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Annual Christmas getaway gets underway!

22 December 2014

It’s Ho Ho Ho Holiday time at Newcastle International Airport this Christmas as the annual Christmas getaway begins!

Over the festive season thousands of holidaymakers travel out of and into the North East to see family and friends, enjoy a once in a lifetime trip or escape the UK weather to somewhere sunny!

Over 100,000 passengers are expected to travel through Newcastle Airport between Friday 19 December and Thursday 1 January 2015 with around 950 flight movements during this time.

Popular destinations include Dubai, the Canary Islands, Dublin, Amsterdam, Sharm el Sheikh, mainland Spain and Geneva.

Festive welcome home parties can be found in domestic and international arrivals areas throughout as thousands fly home to the region to spend time with family and friends. ‘Meeters and greeters’ often dress as festive favourites including Santa’s Little Helpers and a variety of Christmas Jumpers are always on show!

David Laws, Chief Executive at Newcastle International Airport, said: “Christmas is a wonderful time of year here at Newcastle International Airport. We always enjoy a busy festive season and this year we are expecting over 100,000 passengers to use the airport. We have over 950 flights and passengers use our services to travel across world to destinations in the UK, Europe and further afield including Australia, Dubai and the Far East.

“It’s been a fantastic year for the airport following the announcement of the new United Airlines service to New York which will begin to operate in May 2015. What better way to wow and impress loved ones this Christmas than by booking a summer trip to New York with United Airlines!

“Passengers passing through the airport this Christmas will also get to experience some of the new outlets which have opened as part of our £14 million departure lounge development.  The Flying Hippo, Beer House, The Cabin and Aspire Lounge will prove popular over the festive season as travellers enter into the Christmas spirit.

“Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all those travelling with us this month. We’re delighted to play such a big part in many people’s Christmas traditions and we look forward to many joyful reunions and excited arrivals this winter.”

Christmas bookings

The festive season is a very busy time for the travel industry with many passengers booking up ahead of the summer holiday season.

David Laws added: “As well as a key shopping period for many high street retailers, travel agents, airlines and tour operators, are very busy after Christmas and New Year with bookings. Many travellers make their plans around Christmas time and action them as early as Boxing Day.”

For more information about flights from Newcastle visit www.newcastleairport.com

Christmas Stats

Retailers at the airport are gearing up for a busy season as thousands of travellers make purchases ahead of the big day.

This Christmas Starbuck’s in the terminal will be selling over 7,070 lattes including 2,500 Gingerbread lattes, 1,500 toffee nut lattes and 1,000 egg nog lattes.

In the run up to Christmas this year Biza Tax and Duty Free is expecting to sell 400 giant Tobelerone bars, 150 bottles of Baileys and nearly 200 bottles of champagne!

Over the festive season Greggs in the airport terminal is expecting to sell 21,720 festive bakes, 220,500 mince pies, 1,610 Rudolph biscuits, 1,120 Christmas doughnuts and over 3,000 Christmas slices. 

Airport announces new adopted charity

19-12-2014

First time ever football Foundations have entered into charity fundraising partnership 

Newcastle International Airport has given two local charities an extra special Christmas present this year by announcing they will jointly become the airport’s adopted charity for 2015 and 2016.

The new partnership will join together Newcastle United Foundation and SAFC’s Foundation of Light for the first time to raise funds, as they work together to engage both staff and customers at Newcastle International Airport.

David Laws, Chief Executive of Newcastle International Airport, said: “Football is a fantastic passion for people across the North East, and this year we saw two loyal fans on their way to support their team lose their lives in the MH17 disaster. These events, and the wonderful reaction of Sunderland fans, have inspired us in our role at ‘Your Airport’ to try and unite the fans, and what better way to do this than via charity and for children.

“This is a historic moment and marks the first time ever the Foundations have come together in partnership as an adopted charity partner. It is fantastic to celebrate these two organisations working together, just before the Christmas holidays, and indeed the Tyne Wear Derby.

“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 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. 

