Loganair commences services to Brussels and Stavanger from Newcastle

Scottish airline Loganair has launched its first ever services from Newcastle Airport to Brussels and the Norwegian city of Stavanger.

The flight services to the two European cities were previously operated by flybmi, which went into administration on February 16, prompting Loganair to step in to secure the important routes.

Loganair is providing early morning double daily rotations between the North East and the Belgian capital of Brussels between Monday and Thursday, while also operating two evening departures on Friday and Sunday. It is also offering six services per week to Norway’s Oil Capital, Stavanger on weekdays and Sunday.

Loganair’s commercial director, Kay Ryan said: ‘The Brussels service heralds the first time we’ve ever served either Newcastle or Belgium so it could be said this is a historic day for the airline. We’re also pleased to start operating between Stavanger and the North East – which is a popular route for both the energy sector and holidaymakers.

‘We’re excited about building our presence in Newcastle and bookings on these two routes have been really positive.’

Richard Knight, Chief Operating Officer at Newcastle Airport, said: ‘It is fantastic to welcome the Loganair team to Newcastle Airport today, to celebrate not only a brand-new airline to the region but also the continuation of two popular routes.

‘I’m sure our passengers will enjoy flying with Loganair to Brussels and Stavanger. Both destinations offer a great city break experience – with Stavanger famed for its natural wonders and Brussels for its historic old town and architecture.

‘Loganair offer a great product, high levels of customer service and excellent flight times. With departures six days a week to both destinations and tickets starting from GBP84, I’m confident the services will be welcomed by both our business and leisure passengers.’

Lead-in fares between Newcastle and Brussels start from £84, while tickets to Stavanger start from £85.99. All reservations include 20kg of complimentary hold luggage and passengers are eligible to join Loganair’s loyalty programme, Clan Loganair. Tickets are available to book online at www.loganair.co.uk, the airport said.

Eastern Airways announces new London City service from Newcastle Airport

Eastern Airways, a franchise partner of Flybe, has commenced a brand new service from Newcastle Airport to London City starting January 7.

The new route is the only direct scheduled flight connecting Newcastle with central London. Eastern Airways will operate a morning and evening peak service taking 70-minutes flight time each-way direct into London City Airport. Flights are now on sale up to winter 2019, and the service is expected to carry over 17,000 passengers during 2019. Fares start from £79.99 one way, inclusive of taxes and charges, and are bookable at flybe.com.

Richard Knight, Chief Operating Officer at Newcastle Airport, said: ‘It is very exciting to see any brand new route take off, but it is particularly special to know that this route will make such a difference to people based in the North East.

‘London City is a fantastic new service to add to our list of destinations, and we expect that it will particularity popular with busy business commuters heading down to the capital.

‘We expect this service to deliver an increase of tourist traffic to and from the region.’

Roger Hage, Eastern Airways’ General Manager Commercial & Operations, added: ‘It is vital that cities like Newcastle, and the North East region as a whole, has strong links with the capital – and our new London City service, on behalf of Flybe, offers the most convenient air link to reach the city and central London.

‘London City Airport’s location allows for easy, swift access to Canary Wharf and the London underground for both business and leisure travellers.’

Eastern Airways’ first flight of the day departs from Newcastle Airport at 8:05am, with passengers arriving in London City at 9.15am. An additional evening flight departs Newcastle Airport at 5.50pm, for arrival in London City at 7pm. Return flights from London City Airport depart twice a day at 9:45am and 7.30pm. On Sundays, an evening flight operates from Newcastle Airport at 5.50pm.

bmi regional to launch new Newcastle-Brussels flight

UK-based airline, bmi regional, is set to launch its new jet service to Brussels, which starts on March 3.

The new route from Newcastle Airport will connect North East travellers to Belgium when it begins in five weeks’ time, with fares from £76 per person one way. In addition to benefiting thousands of North East travellers heading to Belgium, the service is also expected to create a positive impact for the regional economy through inbound tourism.

Cathal O’Connell, CEO at bmi regional, said: ‘This is our first route from Newcastle International and we’re delighted to provide the only direct flight for travellers from the North East of England to the Belgian capital.

