UK airline, Eastern Airways, which operates flights from Newcastle International Airport, has been awarded the prestigious Gold Airline of the Year award by the European Regions Airline Association (ERA) at its widely recognised industry awards ceremony in Barcelona.
The carrier was last night named Europe’s number one regional airline 2014/15 ahead of 51 other airline members at the annual event, which has been held since 1991 to recognise excellence and achievements of Europe’s regional carriers, and also forms part of the ERA’s general assembly.
The airline celebrates its 17th anniversary this year and is Europe’s leading provider of fixed wing air services for the oil and gas industry. It operates over 800 flights a week, has more flights from Aberdeen than any other carrier and previously gained the most prestigious gold award in this industry sector in 2006/7, following consecutive silver awards in 2003/4 and 2004/5.
Richard Lake, chief executive of Eastern Group, said: “It is a great honour to again win the prestigious gold award, which is testament to the efforts and professionalism of every member of the team at Eastern Airways. To be recognised by our peers in the industry is tremendous as regional aviation is one of the most challenging and competitive sectors in the world. We must also thank our customers and trade partners who have continually supported us throughout our many years of operation.”
The judging panel commended Eastern Airways for:
- 16 years of consistent profitability
- Winning further Public Service Obligation (PSO) routes in France
- Extending oil contracts
- Reacting swiftly to changing market conditions and seizing new commercial opportunities to expand its network of scheduled services
- Bringing new investment into the business
With its primary focus on business travel, the airline enhanced its comprehensive UK network this year with the introduction of new services. Further expansion also took place in France after being awarded a four year contract providing domestic flights between Lorient and Lyon. Steady fleet acquisition was required to meet the growth in oil and gas charters and ad-hoc charters, while a new investor was attracted, with Bristow Helicopters Limited making a strategic investment acquiring a 60% interest in the airline, following a strong relationship between the two companies since 1999.
Eastern Airways started services from Newcastle in 2003 and operates a choice of daily scheduled flights to Aberdeen, Birmingham, Cardiff and Stavanger in Norway from Newcastle.
Humberside Airport based Eastern Airways has been operating scheduled flights since 1997 and provides a network of services across 17 airports in the UK, Norway and France using a fleet of 31 regional aircraft.
Dawson and Sanderson are celebrating after receiving high scores as part of Travel Weekly’s Mystery Shopper feature.
The undercover ‘mystery shopper’ scores travel agents on their overall customer experience and facilities as well as the advice on offer. Dawson and Sanderson South Shields brand scored very highly with 96% while the Gosforth branch also did well scoring 93%.
Both agents were presented with different scenarios from the mystery shopper and were offered different holiday options from Newcastle Airport.
Laura Halliday, Aviation Sales at Newcastle Airport congratulated the agents recently with a bottle of champagne. She said: “The results of the Travel Weekly Mystery Shopper feature show the excellent customer service on offer across the North East from agents supporting their local airport. It’s great that the Mystery Shopper has commended these shops and their dedication to providing a first class service for travellers. Well done to all Dawson and Sanderson staff!”
Sarah Dorkin, Senior Travel Consultant at the South Shields store, said: “The results highlight that we’re a family friendly agent with expert knowledge on a range of destinations. I joined Dawson and Sanderson 10 years ago and it’s wonderful to see that our hard work has been recognised. We’re already enjoying a busy summer season so this is an extra bit of good news!”
Dawson and Sanderson has been providing quality discount holidays from Newcastle for over 50 years. Established in 1962 Dawson and Sanderson has served over 8 million happy customers across the UK from one of 22 branches, over the phone or online.
Newcastle Airport served 4.46 million passengers in 2013. The airport aims to be the UK’s most welcoming airport and was recently readers voted by readers of Which? the best large airport for the second year running.
Jet2holidays has stepped it up a gear with its specialist cycling breaks by launching FIVE new destinations – Calpe on the Costa Blanca (Spain) plus Canary Island favourites Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote and Tenerife.
With Majorca, keen cyclists now have SIX biking hotspots to take their pick from. Great value package holidays are available now from £379 per person, secured with a low £60 deposit.
This expansion is based on the continued demand for Jet2holidays cycling trips since the initial programme to Majorca was launched last year. Hundreds have already travelled this year and the leading package holiday expert is already reporting a 42 per cent increase in bookings for 2015.
Jet2holidays cycling holidays combine specialist hotels with unrivalled sports facilities, based close to top road routes and spectacular scenery. These unique breaks are perfect for both enthusiasts and leisure bikers who still want plenty of beaches and activities to enjoy when out of the saddle. Customers can also take advantage of up to 30kg bike carriage, bike transfers and hire packages.
