Ireland-based airline Ryanair has today announced six new routes from Newcastle International Airport as part of its largest ever winter schedule from the North East.
The airline is offering flights to Barcelona, Cork, Bergamo, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria and Riga. All destinations will be served by twice weekly flights using the airline’s two aircraft that are permanently based at Newcastle.
Ryanair now flies a total of 15 routes from Newcastle, an expansion that means it will have doubled the number of North East passengers it carries from around 500,000 pre-Covid to nearly one million. Bosses have also praised Newcastle’s handling of airport operations during Covid, earmarking it as one of the best performing in the country.
The latest winter routes build on Ryanair’s investment in a new base at Newcastle comprising two Boeing 737-800s and supporting 60 direct jobs and an estimated 400 indirect jobs.
Speaking to ChronicleLive, Jason McGuinness, Ryanair director of commercial, said, ‘The Newcastle team are exceptionally good and exceptionally proactive. Richard Knight and his team have done a great job and they’re reaping the rewards in terms of the continuation of the Ryanair two base aircraft into winter. All through summer when we had lots of chaos at Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester etc – Newcastle performed exceptionally well, like ourselves. They run a very good, tight ship there.’
McGuinness also told ChronicleLive that the carrier’s presence at Newcastle could be significantly expanded if the new Prime Minister and her cabinet decided to scrap air passenger duty (APD), which the UK regional aviation sector says has dogged it for years.