The region last night claimed victory in a competition to win £1m worth of advertising across Heathrow Airport, with over 19,000 votes or ‘likes’ for the region in the Facebook competition.
Heathrow, the UK’s only hub airport, has been running a competition where the public can vote for their favourite British region to receive £1m worth of free advertising at Heathrow with VisitBritain.
The competition on Heathrow’s Facebook page saw the North East go head-to-head with the North West, Northern Ireland and the Midlands.
The competition closed at 23.59 last night (4 August) and the North East successfully secured four advertisements for the region which will then be shown across digital screens in all terminals at Heathrow from the end of August until the end of November 2014. Around 13 million passengers a year already use Heathrow as their gateway to Britain’s regions.
John Holland Kaye, Heathrow’s CEO, said: “I’m delighted to announce the winner of the Your Great Britain competition with Heathrow and VisitBritain is the North East. This beautiful region has really got behind the competition over the last two weeks, resulting in over 19,000 votes for the breathtaking image of Hadrian’s Wall.
“The competition in total received over 40,000 votes for all four regions so the North East should feel proud to receive this prestigious prize. Heathrow is the gateway to Britain and sees around 73 million passengers a year travel through the airport. With seven flights a day from Heathrow to Newcastle we hope the winning images will inspire passengers to explore the beautiful North East during their visit to the UK."
David Laws, Chief Executive at Newcastle International Airport, said: “Newcastle International is delighted to have played a part in securing this major £1m advertising campaign at Heathrow Airport on behalf of the North East. The way in which the region once again came together to achieve an objective proves what we are capable of if we have a common goal. Our whole is much greater than the sum of our parts. Numerous organisations and individuals played their part.
“Can I thank everyone that supported the campaign. Such a close result, with an epic race to the finish line, really shows that every single vote counted! I also want to thank Heathrow Airport and VisitBritain for providing us with this opportunity. Heathrow Airport is a critically important hub for the region, with BA carrying close to half a million passengers a year, making it our biggest single airline service.”
Councillor Iain Malcolm, Leader of South Tyneside Council and Chair of LA7, said: “The North East is a fantastic place, rich in cultural heritage and with some of the most outstanding surroundings. What better way of showcasing our region to the world that by taking prestigious advertising space at Heathrow Airport – used by over 72m passengers a year. I for one am delighted that so many people got behind the North East to help us to victory and I look forward to welcoming visitors old and new to the region.”
Sarah Stewart, Chief Executive at NewcastleGateshead Initiative, which markets NewcastleGateshead nationally and internationally, said: "The whole region really rallied behind the competition and there was a tremendous last push to secure a win for the North East.
“It was evident from all of the social media activity that there is a great sense of pride in the region and it was this passion that really made the difference in the eleventh hour; we literally pipped Northern Ireland to the post with just a few hundred extra votes! £1m worth of free advertising at one of the world’s busiest airports will provide a significant boost, profiling the region to potential visitors and investors from around the globe. Thank you to everyone who supported the campaign and voted in the competition – every last vote really did count.”
North East Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive, James Ramsbotham, said: “The fact that we gained 10,000 votes on the final day, bridging a significant gap to win in the final minute of the competition was hugely dramatic and is another example of how the North East mobilises for the greater good and how proud we are of our magnificent region. The efforts of people and businesses across social media over the last two weeks have been absolutely amazing.
“Securing £1m of free marketing at one of the world’s largest airports can provide a significant boost to the North East visitor economy and provide us with the opportunity to showcase the North East and all its many attractions to people from across the globe.”
Joss Croft, Marketing Director at VisitBritain said: “Every vote really did count in this competition as the decision went right to the wire with over 40,000 votes registered in just a few weeks. I was delighted to see such collective campaigning across the winning region with tweets from Newcastle United FC, Sunderland AFC, local airports and the North East’s tourism industry all urging locals to get behind their area. It clearly worked, and now the beauty of the North East will be seen by millions of overseas visitors each day as part of VisitBritain’s GREAT campaign.”
