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Calling all Paddys, calling all Patricias….to Dublin


Aer Lingus Regional has today put out a call for anyone named Patrick or Patricia in the North East to join them on the Ultimate Paddy’s Day Celebration in Dublin this St. Patricks Day, March 17.

All Patrick’s and Patricia’s in the North East are encouraged to tweet @AerLingus with #CallingPat tagging the friend that they would like to bring, to be in with a chance to win a return trip to Dublin, an overnight stay at the Maldron Dublin Airport Hotel and a visit to the infamous Guinness Storehouse for you and a friend.

A number of Patrick’s and Patricia’s will be selected at random. The lucky winners will fly from Newcastle Airport to Dublin on March 17 courtesy of Aer Lingus Regional, returning on Wednesday 18 March.

St. Patrick’s Day is Ireland’s national holiday. It is celebrated the world over but where better to celebrate all of Ireland’s culture and customs than on the Emerald Isle with the Irish themselves. Winners can take in the exceptional sights of Dublin at its finest from the Gravity Bar at the Guinness Storehouse. Here, the lucky winners can toast their fellow Patrick, with a hand pulled pint of the black stuff.

It is a little known fact that St. Patrick was born in Britain about 385AD. St. Patrick is credited with bringing Christianity to Ireland and rumoured to have driven snakes out of Ireland. St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated on March 17, as this is the day St. Patrick is believed to have died. Although his place of death is uncertain, some stories suggest that St. Patrick died in Glastonbury, UK.

Speaking today, Peter O’Mara, Business Development Manager at Stobart Air, operator of Aer Lingus Regional said: "St. Patrick’s Day is our chance to celebrate all things Irish and the Aer Lingus Regional brand embodies this sentiment. We look forward to welcoming some of our valued customers to Dublin this St Patrick’s Day." 

Aer Lingus Regional operate flights from Newcastle to Dublin up to 3 times daily.

easyJet teams up with Northumberland College as students guide passengers on what’s hot for summer 2015


easyJet, Newcastle International Airport’s largest airline, teamed up with Northumberland College today to highlight the airline’s three new summer destinations from the airport to Split in Croatia, and the Greek islands of Rhodes and Corfu. 

The group of 12 students studying Aviation Services at the College headed to easyJet check-in desks at Newcastle International to showcase their skills and distribute a comprehensive travel guide on the trio of new routes. The students researched, compiled and designed the guide themselves and were given the opportunity to engage with passengers to provide top tourism tips to those planning their summer holidays.

Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK Commercial Manager, said: “It’s been fantastic to have worked with such budding and enthusiastic aviation students from Northumberland College today. easyJet is always trying to further enhance our customers’ experience and I think today’s activity has provided some great travel tips for passengers potentially looking to travel on our new routes this summer.

"Furthermore it’s really important for us to collaborate with local schools, colleges and universities as it enables us to support and provide practical opportunities to the future stars of the travel industry right here in Newcastle.”

Helen Bramley, Travel and Tourism Lecturer at Northumberland College, commented: “This has been a wonderful opportunity for our students to gain experience of working alongside a large airline. They have thoroughly enjoyed interacting with customers at Newcastle International Airport and offering advice about destinations.”

Chris Sanders, Aviation Development Director at Newcastle International Airport, said: “What a wonderful way to get the word out to passengers about easyJet’s three new summer destinations to Split in Croatia, Rhodes and Corfu. 

“The students have had a lovely morning chatting with travellers at check in about the new services and we hope passengers have found the information very helpful.”

easyJet flies to 17 destinations from Newcastle, with the airline’s new Split, Rhodes and Corfu routes taking-off in the first week of June. More than 20,000 passengers are expected to fly in and out of the airport on the three new routes this summer alone. All flights can be booked at

Local heroes and celebrity suggestions required to support new concept at Newcastle International Airport

Newcastle International Airport and SSP UK are calling on the North East public to put forward suggestions of local heroes and celebrities for a special ‘wall of fame’ in new facility Bar 11.