For further information about each destination or to book a specialist cycling package holiday visit www.Jet2holidays.com/cycling
Newcastle International Airport has welcomed Germanwings, part of the Lufthansa Group, as the airline begins its new Newcastle to Dusseldorf service.
The new carrier operated its first flight from Newcastle on 18 September having taken over the service from Lufthansa.
The carrier will operate the same service to Dusseldorf as Lufthansa, daily except Saturday, but bringing their unique style of service and competitive fares for journeys to Germany.
Chris Sanders, Aviation Development Director at Newcastle International Airport, said: “We are delighted at the arrival of Germanwings who, operating as a low cost carrier, will bring a new pricing structure and we expect will become a popular way of reaching Germany from Newcastle.
“Dusseldorf Airport is very well connected to the German rail system which means the route can be used to access most of Germany.
“We believe this service will be especially popular for leisure travellers who want to get out and about and explore the best of what Germany has to offer. Liebe Germanwings, Herzlich Willkommen in Newcastle!”
Heinz Joachim Schöttes, Senior Vice President Corporate Communications Germanwings, said: “We are delighted to launch this new connection from Newcastle Airport to Dusseldorf. Newcastle is an important destination for us and this new route makes both locations more accessible for both German and UK business travellers as well as holiday makers looking for a great city-break location.”
For the best value fares visit www.germanwings.com.
For more information on Newcastle Airport visit www.newcastleairport.com.
The British Airways Boeing 787 Dreamliner has once again visited Newcastle as part of an eight day pilot training programme.
Back in August 2013 Newcastle International Airport was the first regional airport in the UK to receive a special visit from the British Airways Dreamliner, much to the delight of enthusiasts and passengers. The airline has ordered 42 787s and there are currently 8 in service.
As part of this latest visit the 787 performed numerous take-offs and landings at Newcastle International Airport as Dave Sproat, British Airways’ Assistant Flight Training Manager took pilots (Captains and First Officers) through their training using the airline’s most technologically advanced aircraft.
Leon McQuaid, Aviation Development Manager at Newcastle Airport, said: “We’re delighted that British Airways chose to bring the Boeing 787 Dreamliner to Newcastle for this pilot training programme.
“This is a spectacular aircraft and we know following its visit last year just how much the North East loves to see it here at the airport.
“Our Heathrow service is a vital link for both business and leisure travellers and sees thousands of passengers connect onto international services. Many of our passengers will connect onto long-haul services using this highly advanced aircraft so it’s wonderful to see.”
Angela Sumner-Cook, British Airways’ Airport Manager Newcastle, said: “Our pilots have the highest levels of training to give our customers the safest and best possible experience on every flight.
“We appreciate the support given by Newcastle International Airport in helping us to deliver this training programme for our pilots.
“With up to seven flights a day to London Heathrow, British airways is proud to provide this important service to the region. Many of our customers go on to connect onto long-haul destinations on our fleet including the 787 Dreamliner.”
The 787 offers huge benefits – including a whisper-quiet cabin pressurised 2,000ft lower than other aircraft (6,000ft), allowing customers to arrive at their destination feeling more refreshed and less jet-lagged.
Its smooth ride technology also provides extra comfort during any turbulence. Bespoke mood lighting in every cabin can be set to reflect the time of day, helping to lull travellers to sleep at night and to wake them gently in the morning.
Customers can also enjoy the largest windows of any commercial aircraft, offering views of the horizon from every seat, or relax watching British Airways’ new in-flight entertainment system, which features more than 1,600 hours of programming.
The 787 is also extremely fuel-efficient – burning 20 per cent less fuel than the aircraft it replaces.
For more information on Newcastle Airport visit www.newcastleairport.com.
easyJet, the UK’s largest airline, has today announced its summer schedule for 2015 with over 1,200 flights set to take place between 29 March and 31 May next year at Newcastle Airport.
Over 200,000 seats are available to purchase now at www.easyJet.com for flights to and from Newcastle, enabling passengers booking early to secure the best fares early for summer 2015. easyJet has bases across 11 UK airports and currently has over 700 routes on sale to destinations across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Russia - 12 of which depart from Newcastle Airport.
Summer routes now on sale from Newcastle include:
- Nice, France from £31.99 one way*
- Faro, Portugal from £33.99 one way*
- Malta from £37.99 one way*
Ali Gayward, UK Commercial Manager, said: “We’re pleased to announce that our summer 2015 flights are now on sale allowing our customers to take advantage of thousands of low fares up until 31 May 2015. With new routes continuing into the summer, our customers have more choice than ever with over 700 routes currently on sale at easyJet.com.
“We expect the usual summer favourites in France, Spain and Portugal to be high on the travel wish list.