‘Brussels has so much to offer for leisure travellers such as a vibrant cultural offering and beautiful surroundings such as the Grand Place – a UNESCO World Heritage Site – and traditional Flemish houses. As well as Brussels itself, travellers can make use of the excellent Belgian rail services running from Brussels Airport to reach Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp with ease.’

Dave Laws, chief executive at Newcastle International Airport, said: ‘The new route is already proving popular with both leisure and business passengers. Belgium is an interesting country to visit with much to see and do. There is far more to Belgium than just delicious chocolate and great beers.’

Sarah Stewart, chief executive of destination management and marketing agency NewcastleGateshead Initiative, said; ‘The growing number of airlines choosing Newcastle International Airport signals a real confidence both in the airport and the destination. bmi regional’s new Brussels flight is positive news for the tourism sector and the business community.

‘NewcastleGateshead and the wider region remains an attractive destination for city break visitors and those interested in doing business here. bmi regional’s new double daily service will gather a lot of support from businesses here in the North East and in Belgium.

‘It’s extremely encouraging to welcome a new airline and a brand new route that will continue growth in inbound tourism in NewcastleGateshead and the North East.’

bmi regional offers a full in-flight service including complimentary food and drinks on board, as well as allowing 20kg of checked baggage per person and 30 minute check-in at airports.

Easyjet withdraws plans for Guernsey to Gatwick route, takes over FlyBe’s Newcastle to Gatwick route

Easyjet, a UK-based airline, has withdrawn its application for a licence to operate to and from Guernsey, The BBC has reported.

The airline was planning to fly between the island and Gatwick from 2014. The company carried out a commercial evaluation, taking into account uncertainty around plans to give exclusivity on the route to Guernsey airline, Aurigny, a spokesman reportedly said.

Easyjet purchased landing slots at Gatwick airport from Flybe in May for £20m. Flybe currently operates 34 flights per week to Gatwick from Guernsey and 28 flights a week from Jersey, but will stop flying the route from March 29, 2014. Flybe had sold the slots, blaming an increase in airport charges.

EasyJet’s withdrawal move comes as Guernsey treasury minister, Gavin St Pier, urged the protection of Aurigny from competition. He has sought changes to the policies followed by Guernsey’s air route licensing authority in relation to the Gatwick route.

In other news concerning the budget carrier, Chronicle Live reported that easyJet would take over FlyBe’s cancelled Newcastle to Gatwick route.

Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK commercial manager said: ‘We are pleased to add London Gatwick to the list of destinations served from Newcastle International Airport and continue to demonstrate our commitment to the North East of England.

‘As London remains one of the North East’s key trading partners we have designed a frequent schedule which will make it easy for business travellers to reach the capital and affordable for everyone whether they travel for business or leisure.’

The airline will introduce flights to the capital’s second airport from the end of March 2014, with services twice a day, six days a week. Tickets for the new route, easyJet’s 15th from Newcastle International Airport, have gone on sale, with fares starting from £27.49 per person, the report said.


Aer Lingus Regional launches new route to Newcastle Airport

Aer Lingus Regional has launched a new route to Newcastle Airport and is looking to fly up to 65,000 passengers in the first year.

The route, operated by Aer Arann, will operate two daily return flights to Newcastle from Dublin Airport beginning October 24. Aer Lingus Regional has scheduled 26 flights between Dublin and Newcastle per week at prime times, offering a convenient day return for travellers.

The addition of the Newcastle route is part of the ‘new beginning’ strategy, which was announced by Aer Arann to return the company to profitability in 2014. The measures also included the launch of two other new routes to Manchester and Birmingham.

‘We are delighted to announce the launch of our newest route to Newcastle,’ said Aer Arann’s chief commercial officer, Simon Fagan, adding: ‘This new route connects Aer Lingus Regional passengers with one of the UK’s most vibrant cities and means that the airline is now serving nine major UK cities from Ireland. This new route will add up to 65,000 passengers to our network next year.

‘The Newcastle-Dublin route will facilitate connections to Aer Lingus mainline services to the US for passengers in the North East of England. Aer Lingus Regional aims to connect 3,500 passengers through Dublin in the first 12 months,’ Fagan said, adding: ‘Aer Lingus Regional is committed to providing our customers with easy, convenient and great value in regional connections. We look forward to welcoming our passengers on board this new route to Newcastle.’