“Over the past two years we have helped Maggie’s Newcastle to raise thousands of pounds. We’ve loved working with them and look forward to working with both Foundations in 2015 and 2016.”

Councillor Iain Malcolm, Leader of South Tyneside Council and lead of the LA7 shareholders, said: “As Lead of the LA7 Shareholders, I am delighted at this announcement. Newcastle is the international gateway airport for the North East, a role that will be cemented further by the bringing together of the two foundations. These charities do some very important work in disadvantaged communities across the region, and the involvement of the airport will be a real boost across a wide range of projects and initiatives.”

Kate Bradley, Head of Newcastle United Foundation, said: “We are delighted to be chosen by Newcastle Airport as their chosen charity for 2015 and 2016.

“The Airport is the first company to adopt both our Foundation and the Foundation of Light as their charity of the year which means together we can raise much needed funds for children, young people and families across the North East. We look forward to working together over the next two years.”

Lesley Spuhler, Chief Executive of Foundation of Light, said: “The partnership is a fantastic opportunity to showcase what the two Foundations do throughout the North East, using the engaging power of football to make a real difference to people’s lives. It’s a great example of the region coming together to improve the communities that we live and work in, and we are very thankful to Newcastle Airport for choosing us to be their  adopted charity.

“It is this type of support that allows us to continue to deliver our much needed programmes, and we look forward to getting involved in a range of activities throughout 2015 and 2016.”

The Foundations will work together to fundraise regularly in the terminal of Newcastle International Airport and will work together to put forward a programme for staff engagement. Over 3,200 people work onsite at Newcastle Airport and around 4.46 million passengers passed through the doors in 2013.

Each season Newcastle United Foundation raises over £2 million to work with over 50,000 individuals; delivering 24,000 hours in the local community, is active in 200 local schools, seeing record levels of participation on all its sporting, health, education and youth programmes. To find out more about the Newcastle United Foundation and how it works with 50,000 young people and their families across the region each year, please visit www.nufoundation.org.uk.

Foundation of Light is the registered charity of Sunderland AFC, and uses the power of football to involve, educate and inspire thousands of young people and their families through a range of award-winning education, sport, health and employability programmes. Projects are delivered to over 42,000 young people and adults throughout Sunderland, South Tyneside and Durham. Structurally and financially independent of the football club Foundation of Light relies on fundraising for 90% of project costs. To find out more about their work, visit www.foundationoflight.co.uk.  

For more information on Newcastle Airport visit www.newcastleairport.com.

Enterprise makes donation to Maggie’s Newcastle

11-12-2014

Global car hire firm, Enterprise has donated £1,000 to Maggie’s Newcastle, Newcastle International Airport’s adopted charity.

The car hire company, based at the airport made the donation through The Enterprise Holdings Foundation.  

The foundation was established by the founder of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, Jack Taylor, to allow the company to give back to the communities where customers and employees live and work.

It provides charitable support to worthwhile, non-profit initiatives that are actively supported by the company's employees, their spouses and loyal customers in the thousands of local communities where they operate.

The foundation also provides more sizable special grants to non-profit groups or causes of significant strategic or social importance to the company and its employees.

Brian Waligora, General Manager for Enterprise Rent-A-Car said: “Each year, we strive to support our business partners through our philanthropic division, The Enterprise Foundation.

“Newcastle Airport has identified a wonderful charity partner in Maggie’s and we are delighted to be able to offer this donation in support of their work. Enterprise Rent-A-Car prides itself on giving back to the communities in which we operate and we know that this donation will be put to good use supporting those fighting cancer in our locality.”

Maggie’s Newcastle offers a free service to those dealing with cancer through their centre at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle. The centre offers workshops and classes as well as friendly support in a non-medical setting.

Maggie’s Fundraiser, Kelly Knighting-Wykes, Centre Fundraising Manager for Maggie’s, said: “We really appreciate Enterprise’s generosity and support with this fantastic donation.  Since opening in 2013 we’ve supported more than 27,000 people affected by cancer in the North East and we rely on donations like this as it makes a huge difference to what we can continue to offer our visitors at a time when they need us most.”

