carpet last night for the official launch of Thomson Scene, a new collection of bespoke holidays for the youth market. The Shoreditch event, held at the award-winning Callooh Callay cocktail bar, saw Lucy Watson, Oliver Proudlock and Binky Felstead go head-to-head as they competed to host the best ‘Scene’, taking inspiration from their favourite Thomson Scene holiday destination.
Millie Mackintosh also attended and celebrity DJ Jameela Jamil was in residence, playing the hottest holiday sounds throughout the evening for celebrity guests and party-goers.
Aimed at 18-35 year olds, Thomson Scene offers the perfect choice for sun seekers looking for a smart holiday base in some of the coolest party destinations. From affordable hotels close to the action, to a selection of celeb style, luxury hangouts in 15 destinations from Newcastle airport, the newly expanded range of holidays offers a wide variety of options to suit all tastes. Hot spots featured in the Thomson Scene programme and available include the big hitting, party islands of Ibiza, Zante and Corfu and the chic spot of Croatia, as well as long haul getaways to Mexico.
To mark the official launch, Thomson Scene has released a celebratory voucher code. All customers who book a Scene holiday before the end of January 2015* will receive £50 off when quoting 49196 online, 49200 in stores such as Northumberland Street and the Metro Centre and 49216 through the call centre at the time of booking.
At last night’s launch party each VIP host curated their own ‘Scene’ within the event, selecting the décor, canapés and signature cocktails to bring to life their chosen party hotspot.
Lucy’s Scene was inspired by the party island of Ibiza, taking on a glamourous vibe with a specially created champagne cocktail, The Ibiza Royale. Glitter Lips make-up artists on hand in Lucy’s Scene to get people into the party mood. Talking about the event, Lucy commented: “It’s been so much fun picking out all the elements I love the most about Ibiza, and bringing them to life for the launch of Thomson Scene. Ibiza is such an amazing and glamourous holiday destination, I knew instantly that it would the perfect choice to inspire my Scene!”
Drawing on the laid back vibes of Thailand, to recreate a beach party Scene, Proudlock served his guests a brand new King of Siam cocktail. Proudlock commented: “I was quietly confident going into the evening, but the girls gave me some tough competition. When I was checking out all the amazing destinations that Thomson Scene offers, Thailand was an easy stand out choice for me as the perfect combination of awesome parties and chilled out days surrounded by beautiful scenery.”
The third Scene at the event was hosted by Binky Felstead and inspired by the vibrancy of Mexico, serving traditional Mexican canapés and the El Rivington Swizzle, a tequila based cocktail. She commented: “I was just lying on the beach in Mexico last week, and it was one of the best holiday’s I’ve ever had. So, it was a no-brainer when asked for a theme for my Scene. There are so many super cool things about Mexico that I could get creative with to showcase the style of the destination, from colourful decorations, yummy Mexican quesadillas and delicious tequila cocktails.”
Mark Hall, Director of Product for Thomson, said: “Thomson Scene combines chilled pool days with lively nights and we offer a fantastic range of short, mid and long haul destinations from Newcastle airport inluding Ibiza, Corfu, Croatia and Mexico. Our new youth brand offers sun seekers a wide holiday choice from affordable hotels close to the nightlife, to celeb style luxury hangouts which offer relaxation and the chance to experience some culture in the country they are visiting.”
Newcastle International Airport is raring to go for 2015 with a host of new routes and destinations for passengers, and a range of exciting new outlets as part of its £14 million departure lounge development.
The countdown has begun with the new service to New York with United Airlines now less than 150 days away. The first flight leaves on 23rd May and a recent visit by United Airlines personnel based in Chicago to the airport confirms everything is on track for the first flight.
Amazingly, around 160 United staff based in Chicago are working on the project to bring service to Newcastle covering activities such as aircraft catering, cleaning, engineering, cargo and ground handling arrangements.
This summer service connects at New York’s Newark Airport with United flights linking passengers to over 300 North American, Central American, Caribbean and South American destinations. Popular early sellers include New York itself and the holiday destinations of Florida and Las Vegas but bookings have already been made to destinations across the United States.
Other scheduled services to take-off in 2015 include Stansted flights with Flybe from late March and a year-round service to Geneva with easyJet which recommences in June.
A number of carriers have also added new holiday destinations for summer 2015. New services include Santorini and Varna with Thomas Cook, Dubrovnik with Thomson, Antalya, Split in Croatia, Corfu and Rhodes with easyJet and Larnaca, Malta, Zante and Tunisia with Jet2.com. In winter Thomson will add Hurghada and Larnaca to their schedules.
