Newcastle International Airport has today made a number of comments in response to the launch of a consultation by the Scottish Government on reductions, from 2018, in Air Passenger Duty (APD) north of the border. Speaking after the announcement, David Laws, Chief Executive, said:-
“The Scottish Government has now commenced detailed consultations on the reform and reduction of Air Passenger Duty in Scotland. This increasingly firm plan now provides confirmation that the dangers that made it necessary, in 2015, for David Cameron to promise intervention have not subsided. In fact, they have become very real and urgent. We have recently therefore written to the Prime Minister reiterating our concerns.
“We maintain the view that the Government should commit now to matching reductions in Scotland across the whole country. If this is not possible, then our view is that the second of the options in last year’s APD discussion paper - the varying of rates within England - is the most preferable and the least inequitable.
“A failure to act now would break the promise made in 2015 to protect English regional airports. The consequences of unmatched reductions in Scotland would be so serious that ‘do nothing’ continues to be simply not an option.
“We would be surprised if the Government allowed the devolved administrations to drive the policy direction on this important issue. This surely wouldn’t be right for our country as a whole? We therefore call upon the Government to take control of this crucial agenda now, before it is too late.”
During the build up to the 2015 General Election, the Prime Minister made it clear that the government would not allow airports and regions to be adversely impacted by the devolution of APD. During the General Election campaign, he 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.”
In a separate interview, the Prime Minister said:
“We are not going to accept a situation where there’s unfair tax competition. We will do what’s necessary to make sure England’s regional airports can succeed.”
Speaking about these reassurances, Graeme Mason, Planning and Corporate Affairs Director, said:-
“These comments were very reassuring at the time. We maintain the view, therefore, that the Government should commit now to matching reductions in Scotland across the whole country.
“If this is not possible, then our view is that the second of the options in the APD discussion paper, the varying of rates within England, is the most preferable and the least inequitable. If in order to meet EU legal requirements this must be a system of differential rates based upon level of airport congestion, then we would accept that.
“Such an approach would help ensure, as has been promised, that other English cities don’t lose out and that England’s regional airports can succeed.
“We have been asked whether an alternative approach, a system of APD ‘holidays’ for new air services, would be a possible solution. Our strong view is that such an arrangement would not address the threat that we face, and would in fact make matters even worse by concentrating new routes at larger airports further south.”
More than 80 people are this week celebrating overcoming their phobia of flying after attending easyJet’s Fearless Flyer course in Newcastle over the weekend.
The group of 80 nervous flyers took part in the two-day course, run by phobia expert Lawrence Leyton and senior easyJet pilot Richard Jones, who together explained how an aircraft works, dispelled common flying myths and taught participants a unique set of ‘mind tools’ to manage their fear.
On Sunday participants put the skills they’d learnt to the test and travelled onboard a special easyJet flight, which included a full commentary in the air from Captain Richard Jones.
Lynn Prew from Alnwick, Northumberland, who had never flown before this weekend’s course said:
“What an achievement on Mother’s Day! Having never flown before because of my fears, I can now visit my daughter in Ireland. Many thanks to the easyJet course and a special thanks to all involved.”
Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK Commercial Manager, said:
“We’re really pleased to have helped so many people overcome their fear of flying this weekend, from those that were slightly nervous of flying to those who had never flown before.
“It is great that our new fearless flyers will now be able to take to the skies happier and more relaxed, and we look forward to welcoming them onboard our flights soon.”
Mark Wein, Director of FOF Events which organise the Fearless Flyer courses, commented:
“It was fantastic to see Lynn and all of our other participants overcome their fear of flying today on our special one hour Experience Flight following the three hour Ground Course on Saturday. As an ex-phobic myself, I know how restricting a fear of flying can be and how liberating it feels to overcome it. Lynn is now off to see her daughter in Ireland and many others were going home to book a holiday.
“We’re holding 9 more courses around the country before the start of the summer holidays including Gatwick and Stansted and demand for spaces this season is higher than ever. So the whole team is really looking forward to changing a record amount of lives this year.”
easyJet’s Fearless Flyer course is one of the best priced aerophobia courses in the UK at just £189 per person. Participants can also invite a friend or family member with them on the flight if they wish for just £69.