 Graeme Mason, Planning and Corporate Affairs Director at Newcastle International Airport, said: “We’re thrilled that Enterprise has made such a generous donation to support Maggie’s. Maggie’s offers a vital service for those dealing with cancer and their loved ones.”

easyJet announces three new routes from Newcastle International Airport

10-12-14

easyJet, Newcastle’s largest airline, has today announced the launch of three new routes from the airport to Split in Croatia, and the Greek islands of Corfu and Rhodes from summer 2015.

The trio of routes went on sale this morning (Wednesday 10 December) at www.easyjet.com, giving holidaymakers and business passengers in the North East even more access to a range of exciting and affordable destinations.

More than 20,000 passengers are expected to fly in and out of Newcastle on the new routes from June to October next year alone.

  • Newcastle to Split, Croatia is a summer service, flying on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 2 June 2015. Fares start from £30.00 one-way*
  • Newcastle to Corfu, Greece is a summer service, flying on Sundays from 7 June 2015. Fares start from £32.99 one-way*
  • Newcastle to Rhodes, Greece is a summer service, flying on Thursdays from 4 June 2015. Fares start from £34.99 one-way*

Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK Commercial Manager, said:

“We’re absolutely delighted to be adding these three new exciting destinations from Newcastle International to our network.

“Whether our customers want to explore the ancient monuments of Rhodes, experience the rich cultural heritage in Split or soak up the sun on the beautiful beaches of Corfu, we’re confident that our new Croatian and Greek routes will be popular choices.

“With easyJet now flying to 17 great destinations from Newcastle International Airport, our customers have even more variety of beach, city and ski breaks to choose from. We’re fully committed to strengthening links from the North East of England to the rest of Europe.”

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

“We’re pleased that easyJet will introduce these three new routes to their schedule for summer 2015.

“This further strengthens their offering from Newcastle and I’m sure these sunny destinations will have many North East travellers rushing to book up.

“Croatia is an increasingly popular holiday destination. Split is the second largest city in Croatia and the largest on the Adriatic Coast. This lively city has spectacular views across the harbour and a wealth of cultural sights for holidaymakers, so it makes for a wonderful break.

“The Greek Islands are always very popular so we’re sure passengers will take advantage of the great value deals on offer from easyJet.”

Earlier this year the airline also announced a year-round extension of its flights to Geneva, making it the only direct scheduled service to the popular ski and city destination in the summer months. 

In total, more than 4,100 easyJet flights will take off and land at Newcastle International next summer. 

*Fares are per person, based on two people on the same booking. 

easyJet announces its first Fearless Flyer course for Newcastle

09-12-2014

  • First session announced for Newcastle following high demand
  • More than 1,900 people nationwide have already overcome their fear of flying with the course

easyJet, Newcastle’s largest airline, has today announced that it will launch its first “Fearless Flyer” course in Newcastle next Spring.

The course, which has now helped more than 1,900 people nationwide to overcome their fear of flying since launching in late 2012, will take place at the Gateshead Marriott Hotel MetroCentre on Saturday 14 March, followed by an experience flight to and from Newcastle International Airport on Sunday 15 March 2015.

easyJet's Fearless Flyer course is one of the best priced aerophobia courses in the UK at just £189. Participants can also invite a companion with them on the flight if they wish for just £79.

Mark Wein, easyJet’s Fearless Flyer Course Director, explained:

“We’re really pleased to be announcing our first Fearless Flyer course in Newcastle for Spring. Our course has been a phenomenal success throughout the UK this past year, with over 95% of participants taking to the skies fearlessly after attending the course, which has prompted a high level of demand from people wanting us to add a session in Newcastle too.

“Our success is down to the unique format of the course which is split into two parts: the first part is a Saturday afternoon ground session, where our top phobia expert, Lawrence Leyton, and a senior easyJet pilot will dispel common flying myths and teach participants a unique set of mind tools to manage their nerves.

