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Press Releases

Press Releases

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5 weeks to go – bmi regional gearing up for its first flight from Newcastle

DATE: 30-01-14

bmi regional (www.bmiregional.com), the UK’s most punctual airline, is getting ready to take off ahead of the launch of its new jet service to Brussels, which starts on 3 March. The route, a welcome addition to Newcastle Airport’s list of destinations, will connect North East travellers to Belgium when it begins in five weeks’ time, with fares from just £76 per person one way.

Cathal O’Connell, CEO at bmi regional, said: “This is our first route from Newcastle International and we’re delighted to provide the only direct flight for travellers from the North East of England to the Belgian capital.

“Brussels has so much to offer for leisure travellers such as a vibrant cultural offering and beautiful surroundings such as the Grand Place – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and traditional Flemish houses. As well as Brussels itself, travellers can make use of the excellent Belgian rail services running from Brussels Airport to reach Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp with ease.”

Dave Laws, Chief Executive at Newcastle International Airport, said: “The new route is already proving popular with both leisure and business passengers. Belgium is an interesting country to visit with much to see and do. There is far more to Belgium than just delicious chocolate and great beers.” 

As well as thousands of North East travellers heading to Belgium the service will also create a positive impact for the regional economy through inbound tourism.

Sarah Stewart, chief executive of destination management and marketing agency NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said; “The growing number of airlines choosing Newcastle International Airport signals a real confidence both in the airport and the destination. bmi regional’s new Brussels flight is positive news for the tourism sector and the business community.

“NewcastleGateshead and the wider region remains an attractive destination for city break visitors and those interested in doing business here. bmi regional’s new double daily service will gather a lot of support from businesses here in the North East and in Belgium.

“It’s extremely encouraging to welcome a new airline and a brand new route that will continue growth in inbound tourism in NewcastleGateshead and the North East.”

bmi regional offers a full in-flight service including complimentary food and drinks onboard, in addition to 20kg of checked baggage per person and 30 minute check-in at both airports.

Newcastle Airport Christmas getaway

DATE: 20-12-13

Thousands of passengers head off for the festive period

Tis’ the Season to be Jolly at Newcastle International Airport this Christmas as thousands of passengers travel on holiday to see friends and family for the festive period.

Around 100,000 passengers are expected to travel to or from Newcastle Airport between Friday 20th December and 1st January 2014 with between 800-900 flight movements during this time.

Welcome home gatherings can often be found in domestic and international arrivals throughout the holidays as thousands fly into the North East to enjoy time in the region with loved ones.

The airport is open all year round and has four departing flights this Christmas day – all staffed by air traffic controllers, handling agents, and operational airport teams such as security and the airport fire fighters.

Popular destinations during the festive season include Dubai, the Canary Islands, Dublin, Amsterdam, Sharm el Sheikh, mainland Spain and Geneva. Newcastle also sees an increase in skiers heading for the slopes around Christmas time.

Dave Laws, Chief Executive of Newcastle International Airport, said: “We are expecting a very busy festive season around 100,000 passengers using the airport. We have lots of flights in and out as families and friends make use of our services to travel across the globe. Some of our passengers are dashing off for some winter sun while others make use of our hub connections to make extra special visits over the holidays.

"Christmas has even come early this year with the announcement that Aer Lingus Regional will operate a Cork service from Newcastle from March 2014.

“As well as those travelling away we have thousands returning home to the North East for Christmas – our arrivals halls are vibrant and joyful places at this time of year and we’re delighted to be part of many people’s experience this Christmas. We would like to wish all of our passengers a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.”

The getaway comes as Newcastle Airport looks forward to 2014 with new services to Brussels, Gatwick, Cork, Fuerteventura and Madeira due to operate.

Christmas stats

Biza Tax and Duty Free at Newcastle International Airport are gearing up for a busy peak shopping season as thousands of travellers make purchases ahead of the big day.

This Christmas the Duty Free store is expecting to sell: Over 1,000 Christmas fragrance gift sets, 1,500 Toblerone bars, 700 bottles of baileys, 500 bottles of Fizz and a whopping 2,200 bottles of Whiskey.

Gregg’s at Newcastle airport will sell around 1,500 mince pies this festive season.

Christmas Travel

Christmas can often mean passengers wish to travel with unusual items packed in luggage. Passengers are advised that the usual restrictions still apply to Christmas presents.

Wrapped Christmas presents packed in hand luggage must not contain any restricted items – even if it is unopened and beautifully packaged. If liquid items are under 100ml, they can travel in hand luggage but must be carried in a clear, resealable plastic bag.