In 2013, work began on a major departure lounge development which has so far seen the introduction of a number of new outlets including The Flying Hippo, Beer House, Cabin Bar and Aspire Lounge. New retail units have also opened including Traveller, Cuba Lily, Travelex and WHSmith.
David Laws, Chief Executive at Newcastle International Airport, said: “It’s been a hugely successful year for Newcastle International Airport. We’ve have a very strong summer and passenger numbers are up. 2015 will be a year of celebration as enter our 80th anniversary year. We have a number of exciting things planned, so watch this space!
“Recently we achieved our long term goal of securing a trans-Atlantic service to New York with United Airlines. We’re delighted that this will begin to operate in May 2015, tickets are on sale now and we’d encourage the North East travelling public to get behind this route and book up for summer 2015.
“A number of our airline business partners have also added services to their schedules for the year and we’ll be travelling to new destinations including Stansted, Split in Croatia, Santorini in Greece, and Hurghada in Egypt.
“We’re part way through our exciting £14 million departure lounge development which will be completed in summer 2015. A number of new concepts will open for the benefit of passengers as we continue to invest in our facilities to ensure we achieve our aim of being the UK’s most welcoming airport.
“In 2014 we were also named by Which? as the best large airport for the second year running which was a wonderful accolade. We’re sure 2015 is going to be even better than the last and wish all our passengers a Happy New Year!”
As well as celebrating new routes and ongoing investments, the airport also recently announced a new partnership as both the Newcastle United Foundation and Sunderland AFC’s Foundation of Light have joined forces for the first time to raise funds as the airport’s adopted charities.
Speaking about this news David Laws said: “The airport is the perfect place to reach millions of people as they jet in and out of the region either for business or leisure. Both Foundation charities are very worthwhile causes working with children and young people across the region. We’re delighted to be able to help them reach out to the North East public, raising awareness of what they do as well as fundraising within our terminal.”
22 December 2014
It’s Ho Ho Ho Holiday time at Newcastle International Airport this Christmas as the annual Christmas getaway begins!
Over the festive season thousands of holidaymakers travel out of and into the North East to see family and friends, enjoy a once in a lifetime trip or escape the UK weather to somewhere sunny!
Over 100,000 passengers are expected to travel through Newcastle Airport between Friday 19 December and Thursday 1 January 2015 with around 950 flight movements during this time.
Popular destinations include Dubai, the Canary Islands, Dublin, Amsterdam, Sharm el Sheikh, mainland Spain and Geneva.
Festive welcome home parties can be found in domestic and international arrivals areas throughout as thousands fly home to the region to spend time with family and friends. ‘Meeters and greeters’ often dress as festive favourites including Santa’s Little Helpers and a variety of Christmas Jumpers are always on show!
David Laws, Chief Executive at Newcastle International Airport, said: “Christmas is a wonderful time of year here at Newcastle International Airport. We always enjoy a busy festive season and this year we are expecting over 100,000 passengers to use the airport. We have over 950 flights and passengers use our services to travel across world to destinations in the UK, Europe and further afield including Australia, Dubai and the Far East.
“It’s been a fantastic year for the airport following the announcement of the new United Airlines service to New York which will begin to operate in May 2015. What better way to wow and impress loved ones this Christmas than by booking a summer trip to New York with United Airlines!
“Passengers passing through the airport this Christmas will also get to experience some of the new outlets which have opened as part of our £14 million departure lounge development. The Flying Hippo, Beer House, The Cabin and Aspire Lounge will prove popular over the festive season as travellers enter into the Christmas spirit.
“Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all those travelling with us this month. We’re delighted to play such a big part in many people’s Christmas traditions and we look forward to many joyful reunions and excited arrivals this winter.”
The festive season is a very busy time for the travel industry with many passengers booking up ahead of the summer holiday season.
David Laws added: “As well as a key shopping period for many high street retailers, travel agents, airlines and tour operators, are very busy after Christmas and New Year with bookings. Many travellers make their plans around Christmas time and action them as early as Boxing Day.”
For more information about flights from Newcastle visit www.newcastleairport.com
Retailers at the airport are gearing up for a busy season as thousands of travellers make purchases ahead of the big day.
This Christmas Starbuck’s in the terminal will be selling over 7,070 lattes including 2,500 Gingerbread lattes, 1,500 toffee nut lattes and 1,000 egg nog lattes.
In the run up to Christmas this year Biza Tax and Duty Free is expecting to sell 400 giant Tobelerone bars, 150 bottles of Baileys and nearly 200 bottles of champagne!