“The second part is on Sunday where we will take our participants on a dedicated flight on board an easyJet aircraft where they put the skills they’ve learnt to the test while listening to a live commentary of the flight from our presenting pilot. This part of the course is always really emotional with an amazing atmosphere and there are lots of smiles and tears of joy as people learn to fly fearlessly – some for the first time in their lives.”

Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK Commercial Manager, commented:   

“We’re delighted to add Newcastle as an additional Fearless Flyer course location for Spring next year, giving even more people the opportunity to overcome any fears they may have about flying. The course is suitable for all levels of nervousness – from those with general anxiety to extreme phobia.

“With Christmas fast approaching it’s also a really unique gift idea for friends or family. Fearless Flyer gives people the chance to reunite with family members abroad, travel the world and commute for business – something many put to one side when they are scared of flying. It really is a life-changing course.”

As well as Newcastle, easyJet has also released another nine new Fearless Flyer course dates nationwide for Spring 2015, including Gatwick, Belfast, Edinburgh and Manchester. To book a place on one of easyJet's Fearless Flyer courses please visit www.fearlessflyer.easyjet.com.

easyJet's Spring 2015 Fearless Flyer courses are taking place on the following dates:

Fearless Flyer course at:

Ground course

Experience flight

Gatwick

Saturday 21 February

Sunday 22 February

Liverpool (NEW LOCATION)

Saturday 28 February

Sunday 1 March

Belfast

Friday (evening) 6 March

Saturday 7 March

Newcastle (NEW LOCATION)

Saturday 14 March

Sunday 15 March

Edinburgh

Friday (evening) 20 March

Saturday 21 March

Glasgow

Saturday 18 April

Sunday 19 April

Manchester

Friday (evening) 24 April

Saturday 25 April

Stansted

Saturday 2 May

Sunday 3 May

Bristol

Friday (evening)15 May

Saturday 16 May

Luton

Friday (evening) 5 June

Saturday 6 June

Airport sees thousands fly away to escape the winter weather

09-12-14

Holidaymakers are jetting off in significant numbers to escape the UK’s cold winter weather. As the airport gears up for a busy festive season, thousands of holidaymakers are already dashing off to experience some winter sun.

Popular destinations from Newcastle this winter include the sunny shores of Tenerife and Malta, as well as further afield destinations such as Egypt and Dubai. During the months of December, January and February over 600,000 passengers are expected to pass through the airport.

Chris Sanders, Aviation Development Director at Newcastle International Airport, said: “Cold or damp and dull days are the ideal prompt to be thinking of taking advantage of cheap overseas holidays and flights this winter.

“With four airlines now flying to Tenerife there’s plenty of choice of when to go and how long for. Malta has also taken on a whole new air, appealing to passengers of all ages who can soak up some warmer weather and enjoy the buzz the island offers, with bustling bars and cafes to enjoy as well as a special experience that only Malta can offer.

“Further afield, Egypt is seeing increasing numbers of holidaymakers and now with Sharm el Sheikh and Hurghada operating from Newcastle there’s more choice.

“If you really fancy something different, daily flights to Dubai with Emirates put the Middle East in easy reach of those looking for a long weekend away and great experiences. Dubai is also a great place to stay for a few days before continuing onwards to an idyllic destination in the India Ocean such as the Maldives, Mauritius or the Seychelles.”

Newcastle Airport calls upon Government to ensure devolution is fair to the whole of the UK

Newcastle International Airport has today called upon the Government to ensure that forthcoming legislation protects the rest of the UK, including the North East, from the negative effects of devolving the power to charge a tax on air passengers to the Scottish Parliament. This follows the recommendations of the Smith Commission published today.

David Laws, Chief Executive, said: “We are extremely concerned about these proposals. We have undertaken intensive lobbying, including letters to the Prime Minister, Chancellor and other senior politicians. We have also submitted a full representation to the Smith Commission. This hasn’t been published due to its commercial sensitivity but may be in the future.

“Our submission predicts 1,000 fewer jobs across the North East by 2025, significant impact on passenger numbers, £400M in Gross Value Added (GVA) lost between 2015 and 2025, and additional journey time costs of £265M between 2015 and 2025.

