Newcastle International Airport is flying high for the festive season with its annual Christmas Getaway now in full swing.
Thousands of holidaymakers will travel in and out of the North East to visit family and friends or simply escape the UK weather to sunnier climes.
Over 135,000 passengers are expected to travel through the region’s biggest airport between Monday 19th December and Monday 2nd January 2017 with around 1,210 flight movements during this time.
Popular destinations include Dubai, the Canary Islands, Dublin, Amsterdam and mainland Spain.
Nick Jones, Interim Chief Executive at Newcastle International Airport, said: “Christmas is a great time of year here at the Airport. We always enjoy a busy festive season and this year will be no different.
“We have lots of flights in and out as families and friends make use of our services to travel right across the globe. Some of our passengers are flying off for some winter sun while others make use of our hub connections to make extra special visits over the holidays.
“As well as those travelling away we have thousands returning home to the North East for Christmas – our arrivals halls are wonderful 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 a Happy New Year.”
Ryanair, Europe’s No 1 airline, today (3 Nov) have celebrated the launch of 5 new routes from Newcastle International Airport as part of its winter schedule. Ryanair’s routes to Wroclaw began on Sunday, with Gdansk on Monday, Tenerife and Warsaw taking off on Tuesday, and Lanzarote starting on Wednesday.
North East consumers can choose from more routes to sun and city destinations, lower fares (as Ryanair passes on lower fuel costs), and an even better customer experience, as it rolls out year 3 of its “Always Getting Better” customer experience programme.
Ryanair’s Sales and Marketing Executive, Lisa Buckley said:
“We are pleased to launch our 5 new routes from Newcastle to Gdansk, Lanzarote, Tenerife, Warsaw and Wroclaw. Ryanair continues to grow at Newcastle, by offering the lowest fares and best choice of destinations.
To celebrate the launch of our Newcastle winter schedule, we are releasing 100,000 seats for sale across our European network from just £19.99, which are available for booking until Monday (7 Nov). Since these amazing low prices will be snapped up quickly, customers should log onto www.ryanair.com and avoid missing out.”
Newcastle International Airport’s Aviation Development Manager, Leon McQuaid said:
“It’s great to see Ryanair continue to build its presence in the region and the start of these exciting new routes is excellent news for the North East travelling public.
“Poland is a vibrant country with a host of attractions on offer and we expect these flights to Gdansk, Warsaw and Wroclaw to be extremely popular. Tenerife and Lanzarote are firm favourites for the North East travelling public and I am delighted that we can offer our passengers even more choice and availability from Newcastle Airport.”
easyJet, Europe’s leading airline, has today started two new services from Newcastle International Airport to Berlin Schoenefeld Airport and Las Palmas Airport in Gran Canaria. The two new routes are expected to carry more than 36,000 passengers in the first year alone.
The airline’s new route to Berlin Schoenefeld is the only direct scheduled flight between Newcastle and the German city, opening both up to more tourism and making connecting between the two easier than ever. To mark the occasion, a local couple from Durham, Val and Tony McFarlane, welcomed the first Berlin to Newcastle flight into Newcastle this afternoon, which was operated by their son Marc who is based in Berlin as easyJet cabin crew manager. Unbeknown to Marc, his parents, who are today celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary and rarely get to see their son, had arranged to surprise Marc upon landing in the brief turnaround before he operated the flight back to Berlin.
Val McFarlane said:
“It was fantastic to surprise our son Marc on the first flight between Newcastle and Berlin today. We last saw him in August and unfortunately won’t get to spend Christmas together this year, so it was amazing to spend a little bit of time together before he flew back to Berlin. His face was a picture and he really didn’t expect to see us at all!
“The new easyJet flight between Newcastle and Berlin is going to make a huge difference to our family. Marc has had to use other airports and connecting routes and has often driven all the way home to Newcastle using the ferry, so this new route will make seeing each other so much easier and quicker.”
Whilst Mr and Mrs McFarlane were unable to fly back to Berlin with Marc today, easyJet has arranged two return flights for them to visit him in the near future.
Passengers in the North-East are now able to fly with easyJet directly to Berlin Schoenefeld from just £20.99* one-way up to three times a week year-round on Tuesday's, Thursday's and Saturdays. The route starts just in time for visitors wanting to experience the famous German Christmas markets and experience the traditional winter celebrations. Visitors can also enjoy the city’s rich history and culture with a wealth of exhibitions and museums on the Berlin Wall and World War Two.
