With Santa Claus coming to Toon, Newcastle International Airport is gearing up for the festive season with its annual Christmas getaway now in full swing.
Thousands of holidaymakers will travel in and out of the North East to visit family and friends or simply escape the UK weather to sunnier climes.
Over 100,000 passengers are expected to travel through the region’s biggest airport between Monday 21st December and Thursday 1st January 2015 with around 950 flight movements during this time.
Popular destinations include Dubai, the Canary Islands, Dublin, Amsterdam, mainland Spain and Geneva. Spanish low cost carrier Vueling Airlines are offering North East holidaymakers the chance to explore the vibrant city of Barcelona with four special Christmas flights ahead of their inaugural service in 2016.
David Laws, Chief Executive at Newcastle International Airport, said: “Christmas is a wonderful time of year here at the airport. We always enjoy a busy festive season and this year is no different with thousands of passengers using our services.
“Our passengers’ journeys begin right here at the airport and this year, those passing through will get to experience our new £14m departure lounge. The new development offers a more informed choice on where to eat and drink while last minute shoppers could grab a bargain at one of our new retail outlets.
“It’s been a fantastic period for the airport in what has been our 80th Anniversary year and I would like to wish all our passengers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”
Discover The World
The festive season is a very busy time for the travel industry with many passengers booking up ahead of the summer holiday season. Discover the World from Your Airport and see where you can travel. For more information about flights from Newcastle visit http://www.newcastleairport.com/discover.
Children from across the North East helped passengers at Newcastle International Airport get into the festive spirt on Thursday.
As part of the airport’s partnership with the registered charities of Newcastle United and Sunderland AFC, children from West Rainton Primary School and Amberley Primary in Killingworth treated travellers to a number of Christmas carols.
The service was the latest in a number of charity events between the airport and its charity partners, which is well on its way to achieving a goal of £50,000 by the end of 2015, which will directly benefit communities across the region.
Newcastle United Foundation and Foundation of Light were announced as joint charity partners for 2015 and 2016 in December last year. Funds have been raised throughout the year with bucket collections in the airport and donations of foreign currency from returning holiday makers.
Airport staff have also taken part in fundraising events including an 80 mile walk and 80 mile cycle ride. In September, air miles were swapped for running miles, as eight employees completed the Great North Run.
Both charities have also benefited from various fundraising events as the airport celebrated its 80th Anniversary, including a special Race Day and Gala Dinner.
David Laws, Chief Executive at Newcastle International Airport, said: “We are delighted with the success we have enjoyed in our first year with both charities. This is a unique partnership and marks the first time ever the two Foundations have come together as an adopted charity partner.
“It was fantastic to see the children signing in the terminal and with just over a week until Christmas, this was a fitting way to end our first year in partnership with both charities and also our very own 80th year as an airport.”
Richard Hopper, Foundation of Light Head of Commercial, commented: “The fundraising efforts of Newcastle Airport International, including its staff and customers, have been incredible this year. Their donations will make a real difference to those in need across the North East and on behalf of those who will benefit from this I’d like to say a big thank you!”
Kate Bradley, Head of Newcastle United Foundation, said: “The support from the Airport in 2015 has been fantastic. We can’t put a price on the opportunities we have had to raise our profile amongst visitors to the region and the presence we have had around the site. The fundraising efforts of the Airport staff have been outstanding and it’s with great appreciation that we invest their contributions into delivering programmes that make a massive difference in our community.”
Robert Goodwill MP, Minister of State for Transport, has today (Monday 14 December 2015) officially opened Newcastle International Airport’s new departure lounge redevelopment.
Designed to provide a more straightforward journey for customers with a modern and vibrant feel, the £14million development has seen the entire departure lounge transformed in 2015 with a range of new shops, cafes, restaurants and bar areas.
Highlights include a new walk-through World Duty Free store and new food and beverage outlets; The Cabin, Bar11 and Caffe Ritazza. The Xpress Podshop, a self-service shopping outlet has been added, while existing brands WHSmith, Boots, Travelex, Accessorize and Traveller have moved into new stores.
The unveiling coincided with the launch of the ‘Discover the World from Your Airport’ campaign, a new brand initiative on the website, http://www.newcastleairport.com/discover, showcasing the full range of destinations accessible from Newcastle. The new section of the website will include destination guides, a destination search page and an improved destination map.
Aviation Minister Robert Goodwill, who also viewed the Airport’s winter resilience operation plans during his visit, said: “Newcastle Airport is a shining example of how our regional airports lead the way with their service and range of destinations.
“The new departure lounge underlines Newcastle Airport’s importance as an engine of growth for the North East and the Northern Powerhouse. We are committed to supporting regional airports in their ambitions, with £20m funding for new domestic and international routes across the UK.
“I’ve also had the chance to meet some of the winter resilience crews here and applaud their work in ensuring this important link is fully prepared for the coming months.”
David Laws, Chief Executive at Newcastle International Airport, said: “I am delighted the Minister has officially opened our new departure lounge.
“Our passengers’ journeys, whether business or pleasure, begin right here at the airport and it’s vital we give them the best possible experience. We have listened to their feedback and are confident the new development allows for a more informed choice on where to shop, eat, drink or simply relax before catching a flight.