“Our understanding is that our submission was discussed at the highest levels of government and the response from the Chancellor indicated that our concerns would be taken into account. We would be surprised if our modelling is inconsistent with the official modelling undertaken.

“If Scotland were to stop applying a tax on passengers, it would penalise people from the North East that want to fly from their local airport. We are now seeking a signal from the Chancellor in next week’s Autumn Statement that the Government is going to do something to address any future distortions. The Prime Minister said on 19 September that the devolution settlement had to be fair also to the people of the rest of the UK. We now want him to honour this commitment. The only way to achieve this is for any reductions in Scotland to be matched in the rest of the UK, or for this damaging Duty to be reformed in such a way that distortions are avoided.”

An open letter to the leaders of the three main political parties

25-11-14

Dear Party Leaders

English airports make valuable contributions to the regions we serve, providing vital connectivity for local economies, supporting jobs, driving inward investment and promoting inbound tourism.  We operate in an international market, competing for aircraft to serve routes with other airports across Europe. Air Passenger Duty (APD) puts us at a significant disadvantage versus non-UK airports.

Continued calls for devolution of APD to both Scotland and Wales risk distorting the UK-wide level playing field on which we currently operate, jeopardising up to £1.2 billion in GVA and over 2,500 jobs in the North East and South West of England alone over the next decade according to economic impact assessments carried out by air transport consultants, York Aviation.

In his comments from Downing Street on the morning after the Scottish Referendum, the Prime Minister stated his wish to see a balanced settlement “fair to people in Scotland and importantly to everyone in England, Wales and Northern Ireland as well”.  Our research shows that if APD were devolved, this balanced settlement would not be achieved.

Advocates for devolving APD point to the economic benefits it could deliver, but neglect to mention that these would come largely at the expense of neighbouring regions in England.  The combination of an intensely competitive airport sector and the porous land borders of the UK would result in a significant redistribution of traffic between airports, but with no net benefit to passengers or UK plc.  The argument that tax competition will lead to reduced APD for all in the long term ignores the damage which would be inflicted on the regional economies of England in the interim.

The devolution of the long-haul rate of APD to Northern Ireland is sometimes cited as a precedent.  However, the Northern Ireland example recognised the unique circumstances in play there, with a shared land border with the Republic of Ireland – where aviation tax was significantly lower than the UK and has now been abolished. That said, short-haul APD still applies to flights from Northern Ireland, and there are still 1.1 million passengers from Northern Ireland flying from Dublin Airport to avoid this.

Such a redistribution of passengers across borders in mainland Britain would result in reduced tax revenues to HM Treasury, with the loss having to be made good from other tax revenue sources.  A substantial reduction in the block grant to the devolved administrations would also be required in order to comply with EU rules – a point recognised by Northern Ireland’s Finance Minister when considering further devolution of APD.

For these reasons, we urge all parties to recognise the potentially damaging impact on airports in England, and the regional economies they serve, by ruling out the devolution of APD to Scotland and Wales. APD is a tax that should be reformed via UK-wide abolition, reduction or via measures to encourage all regional airports to flourish, not by opening up market distortions between constituent parts of the UK.

Yours sincerely

David Laws

Chief Executive Officer

Newcastle International Airport              

Paul Kehoe

Chief Executive Officer

Birmingham Airport

Robert Sinclair 

Chief Executive Officer

Bristol Airport  

Flybe to start operating routes from London Stansted Airport

12-11-14

Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline, today announced it will start operations at London Stansted Airport with effect from 15th March 2015. This will feature year-round services to the Isle of Man (up to three flights a day) and double daily flights to Newcastle, together with seasonal part week summer flights to Newquay.

Paul Simmons, Flybe’s Chief Commercial Officer, said: "We are pleased to launch three new routes to/ from London Stansted. Bolstering regional connectivity is our number one aim at Flybe and we’re always looking for ways to improve connectivity within the UK. We’re really thrilled to be able to bring a year-round offer to Stansted Airport and look forward to welcoming passengers from the Isle of Man, Newcastle and Newquay who are seeking easy access to Hertfordshire, Essex and London."

