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."
United Airlines today announced that its seasonal nonstop service between Newcastle and its New York hub, Newark Liberty International Airport, will return in summer 2016. The flights will operate six times weekly during the period May 26, 2016 to September 6, 2016 (westbound).
“As the first airline to offer a scheduled nonstop service to the U.S.A. from North East England, we are excited to return to Newcastle next year,” said Bob Schumacher, United’s Managing Director Sales – U.K. and Ireland. “Our flights offer business and leisure travellers not only convenient access to New York but connections to hundreds of other great destinations across the Americas”.
Flight UA75 will depart Newcastle daily except Wednesday at 9:10 a.m., arriving at New York/Newark at 12:00 p.m. the same day. The return flight, UA74, will depart New York/Newark daily except Tuesday at 7:20 p.m., arriving in Newcastle at 7:30 a.m. the following day (all times local). Flight times will be seven hours 50 minutes westbound and seven hours 10 minutes eastbound.
The flights will be operated by Boeing 757-200 aircraft with a total of 169 seats – 16 flat-bed seats in United BusinessFirst and 153 in United Economy, including 45 Economy Plus seats with added legroom and increased personal space.
The Newcastle flights have been conveniently timed to connect at New York/Newark with an extensive network of services to destinations throughout the Americas. From New York/Newark, United operates flights to more than 300 destinations in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean, including more than 100 served nonstop.
United operates the largest hub in the New York City metropolitan area at Newark Liberty International Airport. Located just 16 miles from downtown Manhattan, the airport offers the fastest surface transfer journeys to many parts of the city, including the AirTrain service to New York Penn Station in midtown Manhattan, with a journey time of less than 30 minutes.
David Laws, Chief Executive, Newcastle Airport, said: “The United Airlines service to New York was a route we were determined to deliver for the North East. We have been very pleased with the way in which the operation has performed in this, its first year and with the response of the individuals and businesses who have taken advantage of the service. In the past few weeks, many people have been asking us whether the service will return in 2016, so I am delighted to be able to confirm today that it will be back. We have worked very hard, with our shareholders and other regional partners, to ensure the route has been a success and to secure this further operation. As well as connecting the region to New York, United’s Newark hub provides access to a huge range of key cities, including Chicago, Boston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Orlando in the United States, and Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver in Canada. I once again call upon everyone in the North East to support this route. With a higher frequency and more seats on sale, it will be more important than ever that using this direct service is the first choice for leisure passengers and businesses alike.”
Councillor Iain Malcolm, Leader of South Tyneside Council, and lead of the LA7 Shareholders, said: “On behalf of the Local Authority Shareholders and the North East region, I am delighted that all the hard work has paid off, and we have secured the United Airlines service to New York for a second year. I said last year that the new route would be very significant in terms of enhancing regional connectivity, growing the economy, attracting inward investment and encouraging inbound tourism. The 2015 operation has been a very solid start in these respects, and I am confident that the return of the route at an increased frequency will further strengthen our region. We will be continuing to work with a number of partner organisations, including the inbound tourism bodies to promote the region in the States and with the business community to encourage firms to use the service to access North American markets.”
Onboard Products and Services
United BusinessFirst offers a superior business-class service. The BusinessFirst seat reclines 180 degrees into a 6-foot, 4-inch lie-flat bed and features a personal on-demand entertainment system with a 15.4-inch touch-screen monitor. BusinessFirst amenities include laptop power, USB ports, noise-reduction headsets, amenity kits featuring Soho House’s Cowshed skin-care products, duvet-style blankets and a multi-course meal with complimentary wines.
United Economy offers complimentary food, soft drinks, juices, beer and wine, tea, coffee and inflight entertainment. Seats feature an adjustable headrest and a personal on-demand entertainment system. United Economy Plus offers up to five inches of extra legroom. Located near the front of the Economy cabin, the seats give the added benefit of allowing a swifter exit from the plane upon arrival.
To book your flight please go to www.united.com.
Spain’s leading low cost airline Vueling has announced its first ever service from Newcastle International Airport to Barcelona for summer 2016.
From March, Vueling will operate two weekly flights 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.
Leon McQuaid, Aviation Development Manager at Newcastle International Airport, said: “We are delighted to welcome Vueling Airlines to Newcastle Airport for summer 2016, providing further choice for customers looking to visit Barcelona at affordable fares.