Jet2.com and Jet2holidays are continuing their growth at Newcastle International Airport with the launch of FOUR brand new destinations for summer 2015, Antalya (Turkey), Larnaca (Cyprus), Malta and Zante.
Over 31,000 seats will be available to these sizzling sunshine hotspots next year. In total, 673,000 seats will be available for summer 2015 with local holidaymakers being able to take their pick from 33 in demand destinations.
Weekly Jet2.com flights to the new destinations, all beginning next May, are available now from £75 per person, including taxes. Jet2holidays great value package holidays are available from £299, secured for only a £60 deposit.
Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, said: “We are always striving to bring our passengers the very best choice of great value holiday options direct from their local airport and I don’t think they will be disappointed with these latest gems. Malta continues to grow in popularity and the addition of Antalya, Larnaca and Zante means we now have three Turkish destinations, two Cypriot and six Greek Islands for people to take their pick from.
“With our fantastic range, coupled with great flight times and award winning customer service, we are confident we have the right mix to continue our growth in the North East, cementing our position as a top leisure operator in the region.”
Leon McQuaid, Aviation Development Manager at Newcastle International Airport, said: “We’re delighted that Jet2.com and Jet2holidays have added these four great destinations from Newcastle. This will offer even more choice for our passengers and I’m sure the routes will be very popular.
“We’re enjoying a busy summer holiday season once again this year and it’s wonderful to see that summer 2015 is already shaping up to be even bigger and better!”
New destination information:
Antalya: weekly Jet2.com flights (Friday) start from £84 per person, including taxes and Jet2holidays 7-night package breaks are available from £299 per person.
Larnaca: weekly Jet2.com flights (Wednesday) start from £88 per person, including taxes and Jet2holidays 7-night package breaks are available from £379 per person.
Malta: weekly Jet2.com flights (Thursday) start from £75 per person, including taxes and Jet2holidays 7-night package breaks are available from £319 per person.
Zante: weekly Jet2.com flights (Wednesday) start from £83 per person, including taxes and Jet2holidays 7-night package breaks are available from £319 per person.
Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline, has confirmed its commitment to further growth with the announcement today (22nd July 2014) of the return of daily Exeter flights from Newcastle International Airport. One way fares are on sale now from £29.99 including taxes and charges and available for travel effective 26th October 2014 to 28th March 2015,
Paul Simmons, Flybe’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “We are pleased to announce the return of our Exeter route from Newcastle, and in doing so, make the South West so much more convenient and accessible. Flybe is committed to increasing connectivity both for business and leisure passengers.
“The decision to reintroduce this route from October reaffirms our commitment to listening to the needs of our customers and to confirming we are ‘the fastest way from A to Flybe.”
Dave Laws, Chief Executive of Newcastle International Airport, added: “We’re delighted with the return of Flybe’s Exeter service from Newcastle International Airport.
“This is an important route for both business and leisure customers and we hope to see thousands of passengers travel to the South West. For leisure customers, the Jurassic coast and its grand scenery is very popular.”
Flybe will now operate three routes from Newcastle as part of its 2014-15 winter schedule offering a choice of up to 62 flights a week.
NEW ROUTE DETAILS
Exeter (EXT) – Newcastle (NCL)
Effective for travel 26th October 2014 – 28th March 2015
Dep EXT 1040 arr NCL 1155 Dep NCL 1220 arr EXT 1335
Dep EXT 1555 arr NCL 1710 Dep NCL 1735 arr EXT 1850
Operated by 78-seat Bombardier Q400 aircraft
One way fares inc taxes and charges from £29.99
THOMSON CELEBRATES FIRST 787 DREAMLINER FLIGHT FROM NEWCASTLE AIRPORT
Thomson Airways today (21 July) celebrated the departure of the first long haul Boeing 787 Dreamliner flight from Newcastle International Airport. Flight TOM 392 took off from Newcastle headed for Orlando Sanford, Florida this morning.