All pyrotechnics or smoke-emitting devices, such as party poppers and Christmas crackers, are prohibited from all passenger baggage. For unusual items, it’s advised passengers contact their airline ahead of their journey to confirm restrictions.

Aer Lingus Regional announce Cork route from Newcastle Airport

DATE 19-12-13

Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Aer Arann, today announced a new Cork route which will operate from Newcastle Airport from the end of March 2014.

The new route will operate four times a week, building on the success of the Newcastle-Dublin route which launched in October.

Aer Lingus Regional, which aims to double passenger numbers to over two million over the next five years, has overseen a 10 per cent rise in its passenger numbers in 2013 compared to the previous year.

Chris Sanders, Aviation Development Director at Newcastle International Airport, said: “We are delighted with the news of this new Aer Lingus Regional service to Cork. Cork makes a fantastic base for exploring the whole of South and South-West Ireland. The city has a range of shops, museums and galleries plus numerous cultural festivals at various times through the year. Furthermore, within easy reach of the city there are many further attractions of interest to all ages. Who hasn’t wanted to obtain the “gift of the gab” through kissing the Blarney stone?

“These flights will also open up new business opportunities, especially given the oil and gas exploration which is taking place off the Irish coast. We will definitely see an increase in the number Irish tourists coming across to explore North East England.”

Commenting on the new Newcastle Cork route, Simon Fagan, Aer Arran’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: “Cork is the gateway to the South of Ireland, and is a hub of commerce. In recent years there has been considerable growing economic activity between the two cities, particularly in the energy sector. We are delighted to add it to our existing Newcastle Dublin route which has been operating twice daily since in October. The new Newcastle Cork route offering is ideal for business travellers and tourists alike.”

“Aer Lingus Regional has always been committed to providing its customers with easy, convenient regional connectivity and value for money. We will continue to service our customers on these expanded routes with the quality and affordability that they deserve”, added Mr. Fagan.

Newcastle Airport hosts special Christmas flight

DATE: 17-12-13

Newcastle International Airport and Aer Lingus Regional have hosted a very special Christmas flight made up of 31 children, their parents/guardians and doctors from Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin.

The group from Dublin visited Newcastle Airport which was transformed into a magical Santa’s Grotto for the occasion, complete with Santa himself as well as Mrs Claus and Santa’s helpers.

Staff from the airport and airline were on hand to welcome the children to Newcastle following their very special festive flight. The children received goodie bags and presents from Santa and were treated to a magician, festive music, refreshments and even a carol service provided by the Airport Fire Service!

Janet Collins, General Manager Terminal Operations at Newcastle Airport, said: “Our staff and business partners have worked very hard to turn our departure gate into the Santa’s Grotto complete with Christmas trees and a giant polar bear.

“We’re pleased to bring the North Pole to Newcastle this Christmas for the benefit of this very special group. A huge thank you to airport staff for their support and to our partners Lintzford Garden Centre, Dobbies Garden Centre, Boots, SSP, Greggs, Dixons and Swissport.”

Aer Arran, said: “Aer Arann is delighted to facilitate this magical trip for the children of Our Lady’s Children’s Hospital, Crumlin. The ‘Santa Flight’ is a source of great joy for the children, parents, medical personnel and Aer Arann staff. Aer Arann has always been very proud of its association with Crumlin Hospital because of the stellar work they do, particularly at this time of year.”

Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Aer Arann, launched their new twice daily service to Dublin from Newcastle in October this year. The route will facilitate many Newcastle-based passengers flying to the US by connecting them to Aer Lingus mainline services to major North American cities such as New York, Chicago, Boston, Orlando, San Francisco and Toronto through Dublin.

Passengers can complete security and customs pre-clearance on all of these North American routes from Dublin.

Emirates celebrates one millionth passenger from Newcastle International Airport

DATE: 12-12-13

Golden Wedding anniversary couple upgraded on route to New Zealand

Newcastle, UK –12th December 2013 - Emirates, one of the world’s fastest growing airlines, is today celebrating its one millionth passenger to fly from Newcastle Airport to Dubai since the airline first launched its daily long-haul daily services back in September 2007.

To celebrate the special occasion, Emirates surprised a lucky couple, Sheila and Peter Laverick with an upgrade to Business Class to Dubai. Sheila and Peter Laverick were met at the check-in and presented with champagne and a cake.

