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Positive start to 2017 for Newcastle Airport

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Page last updated: 1st Mar 2017 - 03:02 PM

It’s not been a bad start to 2017 for Newcastle Airport; a dramatic increase in passengers saw almost 40,000 passengers using the airport in January. This was a 16.2% increase on the same month in 2016.

The airport is giving the majority of credit to the increase in Non-EU routes, with destinations including Dubai, Geneva and the Canaries. Newcastle Airport’s international traffic rates has seen a further 26.8% increase, which is amplified by the EU scheduled traffic which increased by 30.6%, thanks to increased flights on Ryanair, Easyjet and Jet2 planes.

John Irving, Business Development Director at Newcastle International Airport, said:
“We recorded our strongest December in over 10 years in 2016 so we are naturally delighted to see the airport carry this momentum into the first month of 2017.
January is considered to be a relatively quiet period but as we have continued to invest in the airport and add new routes along with additional capacity, we have experienced an increase in demand for our international services.

We take our role seriously as the international gateway for the North East and will continue to explore additional routes to help ensure the region remains well connected for both business and leisure destinations.”

Newcastle Airport saw 4.86 million passengers pass through their doors in 2016, with its busiest routes for both international and domestic flights being London Heathrow, Belfast International, Amsterdam and Alicante. As of March, the airport will bolster its range of city routes on offer, with destinations such as Madrid set to begin with Ryanair.

Want to keep up to date with all of the Newcastle Airport information? Follow @Airport_Guides on Twitter and on Facebook for all the news you need to see.

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Ryanair launches new routes from Newcastle Airport

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Page last updated: 29th Nov 2016 - 12:19 PM

Ryanair have recently announced 5 new routes from Newcastle International Airport as part of their winter schedule. As of November 3rd, the new routes now available throughout the working week will include flights to destinations such as Wroclaw (on Sunday), Gdansk (on Monday), Tenerife and Warsaw taking off on Tuesday and finally, Lanzarote (Wednesday).. Alongside this announcement, it has also been revealed that a new direct route to Berlin has also been opened at Newcastle Airport.

Newcastle International Airport’s Aviation Development Manager, Leon McQuaid, was quoted on the significance of the new flights for outbound and inbound tourism from the region. He explained: “It’s great to see Ryanair continue to build its presence in the region and the start of these exciting new routes is excellent news for the North East travelling public.

“Poland is a vibrant country with a host of attractions on offer and we expect these flights to Gdansk, Warsaw and Wroclaw to be extremely popular.
“Tenerife and Lanzarote are firm favourites for the North East travelling public and I am delighted that we can offer our passengers even more choice and availability from Newcastle Airport.“

Throughout their European network of destinations, Ryanair released 100,000 seats from just £19.99 available for booking on Monday 7th Nov. Have you snapped one up yet?!

Lisa Buckley, Ryanair’s Sales and Marketing Executive, added: “We are pleased to launch our 5 new routes from Newcastle to Gdansk, Lanzarote, Tenerife, Warsaw and Wroclaw. Ryanair continues to grow at Newcastle, by offering the lowest fares and best choice of destinations.“

As of last year, Newcastle International Airport was the 10th busiest airport in the UK while also claiming second busiest in Northern England closely behind Manchester Airport, handling over 4.5 million passengers. Its busiest domestic and international routes being London Heathrow and Amsterdam.

Want to keep up to date with all of the London City Airport information? Follow @Airport_Guides on Twitter and on Facebook for all the news you need to see.

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It has been reported this week that Newcastle Airport had their busiest weekend of the year last weekend, with a staggering 55,000 passengers travelling through the airport. Not only has Newcastle had success with passenger numbers, it has also received high praise from their customers.

In a recent survey, which was carried out by cheapflights.co.uk and the Daily Mirror, ranked the airport as number one for an all-round experience. The highest scoring categories included cleanliness, check-in process and family-friendly facilities.

Passengers flying on Tuesday appeared to only have praise for Newcastle Airport, one saying: “I used to work at Heathrow and it’s better than there!” and another adding: “It always goes smoothly here”. It would seem that Newcastle Airport really could be the best in the country for its all round experience.

Of course, this couldn’t have come at a better time for the airport with the summer holidays having just begun and with the recent reviews, Newcastle may find they have a lot of last minute bookings. We look forward to seeing how this airport will progress in the upcoming months.