Thomson operated this flight on board its plane Angel of the Sky which was named following a competition that ran in the region last year. The winner, Danielle Moore from Jarrow, was one of 288 customers who travelled on the flight. In addition to this route, Thomson Airways will also fly the Dreamliner on the first non-stop service from Newcastle to Cancun, Mexico.
The Dreamliner has revolutionised air travel and leaves holidaymakers more relaxed and refreshed than ever before, with comfort and wellbeing features on-board reducing the effects of jet-lag. It can also fly much further distances than similar-sized aircraft and is more environmentally friendly, using 20% less fuel.
The Dreamliner also boasts incredible space inside the cabins, with the lowest point inside the plane measuring more than six feet. To showcase this space, Thomson enlisted the help of local ballet dancer Oliver Blake from Sunderland who performed a variety of moves inside the cabin.
Carl Gissing, Director of Customer Service at Thomson Airways comments: “We are delighted to introduce our Dreamliner to Newcastle Airport and are thrilled to be the first airline to operate this incredible aircraft from the North East. The aim has always been to ensure we offer Dreamliner services from different regions across the UK so that customers can experience this aircraft from their doorstep.
“The introduction of the Dreamliner is a major milestone in our journey of modernising the holiday experience. Customers travelling from Newcastle will be amazed at the unique look, feel and service – all of which will ensure the Thomson holiday experience starts as soon as they step on board this fabulous new aircraft.”
Dave Laws, Chief Executive of Newcastle International Airport, said: "The launch of the Thomson 787 Dreamliner is a historic milestone for both Newcastle Airport and the North East region.
"This is an amazing aircraft with the latest technologies on board which will offer our passengers a first-rate service to Florida and Cancun from Newcastle. This launch coincides with the start of the great summer getaway which will see nearly a million passengers travel through the airport over the school holiday period.
"We work very closely with Thomson to offer great products and experiences to North East travellers. I'm sure the Dreamliner will be an extremely popular choice for passengers from Newcastle."
Thomson was the first UK airline to take delivery of the Dreamliner in 2013 and launched the UK’s first ever Dreamliner flight on 8 July 2013, with customers heading from Manchester to Sanford, Florida and from Glasgow to Cancun in Mexico. Since then the fleet has made over 2,500 flights, carrying over 670,000 customers operating from Manchester, Glasgow, Gatwick and East Midlands airports to all of Thomson’s long haul destinations including Jamaica, Phuket in Thailand and, new from this May, Mexico’s Pacific Coast and the stunning Indian Ocean island of Mauritius. The arrival of the Dreamliner has been a big hit with customers with 96% rating their flight as good or excellent.
Thomson will take delivery of a further two aircraft next summer, bringing the fleet to eight. In addition to launching flights from Newcastle today, the Thomson 787 Dreamliner has also taken off for the first time from Birmingham airport this month and will take off from Edinburgh for the first time this week. From this winter, the long haul flying experience will improve further as the in–flight entertainment will be upgraded with an even wider choice of films, updated monthly and, the icing on the cake, drinks will be included free of charge in Economy Club on all long haul flights.
Join the conversation #dreamliner.
Christmas comes early today as Jet2.com and Jet2holidays announce TWO exciting Christmas market destinations from Newcastle International Airport. This year, in the run up to the festive season, passengers can enjoy the fairy tale romance of Vienna or, brand new for 2014, the world famous Christkindlmarkt in Munich.
Return flights with the leading leisure airline start at £218.40 per person and ATOL protected Jet2holidays’ festive breaks can be booked now from £315 per person, secured for only a £60 deposit.
Steve Heapy, Chief Executive Officer, Jet2.com and Jet2holidays said: “Our fabulous European Christmas market package breaks are always popular and we’re thrilled to add the magical city of Munich from Newcastle International Airport this year. There’s something for everyone in Munich; enjoy traditional Bavarian food and drink and browse for unique Christmas gifts in the huge market covering the heart of the city. Vienna, a city of nostalgia and romance, offers truly seasonal inspiration with a vast array of concerts, nativity displays and traditional markets.
