Works set to transform the airside experience for passengers
Newcastle International Airport, the region’s largest airport, has today (Friday 11 April) announced a major development of its departure lounge, with a total investment of over £14 million.
The airport, which aims to be the most welcoming in the UK, formally outlined its plans to reshape the airside experience for passengers, which will see the entire departure lounge transform over the next year. As well as offering new shops, restaurants, cafes and bar areas, the departure lounge layout will be changed in order to provide a more straightforward journey for customers.
The first phase of the development is now complete, with The Beer House, Flying Hippo, and Aspire Lounge open for passengers from April 2014. The next major phase will begin in autumn 2014, with most work expected to be completed by May 2015.
Highlights still to come include a new walk-through World Duty Free store and exciting new food and beverage outlets, soon to be announced. Customers will benefit from an improved sense of flow as they pass through the curved walkways, seating areas and streamlined shop fronts of the new departure lounge.
Dave Laws, Chief Executive at Newcastle International Airport, said: “The departure lounge development will completely transform the airside experience for our customers. Alongside our business partners, we’re investing a total of £14 million to ensure customers have the best possible journey through the airport. Our passengers’ holidays start here at the airport so it’s very important to us that we give them the best possible experience. We also cater for many business travellers and we are always striving to meet their specific requirements.
“We are confident that the new layout will be more intuitive and will help passengers to make a more informed choice on where they shop, eat, drink or simply relax before their flight. The departure lounge will have a modern and vibrant shopping centre feel - something that we know from feedback is what our customers want. We are meeting the needs of the modern traveller with excellent facilities and there will be plenty on offer for families, couples, groups and business travellers alike.
“Existing brands such as WHSmith, Boots, Travelex, Accessorize and Traveller will move into new stores, while a host of additional new brands will join us before the project is finished in summer 2015.
“The first phase of the development is now complete. The Flying Hippo has opened to great feedback from passengers who enjoy the sense of fun and exceptional food. The Beer House also welcomed its first customers recently and is very popular with passengers wishing to sample some of the best local beers on offer.
“In addition, we recently opened the doors of our new Aspire Lounge which is the largest in the UK. The Lounge is available for all passengers. We are also the first in the country to have an AspirePlus Lounge which offers an adult only area with an enhanced menu, premium drinks package and exclusive Spey Whisky bar.”
Gill Caleary, Commercial Director at Newcastle International Airport, said: “The development, where possible, will capture the flavours and sense of the North East. We are using local suppliers and ingredients whenever we can to make the customer feel relaxed and at home, whilst showcasing the best of what we have for visitors.”
Cllr Iain Malcolm, Leader of South Tyneside Council and Leader of the LA7 shareholders, said: “This investment is great news for the region. The North East travelling public will enjoy the new facilities as they jet off either for business or that well-deserved holiday. The new development will reinforce Newcastle International’s role as a major regional airport, and a key economic generator for our region.”
David Rees of AMP Capital, said: “This development is an important part of the commercial strategy for the airport. The new departure lounge is a major investment by the airport, and its business partners, for the benefit of passengers. The plans are very exciting and I’m sure the full development will be extremely popular.”
The Flying Hippo
The Flying Hippo is an American-style diner with burgers, sharing pizzas, refillable drinks and even Prosecco on tap!
The restaurant also features an American smoking oven, a first in any airport in the UK, to cook pulled pork and briskets to perfection – currently a very popular food trend.
There are zones for family dining with booths incorporating special Flying Hippo interactive games to keep children entertained, as well as a dedicated children’s play area.
The Beer House
Lovers of real ale will enjoy the on-tap selection at The Beer House. Ales are sourced from Tyne Bank Brewery and served alongside popular premium lagers, such as Moretti and Pilsner Urquell.
Food at The Beer House is hand-held, featuring pulled pork and roast beef stotties with fresh bread coming from the artisan bakers at the Geordie Bakers.
Lucy Knowles, Chief Marketing Officer for SSP, said: “Creating a restaurant and bar that captured the spirit of the North East and offered food with genuine local provenance was a top priority for Newcastle International Airport. When we were designing the two new concepts, Flying Hippo and The Beer House, we worked with local suppliers from day one. Both our new outlets allow passengers to experience a real taste of the region - from locally produced beers such as Tyne Bank Silver Dollar, to burgers, ribs and bacon from local butchers Manners, and sausages and pork scratchings from Dropswell Farm, County Durham.