Ryanair, Europe’s No.1 airline, today (2 Mar) launched its biggest ever Newcastle winter schedule (2016), with 2 new routes to Lanzarote and Tenerife, a new winter service to Malaga, and more flights to Alicante and Dublin (double daily from June), with further growth planned, which will deliver 330,000 customers p.a. and support 250* jobs at Newcastle Airport, as Ryanair doubles its Newcastle traffic.
Ryanair’s Newcastle winter 2016 schedule will deliver:
- 2 new routes: Lanzarote (2 weekly), Tenerife (2 weekly)
- More flights to: Alicante (4 weekly), Dublin (2 daily)
- 1 new winter service: Malaga (4 weekly)
- 5 routes in total
- 26 weekly flights
- 330,000 customers p.a.
- 250* “on-site” jobs p.a.
Ryanair is the ideal choice for business and leisure customers, who can now choose from 5 Newcastle routes in winter 2016 and look forward to further improvements, under Ryanair’s “Always Getting Better” programme, which includes more routes, a new app, new cabin interiors and new crew uniforms.
In Newcastle, Ryanair’s Head of Communications, Robin Kiely said: “We are pleased to launch our biggest ever Newcastle winter 2016 schedule, which includes 2 new routes to Lanzarote and Tenerife, a new winter service to Malaga, and more flights to Alicante and Dublin, which moves to a double daily service from Dublin, which will deliver 330,000 customers p.a. and support 250 jobs at Newcastle Airport, as we double our Newcastle traffic.
To celebrate the launch of our Newcastle winter 2016 schedule, we are releasing 100,000 seats for sale across our European network from just £19.99, which are available for booking until Monday (7 Mar). Since these amazing low prices will be snapped up quickly, customers should log onto www.ryanair.com and avoid missing out.”
David Laws, Chief Executive of Newcastle Airport, said: “Today’s announcement is great news for the North East travelling public as Ryanair continue to build its presence in the region, offering even more choice and availability from Newcastle Airport.
Sunshine destinations like Tenerife, Lanzarote, Malaga and Alicante are always incredibly popular and great for winter sun holidays. Dublin is also one of our most popular routes so with increased frequency even more people from the North East will be able to experience a wonderful city, and we look forward to welcoming even more passengers from Ireland into the North East.”
Newcastle International Airport has today announced a development to extend its car parking facilities.
A multi-million pound contract has been awarded to The Owen Pugh Group to extend the existing long-term car park to provide 1,600 additional spaces at the airport.
Preliminary work on the scheme is already underway and the project is expected to take 21 weeks to complete. The new extension is bordered by Ponteland Road and Prestwick Road with the airport requiring the space for additional cars to support its growth in demand for long-term parking capacity.
The construction will be carefully managed to minimise the impact on the local community. In order to ensure the openness and country feel is maintained, the airport will undertake landscaping on the boundaries of the car parks in order to screen the development from outside of the site.
The new extension comes just two months after Robert Goodwill MP, Minister of State for Transport, officially opened the airport’s new £14m departure lounge redevelopment.
David Laws, Chief Executive at Newcastle International Airport, said: “This is another significant development as the airport continues to grow. Our passengers’ journey begins as soon as they arrive at the airport and it is vital we continue to meet their needs and offer the best experience possible.
Lee Buchanan, Operations Manager at Owen Pugh Construction, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won this prestigious contract to extend parking facilities at Newcastle Airport as it continues on its growth trajectory.
“With a team of highly skilled operatives on board, we’re well placed to undertake this project on time and within budget.”
In response to overwhelming demand, Jet2CityBreaks has today announced its New York breaks are back for winter ‘16, with more trips than ever before for its North East customers, PLUS the exciting addition of NEW YEAR breaks – all on sale today.
A celebratory SIX trips are available this year direct from Newcastle Airport, plus all breaks to New York have been extended to four-nights with even more iconic three, four and five star hotels to choose from.
As in previous years, flight times are scheduled to the get most from the city that never sleeps, but this time there’s even more choice available; from family-friendly departures over October half term to squeezing in every last opportunity to shop, and of course the unmissable opportunity to welcome in the New Year in New York’s Times Square, there’s something for everyone.