“All our festive getaways are perfectly timed to allow travellers to really maximise their break, with our early flights ensuring they can immerse themselves in the Christmas spirit as soon as they arrive! With limited places available we’re urging customers to book early to avoid disappointment.”
Chris Sanders, Aviation Development Director at Newcastle International Airport said: “We are delighted Jet2.com and Jet2holidays are offering these pre-Christmas short breaks. The timing is fantastic for those wishing to do some Christmas shopping with a difference, as well as experience these interesting continental cities. A direct flight makes the journey easy and we expect the flights to be very popular.”
NEW Christmas Market packages are:
Vienna – departs on 28th November 2014 from Newcastle Airport. Package breaks are available from £399 per person based on 2 nights in a 3-star hotel on a bed and breakfast basis. Prices include taxes and exclude transfers. Return flight only options start from £310.40 per person including taxes.
Munich – departs on 5th December 2014 from Newcastle Airport. Package breaks are available from £315 per person based on 2 nights in a 3-star hotel on a bed and breakfast basis. Prices include taxes and exclude transfers. Return flight only options start from £218.40 per person including taxes.
Passengers were served a slice of a delicious Madeira cake by leading leisure airline Jet2.com to mark the launch of its exciting new route from Newcastle International Airport.
The introduction of the sun-drenched Portuguese island, Madeira cements Jet2.com’s position as the North East’s biggest holiday airline, offering local customers a whopping 30 European sun, sea and city destinations to choose from. Jet2.com flights to Madeira are available from £75 per person with package holidays available from £369 per person.
Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, said: “We hope the passengers on the inaugural flight enjoy their summer getaways to Madeira. The addition of this holiday hotspot from Newcastle International Airport further demonstrates our ongoing commitment to providing an unrivalled selection of great value flights and holidays for our loyal customers in the region!”
Chris Sanders, Aviation Development Director, said: “The start of this new service to Madeira is great news for North East travellers who will enjoy even more choice from Newcastle Airport. Passengers wishing to escape the unpredictable British weather can enjoy the sunshine on this wonderful island and all it has to offer.”
The inaugural flight to Madeira follows the launch of Jet2.com’s service to Fuerteventura on 24 June.
KLM steps back in time today as its iconic DC3 aircraft arrives at Newcastle International Airport. The DC3 flew in from Amsterdam and is embarking on a tour of the East Coast, with its first stop being Newcastle Airport.
A select group of passengers will experience the golden age of travel in a series of short flights showing a bird’s eye view of the East Coast. Built in 1944, the DC3 is the first ever commercial aircraft and passengers from Newcastle will be travelling in the same style and luxury as passengers in the pioneering age of aviation. Flying the DC3 meant that KLM led the way in modern European aviation, offering customers comfort on board and reliable flights in Europe, the Far East and beyond.
The DC3 aircraft, the Royal KLM Dakota PH-PBA was in service with the 8th Air Force during the Second World War. After the war the aircraft was acquired by his Royal Highness Prince Bernhard, Prince of the Netherlands, and later became the first official aircraft of the Dutch government.
After retirement in 1975 the aircraft became part of the collection of the Aviodrome museum. It was put back in service in 1998 and it has been flying ever since. In 2010 she received her current historic KLM colour scheme and was christened ‘Princes Amalia’, after Prince Bernhard’s great grandchild, the current heiress to the Dutch throne.
This year KLM celebrates its 95th year. KLM was founded in 1919 and merged with Air France in May 2004. Since then, they have formed a major player in the air transport industry. The two airlines operate the leading long-haul network on departure from Europe.
Warner Rootliep, General Manager UK & Ireland Air France KLM said: “We are offering a once in a lifetime opportunity for passengers to experience aviation at its vintage best. The DC3 is such an iconic aircraft and it is a historic moment to welcome it to Newcastle. Our regional bases are incredibly important to KLM and it is fantastic to be able to showcase our heritage to the local community.”