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Newcastle International airport has the opportunity to attract many more passengers from Cumbria as they plan to expand their flight plans. This follows the Newcastle International Airport’s finished revamp of the departure lounge and now offers direct flights to 74 destinations. In 2014 the airport saw 4% of the overall 4.6 million passengers, originate from Cumbria. In terms of the future, 2016’s passenger numbers are looking to rise to 4.9 million. This is hoping to be supported by the airports new redevelopment with cafes, restaurants, bar areas and new shops.

Newcastle International has just completed a £14m revamp of its departure lounge, and now offers direct flights to 74 destinations including New York and Dubai. The Chief Executive of the airport, Mr David Laws said: “We have a particularly loyal customer base in Carlisle but there is an opportunity to grow it. We need to make people aware of what we have in terms of customer service to make sure your journey gets off to the best possible start. In 2015, 97 per cent of our passengers were through security in under six minutes, and the friendliness of our staff appeals to people.”

New destinations is one reason that the chief executive is looking to attribute the future growth. Mr Laws said: “The New York flights allow people to access onward connections to 300 destinations in the US and Canada.” Furthermore, last year saw United Airlines creating six flights a week to New York, while Emirates has been flying to Dubai since 2007.
Talks are currently underway surrounding the addition of routes from Newcastle with Turkish Airlines and the German low-cost carrier Germanwings to selected destinations.

Mr Laws has noticed that access is the main issue for passengers travelling from Cumbria, especially those who use public transport. Attempts to alleviate this problem include new access road from the A69, to open in 2019, which hopefully should improve the journey for commuters.
A spokesman said: “Work on the runway and upgrading other airport facilities have yet to be completed, and we’ve never said it would be done by the spring. We can’t give a time frame.” Therefore it looks like the airport may not collect the benefits of their redevelopment any time soon but hopefully is only the start for growth in the future.

Want to keep up to date with all of the Newcastle International Airport information? Follow @Airport_Guides on Twitter and on Facebook for all the news you need to see.

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Exciting times ahead for Newcastle Airport

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Page last updated: 2nd Feb 2015 - 11:15 AM

Exciting times lie ahead for Newcastle Airport in this the year of its 80th anniversary: new routes for travellers living in the North-East of England (and indeed the Scottish Borders) and a £14 million investment in the airport’s departure lounge, guaranteeing a pleasurable passenger experience.

On the 23rd of May this year, United Airlines will start operating their Newcastle to New York (Newark) route which will not only give passengers easy access to the Big Apple itself but will also provide an excellent hub for connections to other parts of North America, South America, Central America and the Caribbean. So far onward flights to Florida and Las Vegas have proved particularly popular for passengers booking the new route from Newcastle.

A tad less glamorous, but useful nonetheless is the new Flybe route from Newcastle to Stansted, due to start at the end of March.

From the end of June easyJet will also re-commence their route to Geneva in Switzerland. This service will operate year-round meaning that not only business travellers and summer holiday-makers are catered for but also ski fans.

There are also plenty of other summer routes in the pipeline which will be of interest to those in the area who are looking for somewhere new for their holiday. Those headed to the islands of Greece are spoiled for choice with Santorini, Corfu, Zante and Rhodes on offer from various tour operators.

In addition, the Bulgarian destination of Varna is being introduced by Thomas Cook, whilst easyJet offer Antalya and Split and Jet2.com offer Tunisia, Larnaca and Malta. Thomson’s summer offering is the Croatian destination of Dubrovnik, an interesting city in its own right and also an excellent jumping-off point for seeing more of the country’s mainland and islands. Winter sun-seekers will be delighted to see that Thomsons are adding Hurghada and Larnaca to their schedule.

Work on the £14 million new departure lounge started in 2013 and will be completed this summer. Many of the eating and retail outlets are already open, including The Flying Hippo (a family restaurant), Beer House, Aspire Lounge, Cabin Bar, W H Smith, Travelex, Traveller and the jewellery store Cuba Lily which is already a favourite with those living near its other shops in Durham and Darlington.

The appeal of local businesses is further emphasised in the Cabin (the new wine bar) which serves local ales and food from Tyne Bank Brewery, Dropwell Farm Shop in County Durham and the Northumberland Cheese Company. Bar 11, which is due to open in March, will also have a local flavour with the whole concept of the bar being built around the 11 reasons why the region is the best in the UK.

Other retail outlets for the new departure lounge’s “shopping street” include a new Boots (three times the size of the existing one) and a new Duty Free store.

Newcastle Airport was voted the best large airport by Which? in 2013 and 2014, an accolade which Chief Executive David Laws is rightly proud of. The signs are that things will be even better for the airport this year.