“We look forward to seeing many more passengers travelling to this exciting city and also connecting on to Vueling’s extensive route network to destinations such as Madrid, Seville and Bilbao. As well as anticipating further growth in outbound tourism we also expect this service to deliver a significant increase of inbound traffic to the region.”
Councillor Iain Malcolm, Leader of South Tyneside Council and lead of the LA7 shareholders, said: “On behalf of the Local Authority shareholders, I am delighted to welcome Vueling Airlines to the North East and secure this new service to Barcelona.
“This new service will allow extra choice and more opportunity for Spanish visitors to fly directly into the region, while providing easy and affordable access to the many attractions on offer.”
Sarah Stewart, Chief Executive of the Newcastle Gateshead Initiative, added: “International visitors to the region contribute significantly to the local visitor economy, which currently stands at £1.4bn in NewcastleGateshead alone.
“We have a wide range of attractions here in North East England that we know appeal to global visitors - from the World Heritage Sites such as Durham Castle and Cathedral, to the Northumberland Coast which is a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and of course our cultural attractions and icons, like the Angel of The North here in NewcastleGateshead.”
Flights are on sale now through vueling.com and also travel agents.
easyJet, Europe’s leading airline, has put its Spring schedule for Newcastle on sale for 2016 with a record number of flights and routes available for passengers to book now. Over 1,980 flights are set to take place to and from Newcastle International Airport between 21 March 2016 and 26 June 2016 providing more than 324,000 seats.
Over 22.5 million seats are being launched today across the entire easyJet network so customers can look forward to low fares by booking early at www.easyjet.com.
Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK Commercial Manager, said: “We’re pleased to be putting our Spring 2015 schedule from Newcastle International on sale for our passengers today, allowing them to book early and take advantage of our lowest fares to cities and beaches across Europe.
“We’re committed to our network from Newcastle, providing 15 fantastic destinations for our passengers in the North East to choose from, including our three new routes to Split in Croatia, Rhodes and Corfu which started in June.”
Customers can look forward to a number of routes to destinations such as:
- Newcastle to Geneva from £27.49*
- Newcastle to Belfast from £27.49*
- Newcastle to Alicante from £36.49*
- Newcastle to Barcelona from £29.49*
*Fares per person, one way, based on two people travelling on the same booking.
easyJet has bases across 11 UK airports and flies more than 750 routes on its network across Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and Russia – more than 400 of which touch the UK.
For more information about the new flights or easyJet’s network from Newcastle visit www.easyJet.com
Newcastle International Airport has today responded to the discussion paper on the options for supporting English regional airports from the impacts of Air Passenger Duty (APD) devolution in Scotland.
The predicted impact of devolved APD upon the airport and the North East is so great that ‘do nothing’ is not an option and any reductions in APD in Scotland should be matched across the rest of the country. If this is not possible, then Scottish reductions should be matched at all non-congested UK airports.
Varying the rate of APD within England would ensure the commitment made by the Prime Minister before the General Election in respect of England’s regional airports is honoured.
During the recent General Election campaign, the Prime Minister said: “The SNP Government in Scotland is committed to using its new powers to cut and eventually abolish Air Passenger Duty from Scottish airports.
“This could distort competition and see business drawn north of the border with a huge impact on airports in the rest of our country so we’re reviewing the way Air Passenger Duty works to make sure other cities don’t lose out.”
Newcastle International Airport welcomed these comments, which we see as a Government commitment not to allow devolution to disadvantage any airports.
Together with seven other regional airports, Newcastle International has written a joint letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer in support of the national aviation view that any reductions in APD in Scotland - and potentially Wales - should be immediately matched across the whole country.
The letter recognises, however, that an across the board matching is not one of the options in the discussion paper and that the government might feel that this would be too significant an intervention at this stage. If, therefore, this is not possible, then we have reached a common view that a version of the second of the options in the discussion paper, the varying of rates within England, is the most preferable.
David Laws, Chief Executive at Newcastle International Airport, said: “The airport plays a vital role to the North East economy, supporting 7,800 jobs and directly contributing £403 million to regional Gross Value Added (GVA) every year.
“In recent years, we have secured new air services including Emirates to Dubai and United Airlines to New York.
“If the Government were to agree to our preferred option, our modelling shows that Newcastle International Airport would be protected from the impacts of devolution to Scotland. It also shows that a significant contribution would be made to the rebalancing of the economy, and delivery of key Government strategies including the Northern Powerhouse.”