“Novel concepts such as smoking ovens especially imported from America add an exciting twist to the menus, and innovations such as Asti Spumante served ‘on tap’ or home-made ‘bar bits’ make Flying Hippo and The Beer House truly exciting places to start a trip.”
The Aspire Lounge is open to anyone regardless of which airline passengers are travelling with, or their class of travel.
Customers can also upgrade to the AspirePlus Lounge, which brings together opulent surroundings with dedicated staff on hand to give passengers the best possible start to their journey.
Shaun Weston, Travel Services Director at Swissport, commented: “We are delighted to be bringing a brand new concept to Newcastle Airport. Both the Aspire and AspirePlus Lounges support the airport’s commitment to passenger wellbeing and we look forward to helping Newcastle Airport achieve their goal to be the most welcoming airport in the UK. The new lounge means that customers travelling from Newcastle Airport can expect exceptional service and fantastic facilities in a comfortable, modern environment specifically designed to meet their needs.”
- Second route to Ireland launched in past 6 months;
- Newcastle passengers now have direct access to one of Ireland’s key tourist and business hubs;
- Airline aims to double passenger numbers to 2 million by 2016;
- 15,000 passengers estimated to be flown on route this year;
- Aer Lingus Regional’s newest aircraft to service route.
Aer Lingus Regional today (28 March) launched a new route from Newcastle to Cork as the airline continues to implement its strategic growth plan in the North East of England.
The first flight from Cork touched down today at 4.40pm. Aer Lingus Regional will now operate four return flights per week to Cork and aims to fly up to 15,000 passengers on the route in 2014. The airline plans to raise this number to over 25,000 passengers on the route next year and tickets are on sale now on AerLingus.com.
The addition of this route will ensure Newcastle-based customers have a direct route to the south of Ireland. Cork is Ireland’s second largest city, as well as being a key tourist hub and the starting point for Ireland’s ‘Wild Atlantic Way’, which stretches from the south to the west coast of Ireland.
The Newcastle-Cork route is the latest initiative of the airline’s ‘new beginning’ strategy and follows on from the success of the Newcastle-Dublin route which is going from strength to strength with up to three flights a day.
The Newcastle-Cork route will be operated by one of the airline’s new ATR 72-600 aircraft.
Stobart Air’s Chief Commercial Officer, Simon Fagan said that the addition of this new Newcastle-Cork route is a vital step in the growth plan for the airline which aims to double passenger numbers to 2 million by 2016.
‘We are delighted to launch the new Newcastle-Cork route. This new route connects passengers in Newcastle with Ireland’s second largest city and adds another of the main UK cities to the airline’s network for Irish passengers. Equally, the new route will enable North East-based passengers to access some of Ireland’s most popular tourist destinations in the south of the country.
‘Aer Lingus Regional is committed to providing our customers with easy, convenient and great value in regional connections. We have already enjoyed great success with our Newcastle-Dublin route which launched last October and now we look forward to welcoming more passengers on board this new Newcastle-Cork route. There is enormous potential in this route, particularly given the links in the wind and tidal energy sector between Ireland and North East of England.’
Chris Sanders, Aviation Development Director at Newcastle International Airport, said:
‘We’re delighted that Aer Lingus Regional will be operating new services to Cork this year. This announcement increases the schedule choice for passengers flying from Newcastle on this important route.
‘Cork is a fantastic city break destination with a vibrant culture and fantastic tourist attractions. Its proximity to some of Ireland’s most popular tourist sights makes it an ideal destination for tourists. Business users will also be pleased with the convenient flight times on offer which allow day returns, four days a week, an incredible benefit for regular visitors to one of Europe’s leading technology hubs.’
The airline, which aims to double passenger numbers to over two million over the next five years, has overseen a 32% rise in Aer Lingus Regional passenger numbers in the 2013. Stobart Air, which operates the service, has over 550 flights per week across 27 routes in Ireland, the UK and France.
easyJet, the largest airline at Newcastle International Airport, has celebrated the launch of new flights to London Gatwick by helping three local entrepreneurs get a flying start to their expansion plans.