Councillor Iain Malcolm, Leader of South Tyneside Council, and Lead for the LA7 Shareholders, said: “This new development highlights Newcastle International’s role as a major regional airport and a key economic generator for our region.
“There is plenty on offer for the modern traveller and I am sure people from across the North East and beyond will enjoy these excellent facilities as they fly off, whether it is for business or pleasure.”
Newcastle International Airport has continued its 80th Anniversary celebrations with the unveiling of a plaque to commemorate those who served at Royal Air Force Woolsington during 1939 to 1945.
The Airport was requisitioned as an auxiliary wartime base for the RAF during the Second World War before it was handed back in 1946.
Operations Director Richard Knight OBE, a former wing commander in the RAF who served for 27 years, was joined by Air Commodore Ian Forster, President of the Royal Air Force Newcastle branch and Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Councillor Ian Graham to unveil the plaque, which is located in the terminal before security.
Speaking at the event, Richard said: “We will never forget those who served and fought for our freedom during the Second World War. I am delighted to house such a prestigious plaque that marks those who served at RAF Woolsington during such an important period of our history.”
Air Commodore Ian Forster, added: “We are all one big family who will never forget our old air force personnel both past and present.
“This plaque commemorates those who served at RAF Woolsington, but I think we should remember all the RAF servicemen and women from Newcastle upon Tyne and the surrounding areas.
“Proudly and thankfully we will remember them.”
Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Councillor Ian Graham, said: “This is a fitting tribute to all those connected to RAF Woolsington and I would like to give credit to both Newcastle International Airport and the Newcastle upon Tyne branch of the Royal Air Force Association in coming together to mark this special period.”
SSP, a leading operator of food and beverage brands in travel locations worldwide, is to enhance the facilities at Newcastle International Airport with the opening of a new M&S Food to Go outlet. The new facility is part of a major redevelopment of the airport’s landside facilities. Located in the arrival area, it will welcome its first customers later this year.
Commenting on the new opening, Simon Smith, CEO of SSP UK and Ireland said “This new outlet will provide exactly the right options for passengers. The small format M&S Food to Go (which is the first in the airport sector and ideally suited to the needs of the traveller) means that we can give customers a product range we know they want on their way home – as well as a great coffee offer.”
David Laws, CEO of Newcastle Airport said; ““We are delighted with this exciting news, which follows last week’s announcement of a new Caffè Ritazza to be opened later this year. The fact we’ve secured the first M&S Food to Go concept within the airport sector is great news for our customers and demonstrates the strength of our partnership with operator SSP, as well as the steps we’re taking as an airport to create an exceptional customer experience.”
M&S Food to Go stores are small format stores selling M&S’ high quality, innovative food for ‘on the go’ customers and M&S’ market leading prepared meals. SSP has been operating the M&S brand since 2001, when it opened its first Simply Food outlet at London’s Liverpool Street station. Today the company runs over 50 stores across the UK.
SSP, a leading operator of food and beverage brands in travel locations worldwide, is to offer passengers at Newcastle International Airport a new food and beverage concept, Caffè Ritazza. The new facility, which is part of a first phase redevelopment of the airport’s landside facilities, will welcome its first customers later this year.
The new facility has been designed to ensure that passengers flying from Newcastle will have a choice of high quality coffee offers, together with a broad selection of hot food, from breakfast through to late in the day.
Commenting on the new opening, Simon Smith, CEO of SSP UK and Ireland said “Working in partnership with the team at Newcastle International, we have carefully analysed the needs of passengers at this important gateway to the northeast. Great coffee, a good range of alcohol products and hot food throughout the day were top of the list. Caffè Ritazza will enable us to meet all these requirements from one outlet.”
David Laws, CEO of Newcastle Airport said “Having made a significant investment in our departure lounge over the last 12 months, we’re delighted to introduce Caffè Ritazza, accessible to all passengers and visitors on our check in concourse. Caffè Ritazza has traded successfully in our departure lounge for a number of years and with a versatile product range, it will appeal to passengers and visitors alike. This is the first stage of our landside development and we look forward to further announcements in due course.”
Ryanair, Europe’s No 1 airline, today (15 Oct) launched its Summer 2016 Newcastle schedule with 2 new routes to Alicante and Malaga, which will deliver 270,000 customers p.a. and support 200* “on-site” jobs at Newcastle Airport.
Ryanair’s Summer 2016 Newcastle schedule will deliver:
- 2 new routes: Alicante (5 x weekly) and Malaga (4 x weekly)
- 3 routes in total (Dublin - 9 x weekly)
- 18 weekly flights
- 270,000 customers p.a. (100% growth S16)
- 200* “on-site” jobs p.a.
UK consumers and visitors can choose from Ryanair’s 3 low fare Newcastle routes in S16 and can look forward to further improvements, as Ryanair continues its “Always Getting Better” programme, which includes new bases, a new personalised website, new app, new cabin interiors, new crew uniforms and improved inflight menus.