To add to the occasion, Mr & Mrs Laverick also revealed they had milestones of their own: they are flying to New Zealand, via Sydney where they will be spending Christmas with their daughter, son-in-law and grandson to celebrate the couple’s forthcoming Golden Wedding anniversary and Mrs Laverick’s 70th birthday next year.

“We wanted to do something really special to celebrate our 50 years of marriage” said Sheila Laverick, before joking: “and the fact that surprisingly, we still love each other after all these years.

“Being offered the opportunity to travel in style, in Emirates Business Class to Dubai is such a lovely addition and will certainly help to make this a very special trip”.

Laurie Berryman, Emirates Vice President UK, commented: “We wanted to do something special to mark our millionth passenger out of Newcastle, so it was heart-warming that this couple were celebrating special milestones of their own. We’d like to pass on our best wishes to Mr and Mrs Laverick as they fly Emirates to Sydney today as part of their celebrations of their Golden Wedding anniversary and Mrs Laverick’s 70th.

“The fact we have reached one million passengers out of Newcastle is an indication of our commitment to Newcastle and the North East and the amazing popularity of our service, which was upgraded to a Boeing 777-300ER only last year. This is the longest aircraft to operate out of Newcastle airport, and represented a capacity increase of more than 50 per cent.

“We are the only long-haul, scheduled airline to fly daily from Newcastle to Dubai and beyond, allowing our North Eastern passengers to experience long-haul travel from Newcastle, rather than having to change in London or a continental European hub.

“Our commitment to the North East includes Emirates’ sponsorship of Durham County Cricket Club and the recent upgrade of our daily flight to Dubai to a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, due to passenger demand.”

Dave Laws, Chief Executive at Newcastle International Airport, commented: “We are delighted to have reached the millionth passenger milestone with Emirates. The route is more popular than ever with north east travellers who benefit from the excellent connections on offer and high quality service. Passengers have been travelling across the globe to exciting destinations such as Thailand, Malaysia, Australia, India, South Africa, Maldives and Mauritius.

“Alongside its popularity with passengers the Emirates service offers significant benefits to the regional economy. In 2013 the service transported North East exports with a value of over £250 million worldwide. The route is utilised by holidaymakers and business travellers to travel across the globe – 75% of passengers are travelling onwards to South East Asia and the Southwest Pacific (Australasia).”

Fabulous 30 for Jet2.com and Jet2holidays at Newcastle Airport

DATE: 4-12-13

Jet2.com is cementing its position as the North East’s biggest airline with the launch of TWO new sun-drenched destinations for summer 2014 from Newcastle Airport – Fuerteventura and Madeira.

On sale today, the addition of these popular European hotspots takes the total number of destinations now available from the region to 30, giving local customers the biggest ever choice when it comes to planning their 2014 getaway.

Weekly Jet2.com flights to the Canary Island favourite, Fuerteventura, will start operating in June 2014 while flights to the pretty Portuguese island of Madeira will begin in July – both perfectly timed for when school is out next summer.  Prices start from £75 per person including taxes plus great value Jet2holidays breaks are also available from £429 per person, secured for only a £60 deposit.

Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2holidays, said:  “The addition of these two holiday hotspots from Newcastle Airport further demonstrates our ongoing commitment to providing an unrivalled selection of great value flights and holidays for our loyal customers in the region.

“With Jet2.com and Jet2holidays people can now take their pick from the four top Canary Islands for their 2014 holidays; Gran Canaria, Tenerife, Lanzarote and now Fuerteventura.  While the ‘floating garden’ of Madeira is growing an increasingly popular destination for travellers. Both have plenty to offer to suit all holiday types and budgets and we are confident they will prove very successful as many already start to plan ahead and book next year’s break.”

Leon McQuaid, Aviation Development Manager at Newcastle Airport, added:  "The announcement of these two new destinations is great news for the travelling public of the North East.  Fuerteventura and Madeira are fantastic places and we’re delighted to offer our customers even more choice. The new routes will let holidaymakers secure some guaranteed sunshine for their 2014 summer break and are a great addition to Jet2.com's and Jet2holidays’ range of destinations at Newcastle Airport.”

Fuerteventura and Madeira flight-only and package holiday information:

  • Fuerteventura – flights operate between 24th June 2014 and 21st October 2014 and prices start from £79 per person, including taxes.  Package breaks are available from £429 per person.
  • Madeira – flights operate between 4th July 2014 and 31st October 2014 and prices start from £75 per person, including taxes.  Package breaks are available from £479 per person.