From Sunday (30 March) easyJet will launch flights between Newcastle International and London Gatwick, safeguarding the connection following Flybe’s decision to exit. To celebrate the launch, easyJet has partnered with the North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC) to offer three North East-based businesses a year’s worth of free flights which will help them to showcase their products in London.
Catering company ‘Love Food’, digital firm ‘EventSneaker’ and online Butchers ‘Great British Meat Company’ intend to use their flights to reach business meetings, attend events and secure new business in London to support their expansion plans.
easyJet expects to carry around 105,000 passengers on the new London flights annually and will offer a twice daily connection from Newcastle International with prices starting from £24.49 one-way.
Ali Gayward, UK Commercial Manager at easyJet, said: “We’re pleased to add another new easyJet route from Newcastle International and help safeguard air links between London Gatwick and the North East. Ensuring there is affordable, quick and reliable access between these economic hubs will help businesses and inward investment continue to thrive.
“To underline the importance of the flights for the business community we have linked with the North East Chamber of Commerce to provide three local entrepreneurs with a flying start to their expansion plans.”
North East Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive, James Ramsbotham, commented: “Improving connectivity and access to international gateways is vital for North East business and the continued economic growth of our region.
“It is fantastic to see easyJet recognising the potential for a route to the capital and helping some of our exciting new businesses make use of the service.”
Dave Laws, Chief Executive of Newcastle International Airport, said: “We are delighted easyJet are taking over this important link offering their fantastic service and low fares. We expect significant numbers of business and leisure passengers to fly with them as London Gatwick is a great airport with direct train and road connections to London, Kent, Surrey and Sussex. The flights will also provide access to the 100 destinations easyJet serve directly from London Gatwick.”
The airline will be supporting travel for the following North East-based enterprises:
EventSneaker - www.eventsneaker.com
EventSneaker is an online platform for event organisers that provides a hub for users to send messages and organise their events from one place, accessible anywhere. The business will celebrate 10 months in business at the end of the month.
Mark Stephenson, co-founder of EventSneaker, said: “I’m hoping that this new route will open up a new corridor for us so that we can take advantage of the business to be done in London, and hopefully bring some of it back home with us to the North!”
Great British Meat Company - www.greatbritishmeat.com
Launched in June 2013, Great British Meat Co. is an online butchers that provides locally-sourced quality meat at an affordable price for consumers across the UK.
Sam Wass, Director of the company, said: “As a new business, it’s important for us to be budget savvy whilst maximising our time. We visit London often to meet with suppliers, so easyJet’s new route will help to make our travel more efficient.”
Love Food - www.lovefoodltd.co.uk
Operating from their base in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Love Food offer catering services to the whole of the North East for all occasions, whether it be weddings, corporate catering or private dinner parties.
Leanne McHugh, Managing Director, said: “Quite a few of our clients are London-based and are arranging events in the North-East, so easyJet’s new route will make linking with them a lot quicker and easier.”
- Move Opens Up Brussels Airlines Network to Business and Leisure Travellers
- Integral Step to Providing Global Connections
- Twice Daily Flights – duration: 1hr 25 m
Starting 30 March, Brussels Airlines adds Newcastle to its extensive European network thanks to a codeshare partnership with bmi regional, the UK’s most punctual scheduled airline. The Newcastle to Brussels route - which commenced on 3 March - enables business and leisure travellers from Newcastle International Airport to connect twice daily to Brussels Airport. The new codeshare agreement enables passengers to continue their journey to Brussels Airlines destinations across Europe, Africa, the Middle East and North America.
The move strengthens Brussels Airlines’ network presence in the United Kingdom and is the first codeshare agreement for bmi regional since its independence 20 months ago. The timetable (departures from Newcastle at 6.45am and 5.05pm; departures from Brussels at 9.50am and 8.25pm) enables passengers to combine the Newcastle service with many Brussels Airlines destinations including New York; business hubs in Africa such as Cameroon, Rwanda, Uganda and Nairobi in Kenya, ; and European destinations such as Berlin, Geneva, Milan, Rome and Vienna. The schedule also allows business travellers to make return trips between the two cities in one day, ideal for meetings and conferences.
bmi regional operates the route using its all-jet Embraer fleet and service includes at-seat full bar and meal service in addition to 30-minute check-in and 20kg hold baggage. Last year, bmi regional was named “Silver Airline of the Year” at the European Regions Airline Association (ERAA) annual awards in Austria and is noted as the most punctual scheduled airline in the UK for nine consecutive years, according to independent data used by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA).