The wall aims to recognise a mix of local heroes and celebrities – anyone from the community, business or celebrity world with strong links to the North East region. Those selected will take pride of place on the commemorative wall within the new unit, which is to open on the 1st April.

With only 30 profiles to be featured, award-winning songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, activist, actor and Newcastle born Gordon Sumner – better known by his stage name Sting – has already secured a place on the wall. Showbiz celebrities, who are at the helm of hosting some of the UK’s most watched, and loved, television programmes and soap-stars will also be unveiled at the opening.

Gill Caleary, Commercial Director at Newcastle Airport, said: “We are looking to showcase local heroes and celebrities who you feel either support your local community or the North East region as a whole and have a story worth telling. They’ll have their face on our ‘wall of fame’. If you can think of anyone you’d like to suggest please get in touch!”

Members of the public are asked to submit their suggestions to by 10 March for consideration.

Submissions should include the name of the person nominated, their job or role and a short paragraph or sentence on what makes them a local hero or noteworthy regional celebrity.

Winners will be selected by a special panel and the winning entries will be displayed on the ‘wall of fame’ within Bar 11 when it opens. 

Bar 11 is part of the airport’s new £14 million development of its departure lounge. The premium bar will be operated by SSP UK and is designed to attract a diverse range of travellers through its variety of modern and fresh dining options.  

Newcastle Airport recognised as Thomas Cook Airlines most on-time airport

Following the arrival last year two brand new Thomas Cook Airlines Airbus A321 aircraft at Newcastle International Airport, the airport has been recognised at the airlines’ most on-time airport in 2014, which saw flights increase with a new daily flying programme to Dalaman in the summer.

Thomas Cook Airlines customers have also voted Newcastle the best airport for the speed of check-in and overall customer service, ahead of the airlines’ other UK bases.     

Cor Vrieswijk, Chief Operating Officer for Thomas Cook Airlines said, “Last year, Newcastle International Airport helped us deliver a great service to our customers, with over 92 per cent of our flights departing within the industry-standard measure of 15 minutes from departure time and top ratings from our customers too. 

“Newcastle has now been our best performing base for two year’s running, and we would like to thank the airport and all our partners for their support as we look ahead to new flights to Santorini and Hurghada this summer.”

Richard Knight, Operations Director at Newcastle International Airport said, “We’re delighted that Thomas Cook has recognised Newcastle as the most on-time airport and the best for customer service in 2014.

“We aim to be the UK’s most welcoming airport and these accolades from Thomas Cook recognise the hard work of our staff, who strive to deliver excellent service to our passengers and business partners on a daily basis.

“In addition, Newcastle was recently named Top UK Airport by Wanderlust and was also named Best UK airport by readers of Which? Travel in 2013 and 2014. We’re delighted that the hard work of everyone here at Newcastle is making customer journeys better than ever!”

After each flight, the airlines’ customers are asked to complete a questionnaire reviewing the service at the airport, on-board their flight and on their holiday.  In 2014, Newcastle Airport came top in speed of check-in and overall customer service of any UK airport used by Thomas Cook Airlines.   

Thomas Cook Airlines partners at Newcastle International Airport include Swissport, Alpha LSG, Airline Services, Flightcare Multiservices and Journey’s Friend Bonded Stores who along with the airport were recognised at a special presentation – alongside Thomas Cook Airlines pilot, cabin crew, ground staff and engineers based at Newcastle. 

Customers in the North East will continue to see more new routes, with new Thomas   Cook Airlines flights from Newcastle to Santorini and Hurghada this summer, along with an additional flight to Enfida, flight only offers and holidays are on sale now. 

The airline has introduced a total of six new A321 aircraft across its UK fleet in 2014, with three more to be added in 2015 and serves 24 destinations from Newcastle International Airport, with over 200,000 passengers each year flying with the airline.

As well as calling into any of Thomas Cook, Co-operative Travel or independent travel stores in the Newcastle area, Thomas Cook Airlines’ flight-only offers are available at Thomas Cook holidays available at, or by calling 0844 412 5970.