Summer 2016 Newcastle Growth
5 x weekly
4 x weekly
9 x weekly
In Newcastle, Ryanair’s Deputy Director of Route Development, Kate Sherry said: “Ryanair is pleased to launch our Summer 2016 Newcastle schedule, with 2 new routes to Alicante and Malaga as well as a route to Dublin, which will deliver over 270,000 customers p.a. (an extra 110,000) and support 200 'on-site' jobs at Newcastle Airport.
"Our customers can look forward to further improvements in the coming months, including our ground breaking personalised website, with exciting new digital features such as ‘hold the fare’ and real customer destination reviews, and improved menus, new cabin crew uniforms and new cabin interiors on board, with more to come in Year 3, as we continue to offer so much more than just lowest fares."
"To celebrate the launch of our Newcastle summer 2016 schedule, we are releasing 100,000 seats for sale across our European network at fares starting from just £17.99, which are available for booking until midnight Sunday (18 Oct). Since these amazing low prices will be snapped up quickly, customers should log onto www.ryanair.com and avoid missing out.”
*ACI research confirms up to 750 ‘on-site’ jobs are sustained at international airports for every 1m passengers.
Following the announcement of its first ever service from Newcastle International Airport to Barcelona for summer 2016, Vueling Airlines has now revealed plans to operate four special flights over this Christmas and New Year.
Spain’s leading low cost airline is offering North East holidaymakers the chance to explore the vibrant capital of Catalonia from as little as £29.53 one way, including taxes.
The flights are perfectly timed so people can visit some of the city’s most iconic sights including the Sagrada Família and the Picasso Museum along with exploring the festive Christmas markets.
For football fans, the Camp Nou experience gives supporters the chance to explore FC Barcelona’s famous stadium.
Leon McQuaid, Aviation Development Manager at Newcastle International Airport, said: “We are delighted that Vueling have announced these extra flights ahead of their scheduled arrival for summer 2016, perfect for those wanting to get away, or visit home, this festive season.
“Barcelona is a wonderful city of culture with plenty on offer, so what a great way to celebrate Christmas or bring in the New Year.”
Departures from Newcastle International Airport are scheduled as follows:
- 23 December 2015 – from £88.61 one way (including taxes)
- 26 December 2015 – from £73.84 one way (including taxes)
- 30 December 2015 – from £51.69 one way (including taxes)
- 2 January 2016 – from £29.53 one way (including taxes)
Vueling begin their summer service with four Easter flights in March on Sat 19th, Thu 24th, Fri 25th and Mon 28th. The airline will then operate two weekly services on a Tuesday and Friday, which increases to three weekly flights from June with an additional Sunday service.
In the summer, flights depart from Barcelona at 11:10 and from Newcastle at 13:50 and are operated using an Airbus A320 with capacity for 180 passengers. Fares currently start from as low as £80.32 return including taxes.
Vueling, the largest airline operating from Barcelona El Prat Airport and part of the International Airlines Group (IAG), owner of British Airways, Iberia and now Aer Lingus, covers close to 300 routes across more than 130 cities in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, with a fleet of Airbus aircraft.
All flights are now on sale now through vueling.com and travel agents.
Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline, has today (October 1st, 2015) launched a new customer initiative called Flybe FareCracker. Each month, Flybe will offer customers a five-day window of opportunity to buy low-cost fares for upcoming flights, a list of which is easily accessed via the special FareCracker icon at www.flybe.com. Deals can be found quickly and easily as available Farecracker fares are clearly highlighted.
The first FareCracker deals are on sale now featuring thousands of seats on routes across the airline’s extensive network. Seats are available for booking through to 5th October, and will be effective for travel between 3rd November and 1st December, 2015.
Promoted on Flybe.com and selected digital channels, FareCracker is specifically targeted at those leisure travelers who have the freedom to fly off-peak during the week and by those planning last minute weekend getaways.
FareCracker deals are only available on Just Fly tickets; hold luggage and specific seat allocation can be purchased to supplement this ticket type if needed.
Full details and terms and conditions of FareCracker are available at www.flybe.com
Newcastle Airport has been rated the best large airport in the UK by Which? Magazine readers for the third year running.
The final standings were revealed after 11,266 Which? members shared their experiences of the UK’s airports with the magazine. Newcastle topped the list of airports with over 4 million passengers annually, with a customer score of 72%.
Passengers were asked to rate the airport on categories including the check-in experience, quality of food outlets and seating. The Airport scored particularly highly on queues at security, bag drop and passport control.
Dave Laws, Chief Executive of Newcastle International Airport, said: “Our aim is to be the most welcoming in the UK, so we are delighted to once again place top among the larger airports.
“This is the third year running that passengers have scored us higher than any other large airport. It’s a testament to the work of our staff and business partners, who do all they can to make a passenger's journey through the airport enjoyable.
“The result is even more impressive as it came when we were undertaking £14 million development work to our departure lounge to further improve the customer experience. I’d like to thank our passengers for their patience during construction.”
"This has topped an exciting few weeks for the Airport, as we have just announce the return of the United Airlines service to New York for summer 2016 as well as new flights to Barcelona with Spanish low cost carrier Vueling."