“We are delighted to add Newcastle to our growing European network portfolio thanks to this new partnership with bmi regional”, said Brussels Airlines CCO Lars Redeligx. “The direct flight serving Newcastle is not only good news for Brussels Airlines passengers but also for the Newcastle region as new travel solutions to Brussels and many other destinations in Europe, Africa and the United States are now created.”
Cathal O’Connell, CEO of bmi regional, said: “Our first codeshare agreement ensures that our customers from the northeast of England now enjoy the convenience that comes with links to 52 countries served by Brussels Airlines. The new link will bring considerable commercial benefit to Newcastle and the region, not least making it easier for potential overseas investors and trade partners to visit.”
Dave Laws, Chief Executive of Newcastle International Airport, said: “This codeshare announcement is great news for travellers from Newcastle Airport. Not only can they visit Belgium and all it has to offer, but passengers can also make use of the wide range of connections to reach points on Brussels Airlines network.
“Passengers wishing to travel to Brussels can book as normal with bmi regional or with Brussels Airlines, and those wishing to travel further can make use of this Brussels Airlines agreement via the Brussels Airlines website. I’m sure this will be very popular with North East leisure and business travellers alike.”
As the largest city in North East England, Newcastle upon Tyne is internationally known for its industry and business, its university, and of course Newcastle United Football Club. The city is also worth visiting because of its historical and modern architecture, vibrant culture, nightlife and numerous shopping opportunities. Within a short travelling distance visitors can reach the cathedral City of Durham, Hadrian’s Wall and the magnificent Northumberland Coast.
Including Newcastle, Brussels Airlines offers its passengers a total of six connections in the UK. Newcastle, London Heathrow, Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham, Edinburgh are all served by Brussels Airlines.
bmi regional, the UK’s most punctual scheduled airline, launched its new service from Newcastle International to Brussels on Monday 3 March, the only direct flight to link the two cities. The route is operated by a 49-seater Embraer jet aircraft twice daily Monday to Friday and on Sunday afternoons. The flights will offer business and leisure travellers the opportunity to reach the Belgian capital in just 75 minutes from £80 per person including taxes one way.
As the aircraft touched down at Newcastle International Airport, it was welcomed to the North East by a guard of honour water salute from the Airport Fire Service. bmi regional CEO Cathal O’Connell arrived on the first flight and was greeted by guests including MEP Martin Callanan and Professor Chris Day from Newcastle University.
bmi regional offers a full in-flight service including at-seat meals and full bar selection, in addition to 20kg of checked baggage per person and thirty minute check-in at both airports. The carrier was named Silver Airline of the Year at the annual European Regions Airline Association (ERA) awards in Austria last October.
“This is our first route from Newcastle International and we’re delighted to provide the only direct flight for travellers from the North East of England to the Belgian capital,” said Cathal O’Connell, CEO at bmi regional. “Last year we launched over a dozen new routes from British airports and our new Newcastle to Brussels service opens up opportunities for those travelling for business and for pleasure.”
Dave Laws, Chief Executive of Newcastle International Airport, said: “We are delighted to celebrate the launch of this new service and our partnership with bmi regional. Since it was first announced last year, the service has been welcomed by both leisure and business travellers in the North East.
“This is a vital European connection and will help regional businesses to prosper. It will also give leisure travellers the opportunity to sample Belgium and what it has to offer.”
Cllr Iain Malcolm, Leader of South Tyneside Council and Leader of the LA7 Shareholders, said: “The inaugural flight of bmi regional’s service to Brussels from Newcastle Airport is great news for the region.
“The connectivity provided by this route will help many regional businesses expand their reach to Belgium and beyond. Brussels is a popular hub with a variety of connections, which I’m sure will be welcomed by North East passengers.”