Historic anniversary year begins – airport launches new video


Newcastle International Airport is celebrating 2015 in style this year as it marks its 80th Anniversary with the launch of its new corporate video, Newcastle International - Your Airport In Motion.

The film, created by Jack Fisher, premiered at the Tyneside Cinema and will be available on the airport’s social media channels and website from 9am on Thursday 5th February.

The film gives viewers a unique, behind the scenes view of daily life at Newcastle Airport, the region’s largest airport which saw 4.6 million passengers in 2014.

The film was produced using time-lapse photography. This involves taking a series of stills which are then merged together to make a film sequence. The process spanned a number of months and offers a unique perspective compared to conventional filmmaking.

Footage includes flight arrivals and take offs, the boarding process, check in, travellers passing through the terminal and departure lounge and more!  The film is a collection of over 15,000 photographs.

The airport will mark its 80th birthday on 26 July this year and is planning a number of celebrations over the year including charity activity, social media and special events.

David Laws, Chief Executive at Newcastle International Airport, said: “This is an exciting year for the airport. Our 80th Anniversary year will see a host of celebrations with passengers, business partners and the local community.

“We’re delighted to start things off by unveiling our new corporate video, Newcastle International - Your Airport In Motion. This gives viewers a glimpse of the airport’s daily operations and we hope people enjoy it as much as we do!

“We’re sure that passengers, stakeholders, enthusiasts and the local community will really get behind this video as it does offer never before seen angles and footage of airport operations.” 

“The 80th anniversary celebrations don’t stop here! This year we’ll be working with our new joint adopted charities, Newcastle United Foundation and SAFC’s Foundation of Light to plan some exciting activity in our anniversary year including a charity Race Day and some extra special aviation themed fundraising. The details aren’t going to be made public until later this year but watch this space…

“We’re also looking forward to two very special events in addition to the anniversary activity, in May this year we launch our first ever transatlantic service to New York with United Airlines! The summer service starts on 23 May and will run until 7 September. We’re so excited for the launch of the route, tickets are on sale so book now!

“Later in the summer we look forward to the opening of our new departure lounge. The facility marks a £14 million investment from the airport and our business partners and will greatly benefit customers. New brands will join the offering in the terminal and improve the passenger experience. It’s all part of our goal to be the UK’s most welcoming airport and we’re determined to achieve this, especially in our anniversary year.”

Councillor Iain Malcolm, Leader of South Tyneside Council and lead of the LA7 shareholders, said: “On behalf of the LA7 shareholders and our AMP partners, we’re delighted to kick-start the airport’s anniversary year with the premiere of Newcastle International – Your Airport In Motion.

“This film showcases our great airport. The airport is of crucial importance to the North East, contributing over £640 million each year to the regional economy. This film gives viewers a glimpse of what the daily operation at Newcastle is like and the hard work of the staff onsite.

“This year promises to be a busy one for the airport. As well as celebrating 80 years we will also launch the United Airlines New York service in May and officially open the new departure lounge development later in the year. We are very much looking forward to an exciting year!”

Film producer Jack Fisher, said: “Filming Newcastle International – Your Airport In Motion was a real pleasure. Time-lapse photography is the perfect medium to capture the many moving parts of an airport, so I was naturally attracted to the project when it was first suggested. I think it was great the band Jungle allowed us to use the track Time and I just really hope people enjoy the film.”

To watch the video visit one of the airport’s social media channels from 9am on 5th February.

‘Bag’ a New York Break with and Jet2holidays!

05-02-2015 and Jet2holidays are once again giving their customers the chance to jet to the city that never sleeps with the launch of their biggest and best ever choice of New York breaks for winter 2015 – on sale today.

A massive FIVE trips are available direct from Newcastle Airport, with an additional flight being made available due to the high level of demand from customers in the North East. 

The breaks are perfectly timed so people can experience some of the most iconic events in New York including the infamous Black Friday – the biggest shopping day of the year. Children will also be able to have a bite of the Big Apple with a special October half term trip.  Departures are scheduled as follows:

  • 24th October 2015 for 4 nights – Half term trip.
  • 5th November 2015 for 4 nights.
  • 26th November for 4 nights – Black Friday trip.
  • 4th December 2015 for 3 nights.
  • 10th December for 4 nights.