For further information and to book flights visit www.jet2.com or for package holidays visit www.jet2holidays.com.

easyJet launch new winter sun destination from Newcastle International

DATE: 07-11-13

easyJet, the UK’s largest airline, has this week launched new winter services to Tenerife from Newcastle International Airport. 

The new route to Tenerife will operate twice a week until 23 April 2014 and is expected to carry around 18,000 holidaymakers between the North East and the popular Canary island throughout winter.

The flights to Tenerife operate on Wednesdays and Saturdays with fares starting from £28.49* one way. It follows easyJet’s announcement that it will begin operating a double daily connection to London Gatwick from 30 March 2014.

Ali Gayward, Commercial Manager for easyJet, said: “We are pleased to launch new services to Tenerife this morning and believe it will be a popular addition to the range of destinations currently served from Newcastle International.

“The first flight to the Canary Islands follows the announcement that easyJet will introduce twelve flights per week to London Gatwick from March 2014 and underlines our commitment to providing easy and affordable fares for people in the North East.”

Dave Laws, Chief Executive of Newcastle International Airport, said: “The new service to Tenerife we are sure will be very popular with those wanting to soak up the winter sun. We’re pleased that easyJet continue to add to their destinations from Newcastle, offering our passengers a range of holiday options.”

Travellers looking to book their winter flights, accommodation and transfers in one go can find a wide range of flexible and affordable breaks from all easyJet airports on the easyJet Holidays website: www.easyJet.com/holidays or by calling: 0843 104 1000.

*(one-way, including taxes based on two people on the same booking)

Aer Lingus Regional celebrates first flight from Newcastle to Dublin

DATE: 25-10-13

Airline begins journey to fly up to 65,000 in year one

North East passengers benefit from easy connections to the US

Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Aer Arann, have launched their first flight to Dublin. The airline will now operate two daily return flights to Dublin Airport from Newcastle and aims to fly up to 65,000 passengers on the route in the first year.

The addition of this route will facilitate Newcastle-based passengers flying to the US by connecting them to Aer Lingus mainline services to major North American cities such as New York, Chicago, Boston, Orlando, San Francisco and Toronto through Dublin. Passengers can complete security and customs pre-clearance on all of these North American routes from Dublin, for the winter travel period.

The airline celebrated the first flight to Dublin Airport from Newcastle with shamrock – themed cake, fizz and Irish dancers.

Dancers from the Hannon Murphy Irish Dance School in Newcastle entertained passengers at check-in to make their journey even more special.

One lucky passenger at check-in had extra cause for celebration as they received a complimentary pair of tickets to Dublin from Aer Lingus Regional.

Aer Arann, operator of Aer Lingus Regional, recently announced a package of measures to grow the airline as part of its ‘new beginning’ strategy.

These measures include the launch of three new routes to Manchester, Birmingham and now, the addition of Newcastle to the airline’s route network.

The Dublin-Newcastle route will be operated by one of the airline’s new aircraft. Aer Lingus Regional have scheduled flight times to facilitate a convenient day return for business and leisure passengers.

Aer Arann’s Chief Commercial Officer, Simon Fagan, said:

“We are delighted to be celebrating our first flight from Newcastle airport, where we’ve had a warm welcome from the North East with many passengers taking advantage not only of the Dublin destination, but also connections onto Aer Lingus mainline services to major North American cities such as New York, Chicago, Boston, Orlando, San Francisco and Toronto.

“Passengers connecting onto US services at Dublin get the added benefit of pre-clearance of US customs, which can save passengers up to two hours in time on arrival. This is a huge benefit to passengers who can avoid a lengthy delay at customs.

“Aer Lingus Regional is committed to providing our UK customers with easy, convenient and great value regional connections.”

Chris Sanders, Aviation Development Director at Newcastle International airport, said:

“It’s great to see the launch of Aer Lingus Regional’s first flight from Newcastle to Dublin. The service has been very popular with both business and leisure travellers keen to take advantage of the convenient schedule and excellent service on offer.

“The check-in area today has been very lively with Irish dancers, refreshments and giveaways so it’s wonderful to see such a vibrant beginning to this new service.”

easyJet to launch London Gatwick flights

DATE: 23-10-13

- Newcastle’s largest airline flights to provide flights to the capital with new route into London Gatwick Airport

easyJet has today announced that it will introduce new flights from Newcastle International Airport to London Gatwick Airport from 30 March 2014.

The new easyJet route went on sale this morning and will provide the North East’s only air link to London Gatwick Airport from March 2014. Earlier this year Flybe announced they will stop operating the connection.