Dave Laws, Chief Executive at Newcastle International Airport, said: “KLM are an important airline partner and we’re delighted to welcome this historic DC3 aircraft to Newcastle Airport. KLM’s operation from Newcastle has grown from strength to strength and reached 300,000 passengers in the last 12 months. We have an excellent relationship with KLM and look forward to further growth in the future.”
After the Newcastle flights the DC3 will continue its tour of the East Coast calling at Durham Tees Valley on June 26, Humberside on June 27 and finally at Norwich on June 28 before she leaves the UK to return to Amsterdam.
For more information on KLM log onto www.klm.com
Airport staff will take on the challenge of an 85-mile walk on the Isle of Man in under 24 hours to raise money for Maggie’s Newcastle.
The 2014 Manx Telecom Parish Walk is a historic walking race which sees enthusiasts and professionals from across the UK visit the Isle of Man to endure a gruelling 85-mile course in just 24 hours.
The famous route takes walkers around each of the island’s parishes from 8am on Saturday 21 June 2014.
Eric Wrightson, 58, from Consett, is General Manager of Park & Fly at the airport and a keen long distance walker. He will be taking part in the event with help from colleague and support driver, John Mason.
The Isle of Man is divided into six ‘sheadings’ which are further divided into seventeen parishes, each with its own parish church. The original Parish Walk involved touching the door at each parish church but this practice has been phased out over time. The event is organised under the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) rules of race walking and attracts thousands of entrants each year.
Eric said: “I’m really looking forward to taking part in the walk. I’ve been training for the last few months with a number of walks across the North East. I’ve been long distance walking for around 10 years or so and I really enjoy it. It keeps me fit and it’s a great opportunity to get out and about and visit some wonderful places.
“I usually try to enter between 5 to 10 official challenge walks each year on varying distances from 20 miles to 50 miles, over different terrains such as moorland or hills. This time around I’m taking on something totally new – a course that will take me 85 miles on a historic route of the Isle of Man. Thousands of people enter but only a few hundred usually finish the full course, let alone finish it in less than 24 hours – I’m hoping to be one of them!
“My colleague John will be my support driver on the route as there are a number of different rules and restrictions in place. The walk attracts long distances walkers, both professional and amateur who, like me, enjoy the challenge!”
Citywing, which operates a service to the Isle of Man from Newcastle International Airport four times a week, supported the team by providing their flights to and from the event. Car Hire Company Avis is also providing a support car.
Eric added: “A huge thank you goes to Newcastle International Airport, Citywing and Avis for supporting this charity activity.”
David Buck, Managing Director of Citywing, said: “We’d like to wish Eric and John all the best for the Parish Walk 2014. The walk attracts thousands of entrants each year and guides visitors through some of the spectacular scenery on offer here on the Isle of Man. We’re famous for our stunning scenery and challenging walks and I’m sure they will both enjoy their visit tremendously.”
The pair will raise money for the airport’s adopted charity Maggie’s Newcastle by taking part in the challenge. Maggie’s, which has a cancer centre at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle, offers free support and activities for those dealing with cancer and their loved ones.
Kelly Knighting-Wykes, Centre Fundraising Manager North East for Maggie’s, said: “Without support from companies like Newcastle International Airport and its staff, we couldn’t provide our much needed services to people living with cancer in the North East. Eric’s fundraising is fantastic and we really appreciate him taking on this huge challenge for Maggie’s Newcastle. This support will make a huge difference to what we can continue to provide our visitors when they need us most.”
To donate visit http://www.justgiving.com/parishwalk2014 or text the code NIAP85 and the amount you wish to donate, for example £5, to 70070. All donations gratefully received.
For more information on Newcastle International Airport visit www.newcastleairport.com
THE region’s air ambulance has opened a new base at Newcastle International Airport.
The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) will now operate out of Tyne and Wear after a partnership agreement was made with the airport.
GNAAS will still hold its main operational headquarters at Durham Tees Valley Airport near Darlington. It also operates an aircraft at Langwathby in Cumbria, which will also remain unaffected.
Kevin Hodgson, Director of Operations at GNAAS, said the Newcastle base would provide a strategic waypoint which will allow the charity to better serve the North East as a whole.