The airline’s inaugural flight to Gran Canaria also took-off early this morning with holidaymakers who will be able to take advantage of the Canary Island’s winter sun. Flights depart every Tuesday over the winter season with fares starting from £22.99* one-way. From enduring beaches to the sand dunes in Maspalomas, the shopping in Las Palmas to the night time entertainment in Playa del Ingles, Gran Canaria appeals to all ages and interests.
Ali Gayward, easyJet's UK Commercial Manager, commented:
“We’re really excited to start these two exciting new routes from Newcastle International Airport today. Not only will they enable our North-East passengers to explore these great destinations and connect loved ones – like the McFarlane family - but they will also help to further enhance inbound tourism for Newcastle.
“We’ve seen a huge amount of demand on these flights already and we are confident that passengers at both ends of each route will enjoy what the other has to offer. We’re seeing more and more people using our services to visit Newcastle for both leisure and business trips.
“easyJet is committed to Newcastle and our passengers now have a choice of 17 of Europe’s best city, ski and beach destinations to choose from.”
Flights are now on sale at www.easyjet.com.
Leon McQuaid, Aviation Development Manager at Newcastle International Airport, said:
“We are delighted to see the start of these new and exciting flights, and it’s great to see easyJet’s commitment to the region with even more choice for the north east travelling public.
“Berlin is a fantastic destination and another leading European city now available from Newcastle. With flights conveniently timed up to three times a week year-round, we expect this service to be extremely popular with both business and leisure travellers. As well as anticipating further growth in outbound tourism, we also expect this service to deliver a significant increase of inbound traffic to the region.
“Gran Canaria continues to be a favoured destination for our passengers and will be ideal for those looking to escape for some winter sun.”
For more information please visit www.easyjet.com/holidays
Newcastle International Airport Ltd has today welcomed the decision by the government to follow the recommendation by the Airports Commission, and adopt a third runway at Heathrow as its preferred option for airport capacity in the South East.
Graeme Mason, Planning and Corporate Affairs Director at Newcastle International Airport, said: “We are pleased that the Government has agreed with the recommendations of the Airports Commission and decided in favour of expanding Heathrow. We will now support the Government and others to ensure that the third runway is built and to maximise the benefits to the North East that this development will bring.
“The North East currently enjoys good connectivity into Heathrow with up to six British Airways services a day, supporting over 500,000 passengers to and from the North East. By constructing a third runway, and providing additional capacity, we hope these services can be safeguarded, and can in the future also connect to a much wider range of global destinations.”
Councillor Iain Malcolm, Leader of South Tyneside Council, and Lead for the LA7 Shareholders, said: “The future success of the North East economy is dependent upon our region having good connectivity. Heathrow remains our largest hub connection. I welcome the fact that the Government now favours the expansion of Heathrow, given that in recommending the Heathrow option the Airports Commission recognised its importance to regions such as the North East.”
Newcastle International Airport has extended its highly successful partnership with two of the region’s top charities, which has already raised over £50,000.
Foundation of Light and Newcastle United Foundation jointly became the airport's adopted charity for 2015 and 2016, and this partnership has now been extended for a further year.
Both staff and customers at Newcastle International Airport have been involved with fundraising over the last two years.
Airport staff have taken part in sponsored cycle rides and runs, as well as fundraising at airport events.
Customers of the airport have made generous donations to the charities during bucket collections and via the foreign currency globes in the departure lounge and luggage collection point.
Nick Jones, Interim Chief Executive of Newcastle International Airport, said: "We’re delighted to extend this highly successful partnership and lend our support to two fantastic charities.
“The people of the North East have demonstrated their passion for football and helping those in need throughout the partnership and we hope to utilise this to help even more people over the coming year.”
Lesley Spuhler, Chief Executive of Foundation of Light, said: "The partnership with Newcastle International Airport has helped us raise awareness of our work in the region as well as raise much vital funds to help those in need locally.
“As well as our immense gratitude to the Airport we would like to extend our thanks to each and every one of their customers who has supported this partnership and made a donation.”
“Newcastle International Airport has shown itself to be a real pioneer in its field throughout the partnership and we look forward to working with them over the next year.”
Kate Bradley, Head of Newcastle United Foundation, said: “Our relationship with Newcastle International Airport has been invaluable in terms of raising awareness of the work we do, and crucially, raising funds.
"We thank the Airport and their staff for their ongoing support as well as the North East public for their generous donations.