“Along with the fantastic summer sun hot spots we offer, we’re continuing to deliver an unrivalled network of routes across Europe that appeal to business travellers. With over 12 million business travellers flying with us each year, it’s clear flying easyJet makes business sense.”
easyJet’s Flexi fare offers unlimited date changes, 20kg hold luggage, up front seat selection, easyJet Plus bag drop, fast track security, speedy boarding, and no payment fees. easyJet flies to more primary airports than any other airline in Europe with a leading presence on Europe’s top 100 routes.
Business travellers to and from Newcastle can take advantage of services to cities such as Amsterdam, Belfast and Bristol.
*Fares per person, based on two people travelling on the same booking
Passengers are advised that work is being carried out including installation of part-time traffic signals to the roundabout, resurfacing of the A1 slip roads, widening of the southbound carriageway of Kingsway South between Eleventh Avenue and Coalhouse Roundabout, carriageway widening to Lamesley Lane at the junction with Coalhouse Roundabout, widening of the carriageway to Coalhouse roundabout in the vicinity of Chowdene Bank junction and installation of new traffic signs and renewal of road markings.
Work started on 11 August 2014 and aims to be completed by 31 October 2014. The work will take place overnight, starting at 20:00 each evening until 06:00 the following morning.
In order to carry out these works the agency will need to close the A1 northbound and southbound slip roads, Kingsway South between Eleventh Avenue and Coalhouse Roundabout, Lamesley Lane near the roundabout and partial closure of Coalhouse Roundabout. During the works diversions will be clearly signed. The following diversions will be in place:
- A1 Slip roads – Diversion to Lobley Hill or Eighton Lodge Interchanges as appropriate
- Kingsway South – Diversion via Eastern Avenue, Saltwell Road South and Chowdene Bank
- Lamesley Lane – Diversion via Smithy Lane and Chowdene Bank
When complete these works aim to relieve peak – time traffic congestion to and from Team Valley and reduce accident risk.
Dave Laws, Chief Executive of Newcastle International Airport, said: “We are delighted at the results of the latest Which? passenger survey which once again places Newcastle top amongst the larger airports.
“This is the second year running that passengers have scored us higher than any other large airport which is great to hear. Our aim is to be the most welcoming airport in the UK, and our staff and business partners work very hard to make passenger journeys through the airport enjoyable.
“We have worked particularly hard in the main areas of customer service including security. During summer 2014 so far, we have achieved 97% of customers through the security process in under 6 minutes.
“We are about to commence the main phase of a £14 million transformation of the airport departure lounge. The aim of this development is to give customers a new high quality experience and greater choice. We hope customers will agree that once complete this will make the experience in 2015 even better.”
Jet2holidays has today announced the launch of another scorching new route for Newcastle International Airport for summer 2015 – Tunisia!
The addition of this popular North African destination, hot on the heels of the launch of new sunshine hotspots Antalya, Larnaca and Malta and Zante, brings further growth at Newcastle International Airport. Passengers in the North East now have an unrivalled choice of destinations for their sunshine getaway next year.
The direct weekly services to Enfidha Airport mean holidaymakers can take their pick from stunning resorts which are perfect for families and couples alike, including Yasemine Hammamet, Port El Kantaoui and Sousse. Package breaks can be booked today from £339 and only a £60 deposit plus Jet2.com flights are also on sale from £75 per person, including taxes.
Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, said: “We are thrilled to announce yet more exciting news with the launch of Tunisia. The addition of this new hotspot means that people living in the North East can enjoy travelling even further afield with Jet2.com and Jet2holidays.
“This year has been a really busy one for us at Newcastle Airport with extensive growth and the introduction of even more new routes for summer 2015. Tunisia is a fantastic addition to our services and with the reliable sunshine, I am confident that it will be an extremely popular holiday destination for us next year and beyond.”
Leon McQuaid, Development Manager at Newcastle International Airport said: “This fifth new Jet2.com and Jet2holidays route for 2015 further increases choice from Newcastle Airport. Tunisia is a great destination offering excellent value for money and we expect both the flights and holidays to be very popular.”
Tunisia holiday information:
Boasting year round sunshine Tunisia offers a variety of attractions including desert safaris, taking in famous film locations of the ever popular Star Wars, camel trekking, Turkish baths and a host of archaeological wonders. It also offers the ideal location for sport enthusiasts with first class golf courses and world class scuba diving spots, whilst shopaholics can hone their haggling skills and take advantage of Jet2holidays’ generous 22kg baggage allowance in one of the many Souks.
- Newcastle: Weekly departures run from 27th May to 28th October 2015. Jet2holidays package holidays start at £339 per person for 7-nights half board with Jet2.com flights available from £75 per person, including taxes.
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.”