Steve Heapy, CEO of and Jet2holidays said: “We love New York and are thrilled to be giving people in the North East another chance to experience this fantastic city direct from Newcastle Airport. It’s our biggest programme yet, offering the best ever choice of trips. I’m sure they will be as popular as ever!”   

Jet2holidays package breaks start from £790 per person, including a generous 22kg baggage allowance for all that shopping – they can be secured now for only a £60 deposit. flight only options are available from £399 per person, including taxes. 

For further information or to book visit /

Newcastle Airport named Top UK Airport by Wanderlust Magazine


Newcastle Airport has come out on to top at the 2015 Wanderlust Magazine Travel Awards, winning the gong for Top UK Airport.

TV presenter Julia Bradbury presented the awards, held at the Destinations Travel Show at Olympia in London, which were voted for by almost 3,000 of the publication’s readers.

Over 30 airports were nominated in the UK category and a satisfaction rating of 86 per cent saw Newcastle Airport claim first place for the first time.

Janet Collins, General Manager Terminal Operations at Newcastle Airport, said: “We were one of over 400 airports that Wanderlust Magazine readers visited in 2014.  They are experienced travellers and they know what makes an excellent airport.

“To come first as the Top UK Airport for these readers, with a satisfaction rate of over 80 per cent, is a fantastic achievement and a real testament to the hard work of all of our staff who strive to make us the most welcoming Airport in the UK.”

This is the latest award in what has been a very successful twelve months for Newcastle Airport. In August 2014 Which? magazine readers voted Newcastle the top large airport in the UK for the second year running.

The aviation industry has also been delighted with the performance of Newcastle Airport. Last year the airport was named the best base for customer service by easyJet, the best for on time performance by Thomas Cook, and the top performing base for 2014 by Jet2.

“It's great to see the smaller regional airports coming out on top," said Wanderlust Editor Phoebe Smith. "Reporting a high satisfaction level, our readers clearly love Newcastle Airport, whether using it to travel within the UK or heading further afield. Well done to the whole team there – a well-deserved winner.”

Wanderlust magazine was launched in 1993. It caters for adventurous travellers who want fresh and authentic travel experiences abroad.

Thomson launches newly expanded youth brand with star studded event


Leading holiday brand celebrates the launch of Thomson Scene with a #MyScene event hosted by Chelsea TV stars

  • Event celebrated the launch of a bespoke collection of holidays aimed at young sun seekers
  • Hosted by Chelsea TV stars Lucy Watson, Oliver Proudlock and Binky Felstead
  • 15 Scene destinations available from Newcastle airport
  • Celebratory voucher code launched to be used online or in Thomson shops such as Northumberland Street and the Metro Centre

 Chelsea’s hottest ‘Scenesters’ hit the red carpet last night for the official launch of Thomson Scene, a new collection of bespoke holidays for the youth market. The Shoreditch event, held at the award-winning Callooh Callay cocktail bar, saw Lucy Watson, Oliver Proudlock and Binky Felstead go head-to-head as they competed to host the best ‘Scene’, taking inspiration from their favourite Thomson Scene holiday destination.

Millie Mackintosh also attended and celebrity DJ Jameela Jamil was in residence, playing the hottest holiday sounds throughout the evening for celebrity guests and party-goers.

Aimed at 18-35 year olds, Thomson Scene offers the perfect choice for sun seekers looking for a smart holiday base in some of the coolest party destinations.  From affordable hotels close to the action, to a selection of celeb style, luxury hangouts in 15 destinations from Newcastle airport, the newly expanded range of holidays offers a wide variety of options to suit all tastes. Hot spots featured in the Thomson Scene programme and available include the big hitting, party islands of Ibiza, Zante and Corfu and the chic spot of Croatia, as well as long haul getaways to Mexico. 