“This is great news for the charity and great news for the region,” he added. “It means we can now refuel and be ready for action quicker than ever before.
“We remain committed to Durham Tees Valley Airport, which has been a great supporter of the charity, but this arrangement just gives us greater flexibility, and that can only be of benefit to the patient.
“We would like to thank Newcastle International Airport for their support, this will make a big difference to the service we offer the region.”
The GNAAS aircraft are frequent visitors to Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Hospital, which is one of only 12 hospitals listed by the NHS as adult and children’s major trauma centres in the country, along with the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.
Instead of flying straight back to base near Darlington, the helicopters will now be able to stop-over in Tyne and Wear, allowing for a more rapid refuelling and restocking, while providing the doctors, paramedics and pilots time to prepare for their next assignment. The new base features office space, toilet and kitchen facilities.
Testing of the new arrangement has already highlighted how important it could prove to be. On Sunday, May 11th, a woman fell at home in Swinhoe, near Holy Island, Northumberland, suffering two suspected broken legs.
The charity’s Guardian of the North aircraft was already situated at the new base, and from there reached the scene in seven minutes. From its normal base, the flight would have taken around twenty minutes.
Mr Hodgson said: “When responding to an emergency, time can be absolutely critical to the patient’s survival. Anyone in Tyne and Wear, and in Northumberland to the north, will benefit from much quicker response times when the aircraft is stationed at the new base.”
Dave Laws, Chief Executive of Newcastle International Airport, said: “We are delighted to be supporting the Great North Air Ambulance with a new base here at Newcastle International Airport.
“Good transport links are essential, not only for the North East travelling public, but for services like the Air Ambulance, that have to reach people in need as quickly and efficiently as possible. We are pleased to support the Great North Air Ambulance and their activities across the region which help so many people each year.”
The Great North Air Ambulance Service is 100 per cent charitably funded and must raise around £4m a year to keep flying. It flies around 1,000 missions a year across the North East, North Yorkshire and Cumbria.
Thomson and First Choice increase capacity from Newcastle International Airport and introduce two new routes
Thomson and First Choice are pleased to announce that in summer 2015 they will be increasing capacity at Newcastle International Airport through the introduction of over 7,000 additional seats and two new routes to Agadir, Morocco and Dubrovnik, Croatia bringing the total destinations on offer from Newcastle Airport to 35.
The move to introduce these routes is part of the UK’s largest tour operator’s strategy to ensure customers across the UK can fly from their local airport, and stay at the best hotels in some of the most exciting destinations. The new routes went on sale on the 24th April.
Not only will customers from Newcastle be able to fly to some fantastic destinations, but they will also have the opportunity to choose varying durations – not just the standard seven and 14 night stays. Customers travelling from Newcastle will also have access to some of Thomson and First Choice’s most popular flagship hotels. These include the brand new for summer 2015 Thomson Sensatori Resorts in Ibiza and Turkey’s Dalaman region.
Local sun seekers will also be able to join Thomson Cruises’ brand new itineraries from Dubrovnik with the introduction of the new additional weekly flight to Croatia. They will have the opportunity to sail on Thomson Celebration on itineraries such as Grecian Legends and Croatian Classics, as well as taking advantage of the extensive cruise and stay programme on offer.
Karen Switzer, Director of Aviation Planning for Thomson and First Choice, said of the move: “Adding additional capacity from the North East of the UK and the introduction of two new routes demonstrates our commitment to Newcastle Airport and the local area, and following the success of similar routes across a number of regional airports, we know that the demand is there.
“Expanding access to our portfolio of destinations and hotels is a key part of our overall strategy and we hope that this move will enhance the holiday experience for our customers.”
Chris Sanders, Aviation Development Director, Newcastle International Airport added: “The addition of Agadir and flights to Dubrovnik is great news for the North East. It is a very long time ago since we last enjoyed flights to Morocco, while the Croatian flight allows travellers the option of both Mediterranean cruise and land-based holidays.”