Chris Sanders, aviation development director at Newcastle International Airport, said: ‘We’re delighted that Aer Lingus Regional will be operating new services to Dublin this year. This announcement increases the schedule choice for passengers flying from Newcastle on this important route.’

He added: ‘It presents a wide range of connection facilities for travellers which I’m sure will be welcomed by North East holidaymakers and business travellers alike.’

Aer Arann operates 550 flights per week across 25 routes in Ireland, the UK and France. Aer Lingus Regional, which registered a 32 percent rise in passenger numbers in the past 12 months, is looking to double passenger numbers to over two million over the next five years.

Newcastle Airport announce expansion plans, creation of over 2,000 new jobs

Newcastle International Airport has announced its future expansion plans, which are likely to result in more than 2,000 new jobs being created over the next decade.

The plans will see extensive development of the site, with increased potential for the terminal, more car parking space and construction of office and factory space. The successful completion of the plans would also more than double the airport’s worth to the regional economy, to GBP1.3bn by 2030, the authorities said.

The expansion will also see passenger numbers increasing from over four million in 2012 to eight and a half million journeys by 2030, with around 87,000 aircraft arriving and departing. The ongoing green belt changes planned by Newcastle Council could see some additional airport expansion after 2030.

Dave Laws, chief executive of Newcastle International Airport said: ‘Our aim is to be the UK’s most welcoming airport. As part of this aim we want to provide an improved airport, to encourage new routes and attract new customers. To do this we need to develop additional infrastructure, such as improvements to the terminal, better car parking and access, and the development of the southside, which will help diversify the airport business and secure new income sources.

‘We want to help our neighbours and the wider North East region understand how the airport will grow in the future. We also want to demonstrate that we have carefully considered the local impacts our plans could have, including on the community, the environment and local roads. We’ve launched a consultation process in order to hear everyone’s view on our plans, and once all the responses have been reviewed we will consider whether any changes need to be made,’ he added.

The expansion will be mostly focused on the 80-acre Southside Development, which has already received approval for some sections. Work over two sites south of the runway will include hangar space for aircraft maintenance and a business park with office space. The airport could also have a second pier added for departing and arriving aircraft.

The airport’s majority shareholders are the seven North East councils, including Newcastle, which is looking to introduce direct regular flights to the US from Tyneside. Australian investment firm, AMP Capital, the airport’s new minority shareholder, has also backed the plans.

Emirates sponsors Tyne and Wear Metro

Emirates airline, an air carrier based in Dubai, United Arab emirates, has announced that it is sponsoring the Newcastle Metro, a light rail/rapid transport system that serves the Newcastle and Gateshead area.

The sponsorship, in the form of a promotional travel advert that will be displayed on the outside of four Metrocar compartments, will run for one year. From May, the two carriages that comprise each of the four adverts will feature 56 metres of Emirates’ ‘Hello Tomorrow’ promotional format, with images of destinations to which the airline operates flights from Newcastle International Airport.

The airline is also promoting destinations that include Hong Kong, Australia and Thailand on 32 internal carriage cards that will be displayed in each car.

Vice president of Emirates for the UK, Laurie Berryman, said, ‘Emirates’ branding of the Metro demonstrates our continued investment in the North East and showcases it as a key regional hub. Sitting on a train during a commute is the ideal time to plan future getaways and we hope the wrap provides some destination inspiration for our passengers as they consider their next Emirates flight from Newcastle International Airport.

‘We are the only long-haul, scheduled airline to fly daily from Newcastle to Dubai and beyond, allowing our North Eastern passengers to experience long-haul travel from Newcastle, rather than having to change in London or a continental European hub.

‘Our commitment to the North East includes Emirates’ sponsorship of Durham County Cricket Club and the recent upgrade of our daily flight to Dubai to a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, due to passenger demand. This is the longest aircraft to operate out of Newcastle airport, and represented a capacity increase of more than 50 per cent as well as an upgraded service for all passengers.’

UK museums to open for night visits in May

For three nights in May, a large number of the UK’s art and museum attractions will be opening their doors to night visitors.