To mark the official launch, Thomson Scene has released a celebratory voucher code. All customers who book a Scene holiday before the end of January 2015* will receive £50 off when quoting 49196 online, 49200 in stores such as Northumberland Street and the Metro Centre and 49216 through the call centre at the time of booking.

At last night’s launch party each VIP host curated their own ‘Scene’ within the event, selecting the décor, canapés and signature cocktails to bring to life their chosen party hotspot.

Lucy’s Scene was inspired by the party island of Ibiza, taking on a glamourous vibe with a specially created champagne cocktail, The Ibiza Royale. Glitter Lips make-up artists on hand in Lucy’s Scene to get people into the party mood.  Talking about the event, Lucy commented: “It’s been so much fun picking out all the elements I love the most about Ibiza, and bringing them to life for the launch of Thomson Scene. Ibiza is such an amazing and glamourous holiday destination, I knew instantly that it would the perfect choice to inspire my Scene!”

Drawing on the laid back vibes of Thailand, to recreate a beach party Scene, Proudlock served his guests a brand new King of Siam cocktail. Proudlock commented: “I was quietly confident going into the evening, but the girls gave me some tough competition. When I was checking out all the amazing destinations that Thomson Scene offers, Thailand was an easy stand out choice for me as the perfect combination of awesome parties and chilled out days surrounded by beautiful scenery.”

The third Scene at the event was hosted by Binky Felstead and inspired by the vibrancy of Mexico, serving traditional Mexican canapés and the El Rivington Swizzle, a tequila based cocktail. She commented: “I was just lying on the beach in Mexico last week, and it was one of the best holiday’s I’ve ever had.  So, it was a no-brainer when asked for a theme for my Scene. There are so many super cool things about Mexico that I could get creative with to showcase the style of the destination, from colourful decorations, yummy Mexican quesadillas and delicious tequila cocktails.”

Mark Hall, Director of Product for Thomson, said: “Thomson Scene combines chilled pool days with lively nights and we offer a fantastic range of short, mid and long haul destinations from Newcastle airport inluding Ibiza, Corfu, Croatia and Mexico.  Our new youth brand offers sun seekers a wide holiday choice from affordable hotels close to the nightlife, to celeb style luxury hangouts which offer relaxation and the chance to experience some culture in the country they are visiting.” 

Airport trains Lisbon Airport firefighters


Newcastle Airport Fire Training Academy was selected as the training partner of choice to work with FALCK SCI Portugal to train Firefighters from Lisbon Airport in Portugal.

Firefighters have attended the Training Academy based at Newcastle Airport Fire Station to undertake a blend of technical and practical training utilising the state-of-art fireground.

The Newcastle Airport Fire Training Academy has over 20 years of experience working with businesses across the UK and beyond.

The academy is a world-class facility delivering training, both practical and classroom based, across a range of sectors. Training equipment includes a 767 aircraft fire simulator, Super Puma helicopter, helipad, fire screen and oil, gas and marine training facilities.

Selected personnel from Lisbon also attended a Crew Commanders programme in Newcastle, to develop command and control skills using a virtual reality simulator and then enhance their knowledge, understanding and skills on the fireground taking charge of a range of aircraft related incident scenarios.

Tim Oakes, Training Academy Manager at Newcastle International Airport, said: “This is another fantastic opportunity for the Newcastle Airport Fire Training Academy to develop training solutions for our clients.

“We have over 20 years of experience in delivering training including Fire Safety courses, Health and Safety training, First Aid and more. As well as our work with other airports, we also offer a significant amount of training for businesses across a range of sectors.

“To support this project with Lisbon Airport we sent members of the Fire Training Academy to Portugal to assist, assess and verify training which is delivered in country. The team also undertook practical training at the Fire Training Academy.

“We are dedicated to providing high quality training across a variety of sectors to ensure the knowledge and skills we have here at Newcastle is shared with learners. Aviation is a unique environment and it’s vital that those working in the sector have access to quality training programmes.”

This is not the first time that the Training Academy have been involved with firefighters from Portugal, last year 30 firefighters from Faro Airport attended an aviation firefighting course and it has been working with UK Trade & Investment to explore other overseas markets.