Martin Callanan, MEP, said: “I am delighted that bmi regional are starting their Newcastle to Brussels route as good air links in the region are vital for the business community here. I wish this additional service every success and look forward to using it myself regularly!"
Professor Chris Day, Pro Vice Chancellor for the Faculty of Medical Sciences at Newcastle University, said: “The new direct route is a great opportunity, not just for ourselves but for businesses and policy makers across the region. Here at Newcastle University, it will make it easier for us to collaborate with our colleagues in Europe, particularly as we approach new opportunities through the EU’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation fund. Newcastle University is committed to tackling some of the greatest challenges facing society today particularity in the areas of aging, sustainability and social renewal and it will help us as we look to establish new research links with leading academics in these fields.”
Brussels is renowned for its Grand Place - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - and other architectural sights including the futuristic Atomium and traditional Flemish houses, in addition to its vibrant arts and food districts. Home to the Brussels Stock Exchange, the city serves as a centre of administration for the European Union and a gateway to other cities including Antwerp, Ghent and Maastricht.
The airline carried almost 500,000 customers in 2013, having become independent from BMI in June 2012, and has pursued a sustainable expansion strategy whilst retaining full in-flight service and the highest customer service standards.
Robert Goodwill MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Transport, has today (Monday 24 February 2014) launched the Newcastle International Airport Business Park during a special visit to Newcastle Airport.
The minister launched the new development with Dave Laws, Newcastle International Airport Chief Executive and Cllr Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council, the planning authority for the airport.
Significant areas of land are allocated to the south of the airport for the development, including offices, freight and logistics warehouses and engineering hangers. The project comprises four phases, which collectively have the potential to deliver over 7,000 jobs and a regional GVA of over £300 million.
Phase one of the development consists of 175,000 sq foot of office accommodation, with excellent connectivity links to a global network. It will consist of six new office buildings in attractive surroundings accommodating up to 1,000 people.
The Business Park is a collaboration between Newcastle International Airport and UK Land Estates, one of the leading property companies in the North East, and freeholders to the Team Valley Trading Estate in Gateshead.
As part of the visit the Minister also visited the state-of-the-art Emirates Air Traffic Control Tower, Airport Fire Station and Fire Training Academy. The Minister also got to see the airport’s new Wide Area Multilateration (WAM) system which supports the airport’s primary radar and helps the airport deliver Air Traffic Control services across the region’s airspace.
Speaking at the launch, Aviation Minister Robert Goodwill said: “Newcastle is a key UK airport and vital for the North East economy. This new business park offers an excellent opportunity for regional and international organisations. I applaud the bold ambitions of the Airport Company with this new venture and wish them every success”.
Dave Laws, Chief Executive of Newcastle International Airport, said: “The location of the Newcastle International Airport Business Park is ideal for businesses who will benefit from the excellent connectivity through the airport.
“The location is great not only for aviation related companies, but also professional services, technology and IT, telecommunications and oil and gas / offshore businesses, who can make use of the excellent connectivity on offer. This is a very important development for us and one which we feel will be very popular. Other successful regional airports have been able to diversify their business and we see this scheme as critical in supporting the growth of the airport.
“We are delighted to work with UK Land Estates and our shareholders on this project and the launch today is an exciting first step.”
Iain Malcolm, Leader of South Tyneside Council and the LA7 shareholders, said “We feel that this new development will become an important new component of the region’s development portfolio. The connectivity on offer through the airport opens up many opportunities on a national and international scale and we very much look forward to welcoming organisations to the Newcastle International Airport Business Park.”
Nick Forbes, leader of Newcastle City Council, said “The North East is a great place to live and work and Newcastle Airport provides an important gateway to new business opportunities across the globe. The creation of this new International Business Park at Newcastle Airport is a clear indication of our growing economic confidence and we look forward to welcoming new investors to our city and region - knowing they will benefit from a fantastic location and excellent air, road and rail connections.”
Knight Frank has been appointed as agents for the Business Park, and have started the process of marketing the opportunities.
The development is being overseen by a steering group comprising Newcastle International Airport, UK Land Estates, Newcastle City Council, the Homes and Communities Agency and the North Eastern LEP.