Conjuring images of the spooky goings-on in Hollywood’s Night at the Museum movie franchise, Britain’s museums will be welcoming late night guests for two nights between May 16 and 18. The special event is part of a Europe-wide initiative, La Nuit des Musees, which has now also been adopted by Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain and Germany after being conceived in France in 2005.

The event is not limited to museums, but will also include some observatories, stately homes and botanical gardens in the UK and on the continent.

While openings will be taking place in many locations all across the country, the north of England has particularly embraced the event, with the Lancashire region, Newcastle and Liverpool all offering a range of options over the two nights. Lancashire has scheduled 20 events with a local history theme for its ‘Festival of Wonders’, while 50 museums and galleries will be opening in the Newcastle area to host special events for its ‘Late Shows’, and Liverpool’s ‘Light Night’ will see many of the city’s arts and historical venues staying open until the early hours.

Not to be outdone by the north of England, London will also be hosting a number of events, while in Scotland, Edinburgh’s offering has adopted a dinosaur theme. Top artists from across the UK are also signing up to take part in special events to mark the occasion.

Eastern Airways Expands Service to Aberdeen

Eastern Airways, a UK-based airline, has announced the launch of a new service from Aberdeen, in Scotland, to Newcastle Airport, in England.

The airline will be increasing its weekday services, from four flights a day to five flights a day, form October 1, 2012. A 50-seat Embraer 145 jet aircraft will service the expanded flight.

The new service will be providing around 1,700 seats a month for the route, which can be booked from today.

Kay Ryan, the commercial director of Eastern Airways, said, ‘We’ve played a major role supporting the North Sea offshore industry with vital transport links for many years.

Our latest expansion of services from Newcastle demonstrates our continued commitment to providing the best business schedules for northeast offshore workers and business commuters heading to Aberdeen. The level of high frequency services at convenient times offers superb flexibility, while our 50 seat jet will also operate on peak flights during the week.’

Joanne Leng MBE, the deputy chief executive at UK-based NOF Energy, said, ‘It’s fantastic news that Eastern Airways is increasing the frequency of their flights from Newcastle to Aberdeen. I am sure those involved in the oil and gas sector in both regions will find the additional routes of benefit.

Both Aberdeen and North East England are key hubs for the UK oil and gas market and it is essential that we make moving between the two centres as easy as possible. In the long term it benefits both regional economies and ensures that supply chain companies continue to have access to new business opportunities by being able to reach and service their client base quickly.’

Hotel Indigo Newcastle Provides Digital Bibles on Kindle

Hotel Indigo, a boutique hotel brand from UK-based InterContinental Hotels Group, has replaced the traditional bedside Bibles with pre-loaded Kindles with Biblical text at its Hotel Indigo Newcastle, in Newcastle, UK.

The hotel is one of the first to replace a religious text, Gideon’s Bible, with the preloaded digital device. The kindle, offered to the hotel guests, can also be used to download other religious texts using the hotel’s WiFi services.

Adam Munday, the general manager of Hotel Indigo Newcastle, said, ‘Every Hotel Indigo draws inspiration from its local area to give guests an individual experience. In the 18th Century, Newcastle was one of the largest print centres in Britain and we’re in Grainger Town, close to the Lit & Phil. We wanted to reflect this literary history in a very contemporary way so are offering guests the use of cutting-edge Kindles pre-loaded with The Bible, instead of the more traditional hardcopy Gideon’s Bible that they would expect to find in a hotel.’

The 148-room hotel has rooms themed around the Georgian, Edwardian and Victorian architectural heritage of the city, along with the Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill, and the Grainger Lounge.

Mike Greenup, the vice president of marketing in Europe, for InterContinental Hotels Group, said, ‘Putting Kindles in guests’ rooms is a great way to give our guests a flavour of Hotel Indigo Newcastle’s story and location near the Literary & Philosophical society. No two Hotel Indigos are the same; each has its own theme, which brings to life the local area.

Earlier this year we opened Hotel Indigo Edinburgh in Scotland, which has decor and details throughout the hotel in reference to some of the world famous festivals, which take place in Edinburgh every year. We plan to open a total of 11 new Hotel Indigos in Europe in the next three to five years.’