Chris Sanders, Aviation Development Director at Newcastle International Airport, said: “We are delighted that Flybe have announced a new twice daily service from Newcastle to London Stansted. This restores an important route for the region and one we know will be very popular with our passengers.

“The importance of good regional connectivity for the North East cannot be understated. Flybe’s new service will lead to significantly easier and quicker journeys to the area around Stansted which includes parts of Norfolk and Hertfordshire as well as all of Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire. There is the added bonus that Stansted is well connected to Greater London by excellent rail and by coach links.

“This is really excellent news from Flybe following their recent re-commencement of daily flights to Exeter and clearly demonstrates their strong commitment to regional connectivity.”

Welcoming today’s announcement, Stansted Airport’s Managing Director, Andrew Harrison said: “Today’s announcement is not only great news for our passengers but is a significant step forward on our ambition to transform Stansted and provide a richer mix of flight connections for the region we serve. When MAG acquired Stansted we set a clear ambition to transform the airport and the arrival of Flybe onto the departure boards for the first time in the airport’s history, and launch of these new direct services to Newcastle, the Isle of Man and Newquay, is another significant milestone in achieving that ambition.

“There is great support from across the business community to see Stansted grow, attract more airlines, offer a broader range of destinations and increased flight frequencies to provide the choice and connectivity that business passengers rely upon to compete and win more business.

“These new services deliver that for the business communities we serve and will also be very popular additions to the route network for leisure connections. We’re looking forward to giving Flybe our full support as they prepare to launch these new connections from Stansted.”

One way fares from £29.99 including taxes and charges are available for booking at www.flybe.com.

easyJet announces year-round flights to Geneva from Newcastle International Airport

06-11-14

easyJet, Newcastle’s largest airline, has today announced that it will operate year-round flights from Newcastle to Geneva. The airline currently offers a winter service which means that passengers in Newcastle can benefit from direct access to Geneva’s world-class skiing resorts, but now the year-round service means they can experience all that Geneva has to offer.

The extension will also mean that easyJet will provide Newcastle’s only direct scheduled service to Geneva during the summer months. More than 17,000 seats will be available on the route at www.easyjet.com from 1 June to 6 September 2015 alone.

Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK Commercial Manager, commented: “We’re delighted to be extending our Geneva route to a year-round service from today.

“We’ve been flying to Geneva from Newcastle since December 2004, and have seen a huge demand from our passengers wanting to travel there throughout the year as Geneva is an increasingly popular city break destination. As a result of this feedback, skiers, and city breakers alike will now be able to book flights to Geneva 12 months of the year from just £19.99*.” 

The year-round flights will go on sale today, Thursday 6 November, flying up to four times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays from 1 June 2015. Winter ski-flights operate as usual this winter.

Chris Sanders, Aviation Development Director at Newcastle International Airport, said: “We’re delighted to be working with easyJet to launch this new year-round service to Geneva. We’re sure the destination will be popular with both the business and leisure market. Keen hikers and holiday makers will relish the chance to explore Switzerland’s fabulous mountains during the summer. Geneva is a fantastic city break destination but also acts as a gateway to the whole of Switzerland. Travel around Switzerland by train is very easy, especially with a Swiss Rail Pass, so this route will help North East travellers explore new sights and experiences. We also expect to see some inbound traffic seeking to enjoy all the North East has to offer.”

Geneva is renowned for its breathtaking views alongside Lake Geneva, and travellers can take advantage of its cultural offerings, including a wealth of cosmopolitan and traditional restaurants, art shops and old narrow streets with concealed courtyards. It is also one of Europe’s most popular destinations for ski and snowboarders, with several ski resorts just a short drive from the airport.

easyJet now flies to 14 destinations across Europe from Newcastle International Airport, with a wide range of sun, ski and city locations to choose from. Passengers can take advantage of easyJet’s low fares at www.easyjet.com.

*Fares one-way, based on two people travelling on the same booking

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

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