Over the festive season Greggs in the airport terminal is expecting to sell 21,720 festive bakes, 220,500 mince pies, 1,610 Rudolph biscuits, 1,120 Christmas doughnuts and over 3,000 Christmas slices.
First time ever football Foundations have entered into charity fundraising partnership
Newcastle International Airport has given two local charities an extra special Christmas present this year by announcing they will jointly become the airport’s adopted charity for 2015 and 2016.
The new partnership will join together Newcastle United Foundation and SAFC’s Foundation of Light for the first time to raise funds, as they work together to engage both staff and customers at Newcastle International Airport.
David Laws, Chief Executive of Newcastle International Airport, said: “Football is a fantastic passion for people across the North East, and this year we saw two loyal fans on their way to support their team lose their lives in the MH17 disaster. These events, and the wonderful reaction of Sunderland fans, have inspired us in our role at ‘Your Airport’ to try and unite the fans, and what better way to do this than via charity and for children.
“This is a historic moment and marks the first time ever the Foundations have come together in partnership as an adopted charity partner. It is fantastic to celebrate these two organisations working together, just before the Christmas holidays, and indeed the Tyne Wear Derby.
“The airport is the perfect place to reach millions of people as they jet in and out of the region either for business or leisure. Both charities are very worthwhile causes working with children and young people across the region. We’re delighted to be able to help them reach out to the North East public, raising awareness of what they do as well as fundraising within our terminal.
“Over the past two years we have helped Maggie’s Newcastle to raise thousands of pounds. We’ve loved working with them and look forward to working with both Foundations in 2015 and 2016.”
Councillor Iain Malcolm, Leader of South Tyneside Council and lead of the LA7 shareholders, said: “As Lead of the LA7 Shareholders, I am delighted at this announcement. Newcastle is the international gateway airport for the North East, a role that will be cemented further by the bringing together of the two foundations. These charities do some very important work in disadvantaged communities across the region, and the involvement of the airport will be a real boost across a wide range of projects and initiatives.”
Kate Bradley, Head of Newcastle United Foundation, said: “We are delighted to be chosen by Newcastle Airport as their chosen charity for 2015 and 2016.
“The Airport is the first company to adopt both our Foundation and the Foundation of Light as their charity of the year which means together we can raise much needed funds for children, young people and families across the North East. We look forward to working together over the next two years.”
Lesley Spuhler, Chief Executive of Foundation of Light, said: “The partnership is a fantastic opportunity to showcase what the two Foundations do throughout the North East, using the engaging power of football to make a real difference to people’s lives. It’s a great example of the region coming together to improve the communities that we live and work in, and we are very thankful to Newcastle Airport for choosing us to be their adopted charity.
“It is this type of support that allows us to continue to deliver our much needed programmes, and we look forward to getting involved in a range of activities throughout 2015 and 2016.”
The Foundations will work together to fundraise regularly in the terminal of Newcastle International Airport and will work together to put forward a programme for staff engagement. Over 3,200 people work onsite at Newcastle Airport and around 4.46 million passengers passed through the doors in 2013.
Each season Newcastle United Foundation raises over £2 million to work with over 50,000 individuals; delivering 24,000 hours in the local community, is active in 200 local schools, seeing record levels of participation on all its sporting, health, education and youth programmes. To find out more about the Newcastle United Foundation and how it works with 50,000 young people and their families across the region each year, please visit www.nufoundation.org.uk.
Foundation of Light is the registered charity of Sunderland AFC, and uses the power of football to involve, educate and inspire thousands of young people and their families through a range of award-winning education, sport, health and employability programmes. Projects are delivered to over 42,000 young people and adults throughout Sunderland, South Tyneside and Durham. Structurally and financially independent of the football club Foundation of Light relies on fundraising for 90% of project costs. To find out more about their work, visit www.foundationoflight.co.uk.
For more information on Newcastle Airport visit www.newcastleairport.com.
Global car hire firm, Enterprise has donated £1,000 to Maggie’s Newcastle, Newcastle International Airport’s adopted charity.
The car hire company, based at the airport made the donation through The Enterprise Holdings Foundation.
The foundation was established by the founder of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Jack Taylor, to allow the company to give back to the communities where customers and employees live and work.
It provides charitable support to worthwhile, non-profit initiatives that are actively supported by the company's employees, their spouses and loyal customers in the thousands of local communities where they operate.
The foundation also provides more sizable special grants to non-profit groups or causes of significant strategic or social importance to the company and its employees.
Brian Waligora, General Manager for Enterprise Rent-A-Car said: “Each year, we strive to support our business partners through our philanthropic division, The Enterprise Foundation.
