Passengers jetting off on a New York shopping trip with leading leisure airline Jet2.com this morning were greeted at check in by the famous sights and sounds of The Big Apple.
Newcastle International Airport’s Jet2.com check-in desks were decorated by the airline staff in the theme of ‘Central Park at Christmas’, complete with an ice rink, check in desks in the style of American hot dog stands, newspaper stalls and Broadway box offices and New York city streets. A number of signposts directed passengers to iconic landmarks including Wall Street and even a bell boy in attendance.
This is the third year the New York service has operated direct from Newcastle. Two flights take place this Christmas on 29th November and 6th December and prices start from £306 return including taxes.
Ian Doubtfire, Managing Director of Jet2.com said: “What better way to celebrate our third of year of flying to New York from Newcastle Airport than by bringing a little bit of Big Apple sparkle to the North East? We wanted people to feel excited about the trip from the minute they checked in and our staff have certainly got into the spirit with these fantastic decorations! We’re thrilled that our New York shopping trips continue to be popular and we’re glad to be able to offer such a sensational festive experience at such great value.”
Chris Sanders, Aviation Development Director at Newcastle International Airport, said: “Passengers at check in this morning I’m sure were surprised at the efforts made by the Jet2.com team here to give them a taste of New York before they had even departed. New York is one of those must visit, many times destinations and it's great to have these Jet2.com flights direct to the city that never sleeps.”
Scandinavian Airlines is expanding its regional network and launching a new direct route from Newcastle International Airport to Copenhagen with operations starting on 4 February 2013.
SAS will be offering a daily flight to Copenhagen from Newcastle, from Monday to Friday using a 50 seater Cimber A/S aircraft on a wet lease agreement with CRJ200 equipment. Bookings for the new route will open on 15 November 2012 on SAS website www.flysas.co.uk
With 1.65 million people living within reach of the airport, Newcastle is an important northern hub and an area of development for SAS which already serves Copenhagen directly from London Heathrow, Birmingham, Manchester, Aberdeen and now Newcastle.
Daily flights to Copenhagen will operate Monday to Friday – timetable from 4 February 2013 will be as follows:
• Newcastle – Copenhagen: departure 19:10 – arrival 21:50
• Copenhagen – Newcastle: departure 18:00 – arrival 18:40
Connections are available at Copenhagen to a number of onward points including:
• Finland (Turku and Helsinki)
• Sweden (Gothenburg and Stockholm)
• Norway (Oslo, Bergen)
• Poland (Warsaw, Gdansk, Poznan, Wroclaw)
• Lithuania (Palanga)
• Denmark (Aarhus, Billund, Aalborg)
• Russia (Moscow)
Chris Sanders, Aviation Development Director, said: “We are delighted by today’s news from SAS as we expect the flights will be very popular with the business and leisure travellers alike. Copenhagen, like Newcastle, is an attractive short break destination and these direct flights will help grow inbound tourism. Business travellers will be able to do a full day’s work at each end of the route and, with the wide range of onward connections at Copenhagen, we’re sure that the business community will be doubly delighted with this announcement.”
To book and to find out more about SAS destinations and fares visit www.flysas.co.uk
To find out more about Newcastle International Airport visit www.newcastleairport.com
Newcastle International Airport has been crowned the Best UK Airport at the prestigious Airport Operators Association (AOA) Awards ceremony for the fourth year running.
In 2011, the airport became the first in the history of the awards to hold the accolade for three consecutive years, a claim that has once again been smashed this year.
The honour was awarded to Newcastle Airport by the British Air Transport Association (BATA) at the AOA Annual Conference 2012 awards ceremony held in London on Monday 22st October. BATA, whose members include some of the world’s leading airlines and tour operators, voted Newcastle International the UK’s best airport with up to six million passengers per year.
Simon Buck, Chief Executive of BATA, said: “I am delighted to make this AOA award on behalf of British airlines. Clearly Newcastle International Airport has a winning and successful formula, consistently delivering a high level of customer service to both passengers and airline customers over many years; this is recognised in the fact that this is the fourth year running that this award has been made to Newcastle. We warmly congratulate all the airport team and wish them continued success.”