The new easyJet flights to London Gatwick will operate twice per day, six days per week with fares starting from £27.49 per person.

The new route will take the total number of routes operated from Newcastle International Airport by easyJet to 15.

Ali Gayward, UK Commercial Manager at easyJet, said: “We are pleased to add London Gatwick to the list of destinations served from Newcastle International Airport and continue to demonstrate our commitment to the North East of England.

“As London remains’ one of the North East’s key trading partners we have designed a frequent schedule which will make it easy for business travellers to reach the capital and affordable for everyone whether they travel for business or leisure.”

Dave Laws, chief executive at Newcastle International Airport, said: "The announcement that easyJet will operate the Newcastle to Gatwick route from the end of March is fantastic news for the North East.

"This is a vital connection for those in the region who want to reach London and the South East, and it also gives passengers the opportunity to use the wide range of flights leaving from Gatwick Airport to destinations across the globe.

"We're very pleased that easyJet have seen the importance of the route and joined us in maintaining this vital link."

Iain Malcolm, Leader of South Tyneside Council and Leader of the LA7, added: "On behalf of Newcastle Airport's local authority shareholders, I am pleased to see the continued investment from easyJet in the North East. We know the airport's customers will take advantage of this route to connect to the capital, whether they're travelling for business or leisure."

Travellers looking to book their summer flights, accommodation and transfers in one place can find a wide range of flexible and affordable breaks from all easyJet airports on the easyJet Holidays website: www.easyJet.com/holidays or by calling 0843 104 1000.

*Fares are based on two adults travelling on the same booking

bmi regional announces Newcastle to Brussels service

DATE: 22-10-13

Only direct flight to link two cities

Launches 3rd March 2014

Award-winning airline offers full in-flight service

20kg checked baggage, 30-minute check-in

Fares from £69.99pp one way

bmi regional (www.bmiregional.com), the UK’s most punctual airline, today announced the launch on 3 March 2014 of a double-daily service from Newcastle International to Brussels International, the only direct flight to link the two cities. Operated by a 49-seater Embraer jet aircraft, the new route will offer business and leisure travellers the opportunity to reach the Belgian capital in just 75 minutes, from £69.99 per person including taxes* one way.

bmi regional offers a full in-flight service including at-seat meals and full bar selection in addition to 20kg of checked baggage per person and thirty minute check-in at both airports. The carrier was named Silver Airline of the Year at the annual European Regions Airline Association (ERA) awards in Austria this month.

“This is our first route from Newcastle International and we’re delighted to provide the only direct flight for travellers from the north east of England to the Belgian capital,” said Cathal O’Connell, CEO at bmi regional. “This year we’ve launched over a dozen new routes from British airports and our new Newcastle to Brussels service opens up opportunities for those travelling for business and for pleasure.”

Chris Sanders, Aviation Development Director at Newcastle International Airport, said: “We’re delighted with the announcement that bmi regional will be operating a new Brussels service from March 2014. The route is a key hub both for business and leisure travellers and one we are sure will be very popular.”

Cllr Iain Malcolm, Leader of South Tyneside Council and Leader of the LA7 Shareholders, said: “The launch of bmi’s Newcastle to Brussels service is great news for the regional economy. Connectivity is vital to enable businesses to grow and prosper and we’re sure that the regional business community will be thrilled with this announcement.”

Charles Bragg, Research & Development Director, P&G UK & Ireland, said: "P&G considers flights from Newcastle to Brussels as a vital transport link between our European Innovation centres in these cities and to enable engagement with the EU, so we are delighted about the announcement of regular flights. Good transport links are an important consideration for P&G's investment in the North East of England.”

Belgian travellers with also benefit, said Arnaud Feist, CEO at Brussels Airport Company: “Newcastle has been a very important missing link in our extensive network to the UK. We are very pleased that bmi regional, multiple winner of the Brussels Airport punctuality award for regional airlines and a long term business partner for Brussels Airport, will commence direct flights to the Capital of Europe.”

Brussels is renowned for its Grand Place - an UNESCO World Heritage Site - and other architectural sights including the futuristic Atomium and traditional Flemish houses in addition to its vibrant arts and food districts. Home to the Brussels Stock Exchange, the city serves as a centre of administration for the European Union and a gateway to other cities including Antwerp, Ghent and Maastricht.

Newcastle International is the third British airport to be linked to Brussels by bmi regional, which currently operates services from East Midlands and Edinburgh. The airline became independent from BMI in June 2012 and has pursued a sustainable expansion strategy whilst retaining full in-flight service and the highest customer service standards.

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