Chris Graham, UKTI's International Trade Adviser for Medium-Sized Businesses (MSBs), who has been working closely with the airport, said: "We're delighted that Newcastle Airport Fire Training Academy has been successful in its bid to win this latest overseas contract.

"We look forward to continue working with the airport and hope its success will inspire others to follow in its footsteps and take up the exporting for growth challenge.

"A new package of support was announced in the Autumn Statement to help small and medium-sized businesses take their first steps into export with £20m of funding in 2015-16.

"It will mean UKTI's International Trade Advisers will be able to offer more help to first time exporters, helps others already exporting break into new markets and keeps the North East focussed on the 2020 Export Challenge set by the Government."

New Year and New York at Newcastle Airport


Newcastle International Airport is raring to go for 2015 with a host of new routes and destinations for passengers, and a range of exciting new outlets as part of its £14 million departure lounge development.

The countdown has begun with the new service to New York with United Airlines now less than 150 days away. The first flight leaves on 23rd May and a recent visit by United Airlines personnel based in Chicago to the airport confirms everything is on track for the first flight.

Amazingly, around 160 United staff based in Chicago are working on the project to bring service to Newcastle covering activities such as aircraft catering, cleaning, engineering, cargo and ground handling arrangements.

This summer service connects at New York’s Newark Airport with United flights linking passengers to over 300 North American, Central American, Caribbean and South American destinations.  Popular early sellers include New York itself and the holiday destinations of Florida and Las Vegas but bookings have already been made to destinations across the United States.

Other scheduled services to take-off in 2015 include Stansted flights with Flybe from late March and a year-round service to Geneva with easyJet which recommences in June.

A number of carriers have also added new holiday destinations for summer 2015. New services include Santorini and Varna with Thomas Cook, Dubrovnik with Thomson, Antalya, Split in Croatia, Corfu and Rhodes with easyJet and Larnaca, Malta, Zante and Tunisia with In winter Thomson will add Hurghada and Larnaca to their schedules.

In 2013, work began on a major departure lounge development which has so far seen the introduction of a number of new outlets including The Flying Hippo, Beer House, Cabin Bar and Aspire Lounge. New retail units have also opened including Traveller, Cuba Lily, Travelex and WHSmith.

David Laws, Chief Executive at Newcastle International Airport, said: “It’s been a hugely successful year for Newcastle International Airport. We’ve have a very strong summer and passenger numbers are up. 2015 will be a year of celebration as enter our 80th anniversary year. We have a number of exciting things planned, so watch this space!

“Recently we achieved our long term goal of securing a trans-Atlantic service to New York with United Airlines. We’re delighted that this will begin to operate in May 2015, tickets are on sale now and we’d encourage the North East travelling public to get behind this route and book up for summer 2015.

“A number of our airline business partners have also added services to their schedules for the year and we’ll be travelling to new destinations including Stansted, Split in Croatia, Santorini in Greece, and Hurghada in Egypt.

“We’re part way through our exciting £14 million departure lounge development which will be completed in summer 2015. A number of new concepts will open for the benefit of passengers as we continue to invest in our facilities to ensure we achieve our aim of being the UK’s most welcoming airport.

“In 2014 we were also named by Which? as the best large airport for the second year running which was a wonderful accolade. We’re sure 2015 is going to be even better than the last and wish all our passengers a Happy New Year!”

As well as celebrating new routes and ongoing investments, the airport also recently announced a new partnership as both the Newcastle United Foundation and Sunderland AFC’s Foundation of Light have joined forces for the first time to raise funds as the airport’s adopted charities.

Speaking about this news David Laws said: “The airport is the perfect place to reach millions of people as they jet in and out of the region either for business or leisure. Both Foundation charities are very worthwhile causes working with children and young people across the region. We’re delighted to be able to help them reach out to the North East public, raising awareness of what they do as well as fundraising within our terminal.”

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@NCLairport on Twitter

6 hours ago: @Mark_Mowbray @ThomsonHolidays That's a fantastic shot Mark. Remind us to share it tomorrow morning!

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