Departures from Newcastle Airport to Newark are scheduled as follows:
- 23rd October 2016 – Half term trip
- 18th November 2016 - Shopping/ sightseeing
- 24th November 2016 - Shopping/ sightseeing
- 1st December 2016 – Shopping/ sightseeing
- 8th December 2016 - Shopping/ sightseeing
- 29th December 2016 – New Year in the Big Apple
Steve Heapy, CEO of Jet2.com and Jet2CityBreaks said: “New York really is something to shout about, which is why we are thrilled to be able to offer customers this experience direct from Newcastle Airport. This is our most ambitious programme yet with more choice of flights and hotels than ever before. I’m sure these breaks, be it shopping, October half term, Thanksgiving and the newly added New Year packages will be a real cause for celebration!”
Leon McQuaid, Aviation Development Manager of Newcastle Airport said: “We’re delighted to see the return of these popular flights to New York with Jet2.com and Jet2CityBreaks; with six dates to choose from, starting October half term through to the New Year, there’s now even more choice for the North East public to this popular destination.”
Whether it’s watching the sun rise from the top of the Empire State Building, cultured trips to the Metropolitan Museum of Art or seeing the bright lights of Broadway, a trip to New York is a must. And on New Year’s Eve itself, partygoers can watch the Times Square Ball drop at midnight and enjoy spectacular live performances for a night to remember!
Packages with Jet2CityBreaks start from £759 per person, and they can be secured now for only £60pp deposit. Jet2.com flight only options are also available from £399 per person, including taxes.
Air France and KLM together with Newcastle International Airport were celebrating this morning as the airline group celebrated over 500,000 passengers using the airline from Newcastle International in 2015.
Warner Rootliep, General Manager of Air France-KLM UK & Ireland, said: “Air France KLM have a strong presence in Newcastle and the milestone reflects growing customer demand in the Newcastle region, as bookings are strong for the next quarter. We are committed to giving travellers even greater flexibility and the widest choice of medium and long haul destinations.
“Serving the Newcastle community helps to maintain Air France KLM‘s strong competitive position in the UK. Our services to Amsterdam and Paris connecting Newcastle to our 316 destinations in 115 countries around the world, allows the local businesses to trade globally. We look forward to celebrating more milestones in Newcastle and its wider region in the future.”
Air France and KLM offer daily services from Newcastle International Airport, providing passengers the opportunity to connect to Air France KLM’s worldwide network, at their respective hubs at Paris Charles De Gaulle and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. Air France offers 20 weekly flights while KLM offers up to 28 weekly flights.
Leon McQuaid, Aviation Development Manager at Newcastle International Airport, said: “This is a remarkable number of passengers using Air France and KLM to fly from Newcastle in a single year.
“We have built up an excellent working relationship with the airline group and both routes are of huge significance to the region for both business and leisure travellers. We look forward to further growth.”
Vueling Airlines today launched the first of four special flights from Newcastle International Airport to Barcelona over the festive period.
Arriving under a traditional water cannon salute, the Spanish carrier is offering North East holidaymakers the chance to discover the vibrant capital of Catalonia this Christmas and New Year, before returning with a summer service in March.
Chris Sanders, Aviation Development Director at Newcastle International Airport, said: “We are delighted to welcome Vueling Airlines to Newcastle Airport.
“This new service offers extra choice and more opportunity for passengers looking to travel to Barcelona and beyond. Vueling’s extensive route network allows through-ticket connections to onward Spanish destinations such as Bilbao, Ibiza, Madrid and Seville.”
Gabriel Schmilovich, Network Planning, Scheduling and Slots Manager at Vueling, said: "We are delighted to launch our flights at Newcastle Airport.
“With Vueling, passengers from Newcastle will be able to travel at competitive prices whilst enjoying efficient services. Vueling operates modern aircraft, boosts a fully integrated website to any mobile platform, offers connecting flights via Barcelona, three fare classes and of course our own Excellence Class, which gives business passengers a premium experience for a very competitive price. This modern approach and the high quality-price ratio is what sets us apart from other airlines”.
Vueling’s regular service commences March 19th with further flights for Easter on March 24th, 25th, 28th and 29th. From April the airline will operate regular twice weekly services on a Tuesday and Friday, increasing to three weekly flights from June with the additional of a 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.
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.
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.”