“Our modelling shows that if a 50% reduction in Scotland is matched at non-congested airports across the rest of the country, then passenger numbers at English regional airports would be boosted by up to 6.5 million per year by 2025. If a 100% reduction in Scotland is matched then the number would be boosted by 16.5 million per year by 2025.”
“The modelling suggests that if a 50% reduction in Scotland is matched at non-congested airports across the rest of the country, then the total boost to UK GVA would be £1.2 billion in 2015. If a 100% reduction in Scotland is matched then the additional GVA would be around £3 billion in 2025.”
Quick guide to the impact of APD scenarios
2025 change in passenger numbers:-
- In the base case, where APD is reduced in Scotland but not in England, Newcastle would see a reduction in passenger numbers of up to 510,000;
- In the status quo scenario, where there are no APD reductions anywhere, there would be no change in passenger numbers compared to currently forecast growth;
- In the 100% reduction scenario, where a 100% reduction in APD in Scotland is matched at non congested airports in England, Newcastle would see a 1,300,000 passenger increase compared to base case scenario, and a 790,000 increase compared to the status quo scenario.
To view the discussion paper on options for supporting English regional airports from the impacts of air passenger duty devolution, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/discussion-paper-on-options-for-supporting-english-regional-airports-from-the-impacts-of-air-passenger-duty-devolution
Jet2.com today marked a decade of flying from Newcastle International Airport by surprising loyal local employees also celebrating their 10 year milestone with the airline, with a giant birthday cake.
Jet2.com commercial director, Steve Lee, paid a special visit to the airport to help staff Claire Burns, Hayley Bushby, Sharon Davis, Paul and Gemma Fisher (who met and married while working for the airline) plus Vicky Vardy, celebrate this landmark occasion. Lucky customers checking in for their flight to Prague were also treated to a slice of the birthday action.
Since first jetting off from the region in 2005, Jet2.com has grown to become Newcastle’s biggest carrier of international passengers, carrying more than 4.4 million over the past 10 years. From starting with two routes, one aircraft and 10 staff it now boasts 31 exciting sun, city and ski destinations, operates six aircraft and has over 200 employees.
A decade on the growth is continuing. Girona (Costa Brava) has already been added as a brand new destination for summer 2016 and a seventh aircraft next year will also see more flights to popular hotspots including Alicante, Crete, Gran Canaria, Majorca and Zante.
Steve Lee said: “We’re incredibly proud to be celebrating 10 years of flying at Newcastle International Airport. It’s fantastic that over four million local customers have enjoyed our great value flights and award winning customer service and we’d like to thank everyone who has contributed to our growth over the years, especially our colleagues.
“We’re now looking forward to the next 10 years and with 2016 set to be our biggest year yet at Newcastle I’m sure we’ll be celebrating even more success!”
Leon McQuaid, Aviation Development Manager at Newcastle International Airport, added: “We are delighted to be celebrating 10 years of Jet2.com operating from Newcastle International Airport.
“It’s amazing how, in the last ten years, the airline has gone from one route to more than thirty, and we look forward to seeing even more new Jet2.com destinaitons from the North East over the next decade.”
Some top 10th birthday facts:
- 760,914 passengers flew with Jet2.com last year.
- Newcastle’s favourite Jet2.com destination is Majorca.
- The airline has five routes which are exclusive to Newcastle Airport: Krakow, Murcia, Pisa, Prague and Rome.
- 6.2 million items of luggage and 41,467 sets of golf clubs have been carried since 2005.
- The most popular hot meal with Newcastle passengers is the All Day Breakfast.
- And the most popular sandwich is a chicken salad on white bloomer.
For further information or to book flights visit www.jet2.com
Air miles were swapped for running miles on Friday at Newcastle International Airport as staff members prepare for this year’s Great North Run.
The group were joined on the runway by Newcastle United’s Paul Dummett and former Sunderland captain Kevin Ball, as they attempt to raise funds for the Newcastle United Foundation and The Foundation of Light.
In December 2014 the airport announced a historic partnership with both football foundations becoming the airports adopted charity for 2015 and 2016.
Both charities work with children, young people and families across the North East using the power of football to educate, encourage and inform in a variety of areas including health, sport and teamwork.
Eric Wrightson, Car Parks Manager at Newcastle International Airport and preparing for his third Great North Run, said: “It’s important that staff working at the airport can participate in events such as these on behalf of our charities.