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Jet2 unveils 'recession busting' breaks

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Page last updated: 17th Jun 2011 - 02:38 PM

Jet2 is continuing to expand its operations in the UK this week, by releasing five new routes for sale at Newcastle Airport. The “recession busting breaks”, to quote the carrier’s official website, will take off in summer 2012.

Ian Doubtfire, director at Jet2, must be tired of hearing the sound of his own voice. The airline boss has provided commentary for almost all of Jet2’s recent press releases, which number fifteen for the month of June. Mr. Doubtfire, once again, was on hand to talk about Jet2’s expansion at Newcastle, noting that travellers who wished to escape the “hype surrounding Euro 2012” would find a holiday to suit their tastes at the Woolsington hub.

Contrasting with Jet2’s schedules for 2012 at other UK airports, Newcastle will soon find aeroplanes bound for Turkey and the Eastern Mediterranean appearing on its runway. Routes to the Greek islands of Crete, Rhodes, and Corfu, Paphos on Cyprus, and Dalaman in Turkey will enter circulation on an unspecified date in 2012. However, given that Jet2’s new flights from Glasgow Airport begin flying in March next year, it is likely that the same applies for the airline’s upcoming routes from Newcastle.

Travellers may find that booking a package holiday with Jet2’s sister firm, Jet2Holidays, allows them to accrue greater savings than ‘going it alone’ and booking hotels, transfers, etc. separately. The holiday firm is offering a £100 discount on breaks booked before July 4 2011, which means that the price of a seven-night stay in Dalaman could be as low as £199 per person.

Dalaman and Paphos will be served twice a week by Jet2, while flights to Crete, Rhodes, and Corfu will operate on a weekly basis. Prices on the routes begin at £59.99 for a one-way journey.

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Ash cloud swept away from UK

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Page last updated: 31st May 2011 - 04:31 PM

Grimsvotn, a volcano in southeast Iceland, is the second volcano in as many years to create chaos in the European aviation industry, following on from the antics of Eyjafjallajokull in 2010. Grimsvotn, believed to be the most active of all the volcanoes in Iceland, caused more than 500 flight cancellations in Germany, Scotland, and Northern England, between May 23 and 25 2011.

Newcastle Airport, one of several UK mainland hubs affected by Grimsvotn’s tantrums, was forced to suspend flights to Heathrow Airport, Amsterdam in Holland, and Paris in France, on May 25. The development marked the second time in two days that flights had been cancelled, amid fears that the concentration of volcanic ash in the atmosphere could clog or erode jet engines.

Barra and Tiree airports in the Hebrides, Cumbernauld Airport in Glasgow, and Carlisle Airport in Cumbria, also endured extensive delays, while Durham, Edinburgh, Prestwick, Aberdeen, and Glasgow airports were forced to withdraw flights to a variety of destinations, including domestic routes to the south of England.

Metro, a free newspaper, indicates that British Airways and easyJet were among the airlines that suffered disruption last week. Planes arriving from the continent, or indeed, anywhere south of Carlisle, were redirected to airports with clearer skies, such as Doncaster’s Robin Hood. The Yorkshire hub “gained some aircraft” from Scotland and Newcastle, in order to meet the increased demand for flights.

A spokesperson for Newcastle Airport indicated that normal operations had resumed by the afternoon of May 25. However, delays during the previous day had caused a “hangover” for the hub, with “aircraft in the wrong places”, and departures occurring in a “more complicated fashion”.

Experts had voiced concerns that volcanic ash could return to the skies above the UK on May 27, potentially causing havoc over the bank holiday weekend. However, the eruption of Grimsvotn continued to subside, and was officially declared “finished” by the Icelandic Meteorological Office on the morning of May 28. The remaining ash was blown into the Arctic by strong southwesterly winds.

Newcastle Airport is currently operating as normal, but travellers with concerns about their flight should contact their travel agent or airline before departing for the airport.

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Newcastle Airport could be sold

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Page last updated: 18th May 2011 - 02:45 PM

Newcastle Airport faces an uncertain future, after a national newspaper revealed that the hub’s majority shareholders are desperate to sell their stake in the Woolsington hub.

Ownership of Newcastle Airport is split between two companies, namely, LA7, with 51%, and Copenhagen Airport, with 49%. The former is a consortium of seven local authorities in the northeast, including the councils of Newcastle, Gateshead, and Sunderland, while the latter is, as its name suggests, a Danish airport.

The Sunday Times claims that LA7 owes £320m on a loan taken out on behalf of the airport in 2006, a loan that, if the broadsheet is to be believed, must be repaid within the next thirty months. However, the holding company cannot afford to begin repayments, and has asked major auditing firm, KPMG, for assistance.