“Newcastle Airport has identified a wonderful charity partner in Maggie’s and we are delighted to be able to offer this donation in support of their work. Enterprise Rent-A-Car prides itself on giving back to the communities in which we operate and we know that this donation will be put to good use supporting those fighting cancer in our locality.”
Maggie’s Newcastle offers a free service to those dealing with cancer through their centre at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle. The centre offers workshops and classes as well as friendly support in a non-medical setting.
Maggie’s Fundraiser, Kelly Knighting-Wykes, Centre Fundraising Manager for Maggie’s, said: “We really appreciate Enterprise’s generosity and support with this fantastic donation. Since opening in 2013 we’ve supported more than 27,000 people affected by cancer in the North East and we rely on donations like this as it makes a huge difference to what we can continue to offer our visitors at a time when they need us most.”
Graeme Mason, Planning and Corporate Affairs Director at Newcastle International Airport, said: “We’re thrilled that Enterprise has made such a generous donation to support Maggie’s. Maggie’s offers a vital service for those dealing with cancer and their loved ones.”
easyJet, Newcastle’s largest airline, has today announced the launch of three new routes from the airport to Split in Croatia, and the Greek islands of Corfu and Rhodes from summer 2015.
The trio of routes went on sale this morning (Wednesday 10 December) at www.easyjet.com, giving holidaymakers and business passengers in the North East even more access to a range of exciting and affordable destinations.
More than 20,000 passengers are expected to fly in and out of Newcastle on the new routes from June to October next year alone.
- Newcastle to Split, Croatia is a summer service, flying on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 2 June 2015. Fares start from £30.00 one-way*
- Newcastle to Corfu, Greece is a summer service, flying on Sundays from 7 June 2015. Fares start from £32.99 one-way*
- Newcastle to Rhodes, Greece is a summer service, flying on Thursdays from 4 June 2015. Fares start from £34.99 one-way*
Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK Commercial Manager, said:
“We’re absolutely delighted to be adding these three new exciting destinations from Newcastle International to our network.
“Whether our customers want to explore the ancient monuments of Rhodes, experience the rich cultural heritage in Split or soak up the sun on the beautiful beaches of Corfu, we’re confident that our new Croatian and Greek routes will be popular choices.
“With easyJet now flying to 17 great destinations from Newcastle International Airport, our customers have even more variety of beach, city and ski breaks to choose from. We’re fully committed to strengthening links from the North East of England to the rest of Europe.”
Chris Sanders, Aviation Development Director at Newcastle International Airport, said:
“We’re pleased that easyJet will introduce these three new routes to their schedule for summer 2015.
“This further strengthens their offering from Newcastle and I’m sure these sunny destinations will have many North East travellers rushing to book up.
“Croatia is an increasingly popular holiday destination. Split is the second largest city in Croatia and the largest on the Adriatic Coast. This lively city has spectacular views across the harbour and a wealth of cultural sights for holidaymakers, so it makes for a wonderful break.
“The Greek Islands are always very popular so we’re sure passengers will take advantage of the great value deals on offer from easyJet.”
Earlier this year the airline also announced a year-round extension of its flights to Geneva, making it the only direct scheduled service to the popular ski and city destination in the summer months.
In total, more than 4,100 easyJet flights will take off and land at Newcastle International next summer.
*Fares are per person, based on two people on the same booking.
- First session announced for Newcastle following high demand
- More than 1,900 people nationwide have already overcome their fear of flying with the course
easyJet, Newcastle’s largest airline, has today announced that it will launch its first “Fearless Flyer” course in Newcastle next Spring.
The course, which has now helped more than 1,900 people nationwide to overcome their fear of flying since launching in late 2012, will take place at the Gateshead Marriott Hotel MetroCentre on Saturday 14 March, followed by an experience flight to and from Newcastle International Airport on Sunday 15 March 2015.
easyJet's Fearless Flyer course is one of the best priced aerophobia courses in the UK at just £189. Participants can also invite a companion with them on the flight if they wish for just £79.
Mark Wein, easyJet’s Fearless Flyer Course Director, explained:
“We’re really pleased to be announcing our first Fearless Flyer course in Newcastle for Spring. Our course has been a phenomenal success throughout the UK this past year, with over 95% of participants taking to the skies fearlessly after attending the course, which has prompted a high level of demand from people wanting us to add a session in Newcastle too.
“Our success is down to the unique format of the course which is split into two parts: the first part is a Saturday afternoon ground session, where our top phobia expert, Lawrence Leyton, and a senior easyJet pilot will dispel common flying myths and teach participants a unique set of mind tools to manage their nerves.