“Training has been challenging but it’s very encouraging when colleagues, business partners and passengers at the airport can support us in our efforts for such a great social occasion.”
Newcastle United defender Paul Dummett added: “The Great North Run attracts thousands of participants every year all running for great causes.
“It’s fantastic to be able to come and help support those running from Newcastle International Airport in aid of both of the clubs charities.”
Former Sunderland captain and club ambassador Kevin Ball was full of praise for both charities and was on the airfield to give his support.
Ball said: “I admire anyone running the Great North Run and it’s such an important event for the North East.
“The Foundation of Light and Newcastle United Foundation do a tremendous amount of work for under-privileged children in our region and its vital that we continue to support both clubs fundraising efforts.”
To support the team ahead of the Great North Run 2015 and make a donation visit the fundraising page by clicking here.
Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline, has confirmed its 2015-16 winter programme from Newcastle featuring three routes namely to Belfast City and Exeter (both on Mon/Wed/Fri/Sun); and a three times a day service to Southampton, with an additional midday service added on Thursdays and Saturdays to accommodate Christmas and New Year travel. In total, customers have a choice of up to 54 convenient flights a week effective for travel between 25th October 2015 and 26th March, 2016.
One way fares are from £27.99 including taxes and charges.
The airline’s route to Stansted will be operated by its franchise partner, Loganair,
Flybe has extended its Newcastle - Stansted route, with tickets now available to book for the Winter schedule which begins in late October.
The airline started the route in March of this year and it has proven to be extremely popular with passengers.
Services will now be operated by Flybe’s franchise partner Loganair, which has just announced its winter schedule to begin on Monday, 26 October.
The airline will provide a daily weekday service departing Newcastle at 11:00 and arriving in the capital 75 minutes later at 12:15.
A return service departs London Stansted at 12:45 touching down in Newcastle at 14:00, with the centre of London only a short train journey away via the Stansted Express.
A 49-seat Embraer 145 Jet will operate the air-link with fares starting at £44.99. This will also include a free 20kg baggage allowance.
Roy Bogle, Loganair’s Director of Revenue and Scheduling, said: "We have a great partnership with Flybe, and we’re pleased to continue the Newcastle to London Stansted air-link.
"The short journey-time to Stansted combined with the added convenience of the Stansted Express rail service, will be extremely attractive to business travellers and customers considering a city break to the nation’s capital.
"We are pleased to launch services from Newcastle Airport and build on our relationship with London Stansted, after commencing operations from Dundee last year."
Speaking about the service, Leon McQuaid, Aviation Development Manager at Newcastle International Airport said: "We are pleased that the Flybe service from Newcastle to London Stansted is now on sale for this winter and look forward to developing this service with Loganair.
"This is an important route for the region providing easy and quick access to Greater London, via excellent rail and coach links, and also to the area around Stansted which includes parts of Norfolk and Hertfordshire as well as all of Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire."
Tickets for the route are now on sale at flybe.com.
A summer trip to London with the kids has just been made a whole lot easier, thanks to British Airways, Newcastle Airport and London Heathrow.
From today British Airways is launching a ‘Kids Fly Free’ scheme from Newcastle Airport to London Heathrow, the gateway to the UK’s capital city. The initiative will run until 1 November 2015.
To help keep the costs down once they get there, there are plenty of free things for families to do including:
- National History Museum
- National Maritime Museum
- Science Museum
- Harry Potter’s Platform 9¾s at King’s Cross station
- Princess Diana Memorial playground in Kensington Gardens
- National Army Museum
- Richmond Park
- The South Bank
- Highgate Wood
Andrew Crawley, British Airways’ chief commercial officer, said: "We know it can be a struggle to keep the kids entertained over the summer holidays and long car journeys can be difficult. So what quicker, easier or cheaper way to see a bit more of the UK, than to jump on a British Airways flight where the kids travel for free?"
Leon McQuaid, Newcastle Airport's aviation development manager, said: "We are delighted to be working in partnership with British Airways and Heathrow Airport to be able to offer families this excellent 'kids go free' deal. We hope families can make the most of this opportunity and discover how easy and quick it is to explore the vast range of culture and entertainment across England when you fly to and from Newcastle International Airport."
Families wanting to stay the night are also being offered a BA Holidays package including flights and accommodation at a range of London hotels with prices from £82 per night.
The airline is also offering customers 20 per cent off Avis car hire when they book a flight and hotel together.
Book online at ba.com/kidsgofree.