”We are delighted that this partnership has been extended for another 12 months giving us the opportunity to work alongside our colleagues at the Foundation of Light, so together we can use football to change lives.”
Newcastle International Airport Ltd can today confirm that it has completed a project to refinance its bank debt, negotiating a new term loan facility of £233 million in an arrangement that will reduce the Airport’s overall amount of loan interest paid.
The refinancing has been agreed well in advance of the expiry of the previous financing arrangements which were arranged in 2012. Since then the Airport has committed approximately £40 million in capital developments such as radar replacement and improvements to customer facilities and its retail offering.
The process has been carried out with the Airport’s advisors, RBS Advisory (Financial) and Allen & Overy (Legal), and with support from AMP Capital and the Local Authority shareholders. Financing is being provided by a consortium of lenders which includes RBS, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank Limited, ING Wholesale Banking, Development Bank of Japan (DBJ) and MetLife Investments.
The new facility will result in the Airport paying a lower amount of interest each year after more favourable interest rate terms were negotiated. The loan is split into tranches between seven and twenty years which will offer enhanced protection against future interest rate rises and ensure continued investment to improve customer facilities and infrastructure, including a planned runway resurfacing. This ongoing investment ensures the Airport remains competitive and continues to attract airlines and new routes.
Nick Jones, Interim Chief Executive of Newcastle International said “We are pleased to announce that our refinancing project has been completed. We have created a platform which allows the airport to continue to deliver the facilities, infrastructure and connectivity that the North East needs. The project will help secure the long term success of the airport by maintaining its sound financial footing and provides a new capital expenditure facility, which is available to support our growth plans.”
Following the refinancing a total dividend of £43 million will be split between each of the Local Authority shareholders and AMP Capital. It is the first time since 2013 that shareholders have received a dividend.
Councillor Iain Malcolm, Leader of South Tyneside Council, and Chair of the LA7 Airport Holding Company, said “The completion of the refinancing is great news for the region. The airport has grown to become a very significant asset for the North East, contributing hugely to the economy, and providing the links that people and businesses need.”
Since 2012, passenger numbers at Newcastle Airport have grown by 10%, from 4.4 to over 4.8 million in 2016 (forecast.)
Newcastle International Airport’s daily Emirates service to Dubai is celebrating record numbers.
The route, hailed as a game changer for the North East upon its arrival in 2007, carried 22,745 passengers in August from Newcastle and its Dubai hub.
Nick Jones, Interim Chief Executive at Newcastle International Airport, said: “We are delighted to announce these record figures. The key to the success of Emirates is that it connects the North East to Dubai and then via Dubai to over 150 destinations.
“The Airline takes great pride in the role it plays in the region and this service has highlighted the impact a single long haul scheduled service can have.
“Next year we will celebrate 10 years of Emirates flying out of Newcastle and look forward to continuing our fantastic relationship well into the future.“
Laurie Berryman, Emirates Vice President, UK, said: “Emirates began operating out of Newcastle in 2007 and since then we have seen travel from the region to Dubai and beyond flourish.
“Newcastle International Airport has become an important gateway for both business and leisure travellers in the North East, and plays an important part in the growth of the local economy.
“Like the airport, August was a very strong month for our Newcastle operation, recording a five percent annual growth. We look forward to continuing our very successful relationship long into the future.”
The Emirates service carries the vast majority of exports flown out of Newcastle Airport, the value of which now stands at £310m per annum. Before Emirates arrived in the region, flown exports stood at less than £20m.
The tenth gathering of the Newcastles of the World takes place in Newcastle, Ontario, Canada later this month, and generous contributions from local businesses, trusts and private individuals are allowing several young people from Newcastle upon Tyne to attend the conference.
Newcastle International Airport is supporting Newcastles of the World for the third successive conference. Graeme Mason, Planning and Corporate Affairs Director of the Airport, said: “It’s great that so many Newcastles around the world get together to share knowledge and experience, build links between schools and youth councils, create cultural projects and promote tourism between one another. The Airport has been delighted to help this process, and especially to support the young people from our Newcastle being able to travel to take part.”
Meeting at the Airport were Newcastle upon Tyne youth conference delegates Emily Dormer and Julia Henzell, with Councillor David Faulkner who coordinates the Newcastles of the World project.
“We run projects and share best practice between us continuously, but we meet every two years to take stock and develop new ideas“, said David.