“The second part is on Sunday where we will take our participants on a dedicated flight on board an easyJet aircraft where they put the skills they’ve learnt to the test while listening to a live commentary of the flight from our presenting pilot. This part of the course is always really emotional with an amazing atmosphere and there are lots of smiles and tears of joy as people learn to fly fearlessly – some for the first time in their lives.”
Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK Commercial Manager, commented:
“We’re delighted to add Newcastle as an additional Fearless Flyer course location for Spring next year, giving even more people the opportunity to overcome any fears they may have about flying. The course is suitable for all levels of nervousness – from those with general anxiety to extreme phobia.
“With Christmas fast approaching it’s also a really unique gift idea for friends or family. Fearless Flyer gives people the chance to reunite with family members abroad, travel the world and commute for business – something many put to one side when they are scared of flying. It really is a life-changing course.”
As well as Newcastle, easyJet has also released another nine new Fearless Flyer course dates nationwide for Spring 2015, including Gatwick, Belfast, Edinburgh and Manchester. To book a place on one of easyJet's Fearless Flyer courses please visit www.fearlessflyer.easyjet.com.
easyJet's Spring 2015 Fearless Flyer courses are taking place on the following dates:
Fearless Flyer course at:
Saturday 21 February
Sunday 22 February
Liverpool (NEW LOCATION)
Saturday 28 February
Sunday 1 March
Friday (evening) 6 March
Saturday 7 March
Newcastle (NEW LOCATION)
Saturday 14 March
Sunday 15 March
Friday (evening) 20 March
Saturday 21 March
Saturday 18 April
Sunday 19 April
Friday (evening) 24 April
Saturday 25 April
Saturday 2 May
Sunday 3 May
Friday (evening)15 May
Saturday 16 May
Friday (evening) 5 June
Saturday 6 June
Holidaymakers are jetting off in significant numbers to escape the UK’s cold winter weather. As the airport gears up for a busy festive season, thousands of holidaymakers are already dashing off to experience some winter sun.
Popular destinations from Newcastle this winter include the sunny shores of Tenerife and Malta, as well as further afield destinations such as Egypt and Dubai. During the months of December, January and February over 600,000 passengers are expected to pass through the airport.
Chris Sanders, Aviation Development Director at Newcastle International Airport, said: “Cold or damp and dull days are the ideal prompt to be thinking of taking advantage of cheap overseas holidays and flights this winter.
“With four airlines now flying to Tenerife there’s plenty of choice of when to go and how long for. Malta has also taken on a whole new air, appealing to passengers of all ages who can soak up some warmer weather and enjoy the buzz the island offers, with bustling bars and cafes to enjoy as well as a special experience that only Malta can offer.
“Further afield, Egypt is seeing increasing numbers of holidaymakers and now with Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada operating from Newcastle there’s more choice.
“If you really fancy something different, daily flights to Dubai with Emirates put the Middle East in easy reach of those looking for a long weekend away and great experiences. Dubai is also a great place to stay for a few days before continuing onwards to an idyllic destination in the India Ocean such as the Maldives, Mauritius or the Seychelles.”
Newcastle International Airport has today called upon the Government to ensure that forthcoming legislation protects the rest of the UK, including the North East, from the negative effects of devolving the power to charge a tax on air passengers to the Scottish Parliament. This follows the recommendations of the Smith Commission published today.
David Laws, Chief Executive, said: “We are extremely concerned about these proposals. We have undertaken intensive lobbying, including letters to the Prime Minister, Chancellor and other senior politicians. We have also submitted a full representation to the Smith Commission. This hasn’t been published due to its commercial sensitivity but may be in the future.
“Our submission predicts 1,000 fewer jobs across the North East by 2025, significant impact on passenger numbers, £400M in Gross Value Added (GVA) lost between 2015 and 2025, and additional journey time costs of £265M between 2015 and 2025.
“Our understanding is that our submission was discussed at the highest levels of government and the response from the Chancellor indicated that our concerns would be taken into account. We would be surprised if our modelling is inconsistent with the official modelling undertaken.
“If Scotland were to stop applying a tax on passengers, it would penalise people from the North East that want to fly from their local airport. We are now seeking a signal from the Chancellor in next week’s Autumn Statement that the Government is going to do something to address any future distortions. The Prime Minister said on 19 September that the devolution settlement had to be fair also to the people of the rest of the UK. We now want him to honour this commitment. The only way to achieve this is for any reductions in Scotland to be matched in the rest of the UK, or for this damaging Duty to be reformed in such a way that distortions are avoided.”