For more information visit www.newcastleairport.com/newcastle-international-airport-business-park
- Get a bigger bite with FOUR trips from Newcastle International Airport – double the number in 2013
- 3 and NEW 4-night package breaks from £815 per person and return flights from £419
- Experience the city that never sleeps for October Half Term!
Jet2.com and Jet2holidays today raised a giant cheer to launch their biggest ever choice of New York shopping breaks for winter 2014 – offering Newcastle customers a massive FOUR trips!
The significant expansion sees the leading leisure airline and package holiday specialist:
- DOUBLE the number of New York flights and city breaks taking off from Newcastle International Airport.
- Add a NEW 4-night break option on top of the already successful 3-night trip, so people can spend even more time in the city that never sleeps.
- Offer a kid size nibble on the Big Apple with a family friendly October half term trip.
Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays said: “We are thrilled with the continued success and demand for our New York breaks direct from Newcastle International Airport, which has resulted in us growing our programme to give people the biggest choice ever! Doubling our number of flights means our loyal local customers have an even greater choice of direct services to the Big Apple this winter and can now really be a part of this spectacular city with an extra night’s stay.
“Whether choosing a package break or flight only option, our great value trips to New York are the perfect way to visit this iconic city without breaking the bank. Plus our earlier services mean visitors can enjoy a bigger bite of the apple by treating the kids for October half term. With so many options to choose from, I’d encourage people to book now so they don’t miss out on a magical holiday of a lifetime direct from their doorstep.”
Chris Sanders, Aviation Development Director at Newcastle International Airport, said: “We are delighted that Jet2.com has doubled the number of their pre-Christmas New York short breaks this year. Whether it’s shopping that takes your fancy, or the thrill of the Big Apple there’s plenty to do and see in the city that never sleeps. Halloween in the States is a big thing and the new half term flight offers a great opportunity for families to enjoy this American experience and also see a Broadway show. With these Jet2.com flights there’s no trick so, go on, treat yourself to a fantastic experience!”
Jet2.com and Jet2 Holidays previously announced a special Easter Break to New York. A limited number of tickets are still on sale.
Jet2holidays package breaks start from £815 per person, including a generous 22kg baggage allowance for all that shopping – they can be secured now for only a £60 deposit. Jet2.com flights are available from £419 per person including taxes. Departures are scheduled as follows:
- 28th October 2014 – 4-night break for October half term
- 20th November 2014 – 4-night break
- 4th December 2014 – 4-night break
- 11th December 2014 – 3-night break
Ryanair has announced that from Mon 17 Feb, passengers can book cheap flights from Newcastle to Dublin from just £19.99 in March and April as part of its ‘Mid-term Specials’ low fares promotion.
Ryanair is releasing 100,000 seats across its entire European network at prices starting from just £19.99 for travel on Mon, Tue, Wed and Thur in March and April and these “all in” cheap flights will be available on over 1,000 of Ryanair’s European routes, but must be booked on the Ryanair.com website before midnight Thur 20 Feb.
Ryanair’s £19.99 sale fare includes all non-optional taxes, charges and fees, so passengers who travel with carry-on luggage only and decline our priority boarding service can book, check-in online and fly for this advertised £19.99 price, by booking one of these 100,000 ‘Mid-term Specials’ seats.
Ryanair’s Lisa Cashin said: “Only Ryanair sells Europe’s lowest fares with no fuel surcharges guaranteed, across over 1,600 routes, connecting 186 destinations, while delivering Europe’s No 1 customer service, with the most on-time flights, fewest cancellations and least mishandled bags.
From midnight 17 Feb, passengers can book 100,000 ‘Mid-term Special’ seats on over 1,000 European routes, including cheap flights from Newcastle to Dublin, at prices starting from just £19.99, for travel in March and April. These seats are only available until midnight (24:00hrs) Thursday (20 Feb) and at these mad prices are sure to be snapped up fast, so we urge passengers to book theses cheap flights on the Ryanair.com website before they sell out.”
bmi regional (www.bmiregional.com), the UK’s most punctual airline, is getting ready to take off ahead of the launch of its new jet service to Brussels, which starts on 3 March. The route, a welcome addition to Newcastle Airport’s list of destinations, will connect North East travellers to Belgium when it begins in five weeks’ time, with fares from just £76 per person one way.