LA7 has refused to comment on “speculation”, but local news website, nebusiness.co.uk, intimated that the council group would not entertain “such a sale” at present. However, the news that Newcastle’s other investor, Copenhagen Airport, has already put its slice of the northeast hub up for sale, suggests that at least 49% of Newcastle Airport will change hands regardless of whether LA7 repays its £320m bill.

Macquarie Bank, an Australian company that funds Copenhagen Airport, has advised the Danish hub to ‘abandon ship’, and extricate itself from Newcastle Airport. While the bank has not revealed its motives, Copenhagen Airport’s escape could be attributed to the state of Newcastle’s finances: the hub saw profits fall by £5.6m between 2008 and 2009.

LA7 is allowed to choose which company purchases Copenhagen’s stake, which will ensure that the day-to-day running of Newcastle Airport is kept in line with current standards.

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Newcastle recycles 82% of its waste

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Page last updated: 2nd Apr 2011 - 04:46 PM

The largest airport in the northeast, Newcastle, is taking steps to become one of the most eco-friendly businesses in the country. The Woolsington-based hub boosted recycling to 82% in 2010, according to news agency, Reuters, and achieved the coveted Carbon Trust Standard Award, an accolade that rewards companies who reduce their carbon footprint.

Bosses at Newcastle created an ‘energy policy’ late last year, which outlined the short and long-term goals that would allow the airport to operate in a sustainable manner. The eight-point manifesto included a 2.5% cut in energy usage by the end of March 2011, plans to upgrade lighting inside the airport terminal, and a 15% reduction in the hub’s carbon footprint within the next four years.

Of course, there is more to sustainability than light bulbs and emissions, and Newcastle has been encouraging holidaymakers to place their bottles and newspapers into special recycling bins located throughout the airport’s main terminal. The scheme’s success is perhaps best represented in figures: bosses claim to have recycled three tonnes of material since October 2010.

The airport’s quest to reduce the consumption of electricity got off to a flying start last year, courtesy of the Icelandic volcano, Eyjafjallajokull. During the volcanic ash crisis of mid-2010, the northeast hub was ‘powered down’ for a number of days, as flights were cancelled and customers stayed at home. The brief hiatus in flights lowered energy usage by 7%, significantly higher than the 2.5% reduction called for in the hub’s energy policy.

Simon Fisher, finance director at Newcastle, previously said that the airport takes its “environmental and climate change obligations seriously”. However, Newcastle is not the only UK airport to have improved its environmental karma in recent months. Bristol Airport has installed a wind turbine, while East Midlands Airport near Castle Donnington became the host of a new eco-awareness campaign, Climate Week 2011, in March.

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Norwegian airline aims to please

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Page last updated: 4th Mar 2011 - 05:11 PM

Norwegian airline, Wideroe, has announced plans to increase flight capacity on routes from Newcastle International to the third largest city in Norway, Stavanger. From March 31 2011, the veteran carrier will add an extra flight between the two airports, increasing the service to a total of four per week, and introduce a new Bombardier Dash aircraft onto the route.

Founded in 1934, Wideroe is the Scandinavian equivalent of the UK’s Air Southwest – a predominantly domestic airline that serves small to mid-sized airports. Norway's far-flung settlements, such as the frozen archipelago of Longyearbyen, and the port town of Kirkenes, are connected to the Norwegian capital, Oslo, courtesy of Wideroe.

Wideroe, a resident at Newcastle for more than a decade, says that its upcoming expansion in the northeast will double the number of seats available on its Stavanger route, and cut the overall flight time by 25 minutes. The flight holds a unique position in the airline’s schedules being one of just ten routes operated by the airline to travel outside its native Norway.

Sverre Sletten, regional chief at Wideroe, was elated with recent developments. “We’re delighted to be able to bring in these big improvements to our Newcastle service.” Mr. Sletten said that his airline was “confident” that customer demand was high enough to support the capacity boost.

The Newcastle-Stavanger flight currently operates on Mondays, Fridays, and Sundays. However, the March 31 expansion will see an extra daily connection added on Thursdays. Wideroe will also alter the timetable of Monday flights, to give business travellers “a full day at work” before departing for the UK in the evening.

Stavanger, located in south-western Norway, is an archetypical port city, and the banks of central Vaagen Harbour are lined with recreational boats. The settlement is situated close to the Lysefjord, a 26 mile long fjord ringed by huge rocky slopes. The Lysefjord is alleged to be “as deep as the mountains are high”.

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