Dave Laws, Chief Executive of Newcastle Airport, said; “We are thrilled to be awarded Best UK Airport for the fourth consecutive year by our peers.
“We continually go above and beyond for our customers to ensure their experience at our airport is enjoyable and that our routes, airline partners and facilities exceed their expectations. We have worked particularly hard on the ‘Big Six Initiative’, where staff aim to be friendly and helpful to customers as they pass through the airport.
“In addition, a recent capital investment of £3.2 million to improve the customer journey through the airport, creating additional space with our three-storey terminal development, was officially opened in June this year.
“Despite a challenging economic climate we have continued to invest in our airport for the benefit of our passengers and we’re thrilled this has been recognised once again.”
Councillor Iain Malcolm, Leader of South Tyneside Council and lead of Newcastle Airport's Local Authority Shareholders, said: "Newcastle Airport has demonstrated its commitment to customer service over many years and it's great to see this rewarded in the airport team receiving this award for the fourth year running.
"The local authority shareholders place great value in their involvement in Newcastle Airport and recognition from the industry in this way reinforces once again how important the airport is to the whole of the North East.”
Ed Anderson, Chairman of the AOA, said: "Congratulations to Newcastle International Airport for winning the best UK airport under six million passengers for the fourth year running. It is a fantastic achievement to be so consistently recognised for the service the airport provides."
The awards, attended by a record number of delegates from across the industry, were also determined by the Airport Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) and the British Business and General Aviation Association (BBGA) who nominated airports for their excellence in particular areas.
Newcastle International Airport Ltd can announce today that its shareholders have selected AMP Capital as the new partner for a 49 per cent shareholding following a comprehensive selection process.
AMP Capital is a global investment manager and one of the most experienced global infrastructure managers with an exceptional track record in Australia, New Zealand, Asia, the United States and Europe. AMP Capital possesses relevant expertise through its involvement in Melbourne and Launceston Airports in Australia.
The majority 51 per cent shareholding will be retained by the seven North East local authorities – South Tyneside, Newcastle, Sunderland, Gateshead, Northumberland, Durham and North Tyneside – collectively known as LA7.
The Airport can also announce the completion of its refinancing project. The process has been carried out with its advisors RBC Capital Markets and KPMG and with support from the LA7 shareholders.
Financing is being provided by a new group of five banks – Royal Bank of Scotland, Royal Bank of Canada, Barclays Bank, HSH Nord Bank and National Australia Bank.
The new bank facilities will support the growth of the Airport and by significantly reducing the level of debt in the business will also reduce interest payments.
As part of the process, six of the LA7 local authorities (South Tyneside, Newcastle, Sunderland, Gateshead, Northumberland and Durham) will make a further investment in the Airport totalling £68million.
This investment will be at least revenue neutral based upon interest and dividends receivable from the Airport business in future years and any future returns paid will reflect the level of investment made by each individual authority.
Councillor Iain Malcolm, Leader of South Tyneside Council and Chairman of LA7, said: “The LA7 authorities are delighted that the preferred bidder for the 49 per cent shareholding has been selected.
“AMP Capital submitted an exceptional proposal and its involvement in running Melbourne and Launceston Airports in Australia will bring valuable airport experience. We’re delighted to have them on board and look forward to working with them to maximise the potential of the Airport.
“The completion of the refinancing is also great news for the region. The Airport is a major asset to the North East, generating millions of pounds for the local economy every year and supporting thousands of jobs.
“As a result we viewed the further investment by the local authorities as the right thing to do, not just for the Airport, but for the whole region.”
Boe Pahari, Managing Director for Europe, Head of Infrastructure, AMP Capital added: “Newcastle Airport is a high quality asset with excellent facilities used by more than 4.4million passengers per annum. The Airport already has the necessary infrastructure for further developing its commercial business and for meeting future demand for traffic growth.
“AMP Capital has long-standing experience investing in airports with its investment in Melbourne airport dating back to 1997. We look forward to working with the LA7 and Newcastle Airport management to add value and support the long-term growth and development of the Airport and the North East UK economy.”