If you live in the north east and are involved in the gas and oil industry, you will be pleased to know that Eastern Airways have started flying direct to Stavanger, Norway’s energy capital, from Newcastle. Stavanger is also one of the European Capitals of Culture for 2008, so this new route will no doubt appeal to the leisure traveller as well.
This route is the first direct international route to be introduced out of Newcastle by Eastern Airways. The flights will operate each weekday, leaving Newcastle at 09.50 and arriving in Stavanger at 12.40 local time. The return flight will depart from Stavanger at 13.10, reaching Newcastle at 14.00 local time. Prior to the introduction of this service, travellers from the north-east flying to Stavanger had to go via Aberdeen. There are currently direct services operated by Eastern Airways from Newcastle to Aberdeen, Birmingham, Cardiff, Southampton and the Isle of Man.
Stacy Hall of One NorthEast said that the new route would not only improve “accessibility to international business routes” but also “encourage inbound tourism”, both of which are likely to have a beneficial effect on the region’s economy.
Newcastle Airport has come a long way from its humble beginnings back in 1935 when it opened with little more than a grass runway and a hangar. Early in the new millennium, a £27 million extension was opened by Tony Blair and by 2005 it was the fastest growing regional airport in the country, with over 5 million passengers a year flying to 86 destinations. Currently a new Business Park and luxury hotel are being built.