“This time it’s the town of Newcastle in Ontario, 50 miles from Toronto, who are hosting our conference. We have 14 delegates from Newcastle upon Tyne, seven of them young people. Overall there will be about 100 delegates from 13 different Newcastles. We are grateful to the Airport and all our many other sponsors and donors who between them have contributed £10,000 to pay the travel and registration costs for our youth delegates.”
The other local youth delegates are Laura Wilson, Liam Cartwright, Rozita Leetham, Marian Pamsm-Conteh and Molly Secret. Most are current or former members of the Newcastle Youth Council.
The Newcastles of the World conference first took place in Shinshiro City (“Newcastle”) in Japan in 1998. Newcastle upon Tyne hosted the conference in 2012.
Ryanair today further extended its Newcastle summer 2017 schedule with a new route to Madrid starting in March, in addition to 3 new routes to Faro, Girona and Palma, 5 new summer services to Gdansk, Lanzarote, Tenerife, Warsaw and Wroclaw, and more flights to Alicante, Dublin (double daily) and Malaga, which will deliver over 750,000 customers p.a. and support 560* jobs at Newcastle Airport.
Ryanair’s Newcastle summer 2017 schedule will see more frequencies to sun destinations for summer family holidays, lower fares as Ryanair passes on lower fuel costs, and an even better customer experience, as it rolls out year 3 of its “Always Getting Better” customer experience programme, and will deliver:
- 4 new routes: Faro (5 wkly), Girona (2 wkly), Madrid (2 wkly) & Palma (daily)
- 5 new summer services: Gdansk (2 wkly), Lanzarote (2 wkly), Tenerife (3 wkly), Warsaw (2 wkly) & Wroclaw (2 wkly)
- More flights to: Alicante (daily), Dublin (2 daily) & Malaga (5 wkly)
- 12 routes in total
- 52 weekly flights
- Over 750,000 customers p.a.
- 560* “on-site” jobs p.a.
Seats on Ryanair’s new Newcastle-Madrid route are on sale now from just £24.99, for travel in March and April, which must be booked by midnight Monday (19 Sep).
In Newcastle, Ryanair’s Head of Communications, Robin Kiely said: “We are pleased to further extend our Newcastle summer 2017 schedule, with a new route to Madrid, in addition to our 3 new routes to Faro, Girona and Palma, the continuation of our new services to Gdansk, Lanzarote, Tenerife, Warsaw and Wroclaw into summer, and more flights to Alicante, Dublin and Malaga, which will deliver over 750,000 customers p.a. and support 560 jobs at Newcastle Airport.
"To celebrate our new Newcastle-Madrid route, we are releasing seats for sale from just £24.99 for travel in March and April, which are available for booking until Monday (19 Sep). Since these amazing low prices will be snapped up quickly, customers should log onto www.ryanair.com and avoid missing out.”
Newcastle Airport’s Aviation Development Manager, Leon McQuaid said: “We are delighted to see Ryanair continue to expand their summer17 offering from Newcastle with these exciting flights to Madrid. Madrid is a leading European city and another excellent addition to our flight programme as we continue to explore and add further city destinations accessible from Newcastle. With twice weekly flights conveniently timed, we expect this service to be extremely popular with both business and leisure travellers throughout the region.”
United Airlines have confirmed that following two summer seasons of operation, their service to New York/Newark will not be returning in 2017. The service will continue to operate 6 days a week for the remainder of summer 2016, until 6th September.
Nick Jones, Interim Chief Executive of Newcastle International said “We understand that this will be very disappointing news. We, United Airlines and our regional partners really have given the New York route our best possible shot during its seasonal period of operation. Passenger numbers in 2016 have been higher than in 2015, but with great regret we understand United’s decision.
“We would like to thank all of our customers who have used the service. We continue to have numerous connections for business travellers to the US via our Heathrow, Amsterdam, Paris, Dublin and other hub services, regular Thomson flights to Orlando and Cancun, as well as seasonal leisure flights to New York with Jet2.com, and we will continue to explore future opportunities for transatlantic flights.
“Newcastle International Airport remains very strong, with passenger numbers growing, and a number of new routes, including Berlin, Warsaw and Gdansk, recently announced. This news regarding the New York service is certainly not reflective of the general trend at the Airport.”
Councillor Iain Malcolm, Leader of South Tyneside Council, and Leader of the LA7, said “This is disappointing news. The region pulled together magnificently to secure a New York service, and we have all worked extremely hard to make it work. While it is a blow to lose the service, especially given that numbers were up, the reasons are understandable. Newcastle International Airport, however, remains in good shape with strong growth in passenger numbers and a significant number of new services announced recently.”