Cathal O’Connell, CEO at bmi regional, said: “This is our first route from Newcastle International and we’re delighted to provide the only direct flight for travellers from the North East of England to the Belgian capital.
“Brussels has so much to offer for leisure travellers such as a vibrant cultural offering and beautiful surroundings such as the Grand Place – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and traditional Flemish houses. As well as Brussels itself, travellers can make use of the excellent Belgian rail services running from Brussels Airport to reach Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp with ease.”
Dave Laws, Chief Executive at Newcastle International Airport, said: “The new route is already proving popular with both leisure and business passengers. Belgium is an interesting country to visit with much to see and do. There is far more to Belgium than just delicious chocolate and great beers.”
As well as thousands of North East travellers heading to Belgium the service will also create a positive impact for the regional economy through inbound tourism.
Sarah Stewart, chief executive of destination management and marketing agency NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said; “The growing number of airlines choosing Newcastle International Airport signals a real confidence both in the airport and the destination. bmi regional’s new Brussels flight is positive news for the tourism sector and the business community.
“NewcastleGateshead and the wider region remains an attractive destination for city break visitors and those interested in doing business here. bmi regional’s new double daily service will gather a lot of support from businesses here in the North East and in Belgium.
“It’s extremely encouraging to welcome a new airline and a brand new route that will continue growth in inbound tourism in NewcastleGateshead and the North East.”
bmi regional offers a full in-flight service including complimentary food and drinks onboard, in addition to 20kg of checked baggage per person and 30 minute check-in at both airports.
Thousands of passengers head off for the festive period
Tis’ the Season to be Jolly at Newcastle International Airport this Christmas as thousands of passengers travel on holiday to see friends and family for the festive period.
Around 100,000 passengers are expected to travel to or from Newcastle Airport between Friday 20th December and 1st January 2014 with between 800-900 flight movements during this time.
Welcome home gatherings can often be found in domestic and international arrivals throughout the holidays as thousands fly into the North East to enjoy time in the region with loved ones.
The airport is open all year round and has four departing flights this Christmas day – all staffed by air traffic controllers, handling agents, and operational airport teams such as security and the airport fire fighters.
Popular destinations during the festive season include Dubai, the Canary Islands, Dublin, Amsterdam, Sharm el Sheikh, mainland Spain and Geneva. Newcastle also sees an increase in skiers heading for the slopes around Christmas time.
Dave Laws, Chief Executive of Newcastle International Airport, said: “We are expecting a very busy festive season around 100,000 passengers using the airport. We have lots of flights in and out as families and friends make use of our services to travel across the globe. Some of our passengers are dashing off for some winter sun while others make use of our hub connections to make extra special visits over the holidays.
"Christmas has even come early this year with the announcement that Aer Lingus Regional will operate a Cork service from Newcastle from March 2014.
“As well as those travelling away we have thousands returning home to the North East for Christmas – our arrivals halls are vibrant and joyful places at this time of year and we’re delighted to be part of many people’s experience this Christmas. We would like to wish all of our passengers a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.”
The getaway comes as Newcastle Airport looks forward to 2014 with new services to Brussels, Gatwick, Cork, Fuerteventura and Madeira due to operate.
Biza Tax and Duty Free at Newcastle International Airport are gearing up for a busy peak shopping season as thousands of travellers make purchases ahead of the big day.
This Christmas the Duty Free store is expecting to sell: Over 1,000 Christmas fragrance gift sets, 1,500 Toblerone bars, 700 bottles of baileys, 500 bottles of Fizz and a whopping 2,200 bottles of Whiskey.
Gregg’s at Newcastle airport will sell around 1,500 mince pies this festive season.
Christmas can often mean passengers wish to travel with unusual items packed in luggage. Passengers are advised that the usual restrictions still apply to Christmas presents.
Wrapped Christmas presents packed in hand luggage must not contain any restricted items – even if it is unopened and beautifully packaged. If liquid items are under 100ml, they can travel in hand luggage but must be carried in a clear, resealable plastic bag.
All pyrotechnics or smoke-emitting devices, such as party poppers and Christmas crackers, are prohibited from all passenger baggage. For unusual items, it’s advised passengers contact their airline ahead of their journey to confirm restrictions.