News story

Aviation Minister hails 10-year high in Newcastle air passenger numbers

Boost in arrivals at Newcastle International Airport comes as government celebrates Northern Powerhouse International Week.

Newcastle Airport.

The Aviation Minister, Baroness Sugg, today (23 February 2018) recognised Newcastle International Airport as one of the north-east’s “great success stories” as new figures revealed a 10-year-high in passenger numbers.

The latest statistics show the airport enjoyed its best start to a year since 2008, with more than 283,000 passengers passing through its terminal in January alone. The figures show how travellers from across the world are taking advantage of greater connectivity in the north.

Baroness Sugg is visiting Newcastle International Airport today as part of Northern Powerhouse International Week, in which the government is celebrating the global success of businesses in the north.

And the airport, which is also today announced as an official Northern Powerhouse partner, represents a fitting example of that success, with its new passenger numbers underlining the growth in tourism and business in the north.

Newcastle Airport video

The rise comes on the back of a series of extra routes opening up at the airport in the past year, with new flights to a number of destinations including Egypt, Tunisia and Iceland.

Aviation Minister Baroness Sugg said:

These latest statistics just underline how the northern economy continues to go from strength to strength.

Newcastle International Airport is undoubtedly one of the north-east’s great success stories, bringing thousands of jobs to the area and delivering vital links with countries around the world.

And we are determined to help boost productivity in the region even further, starting with the significant investment we’re making in transport infrastructure to improve connections between the north’s towns, cities and counties.

As passenger numbers grow, the need for better connectivity increases and the government is responding with more than £13 billion worth of investment in transport across the north through to 2021.

And with multiple daily flights from Newcastle to Heathrow, the region is also in line to benefit from an expanded Heathrow, with the potential for new jobs and business opportunities.

Northern Powerhouse Minister, Jake Berry, said:

I’m delighted to welcome Newcastle Airport as our newest Northern Powerhouse partner. With their international flights connecting the Northern Powerhouse to the wider world, boosting exports by millions of pounds and driving up visitor numbers to the region, they are helping create a truly global north.

The government will provide funding which will go towards upgrading the A1 and completing the route from Newcastle to London as well as improvements to the Tyne and Wear Metro, an important link between Newcastle Airport, Newcastle, Gateshead and Sunderland.

These projects will benefit from the biggest investment in the north for a generation underlining the government’s commitment to improving journeys for people across the entire region and delivering greater connectivity to the north-east’s largest airport.

Newcastle International airport supports more than 19,000 jobs with 4,500 of those on site and serves a catchment area which contributes more than £1.6 billion to the regional economy every year.

Nick Jones, Chief Executive Officer at Newcastle International Airport said:

I’m delighted that Newcastle Airport has been announced as an official Northern Powerhouse partner today by the Aviation Minister.

As the north-east’s largest airport, we’re already going a long way to facilitating a truly ‘global north’ and we’re committed to continuing to help the region achieve its best in the future, whether that’s through our work promoting the north-east to overseas visitors, our role as international gateway for the Great Exhibition of the North, or simply our extensive worldwide connections.

Councillor Iain Malcolm, Leader of South Tyneside Council and lead of the LA7 shareholders, said:

Newcastle International Airport is hugely important to the north-east, both as a gateway for the region and as a generator of jobs and millions of pounds for the local economy. The airport is critical to the regional economy, providing connections across the world, either directly or via a number of major hubs. We have already demonstrated with Emirates that we can both secure and make a success of a game changing new air route.

The team behind Newcastle International Airport and its shareholders work tirelessly to open up new market for both our leisure and business customers and I am delighted that today the airport is being announced as an official Northern Powerhouse partner, which will help to further increase the important role the airport plays.

More than £58 billion and 15,000 jobs have already been created by foreign investment in companies based in the north of England and as an official partner, Newcastle International has committed to helping the north attract new jobs and more investment.

They will work jointly with a number of other partners to promote the strengths of the north in 4 key areas of:

  • connectivity and transport
  • skills, science and innovation
  • quality of life and culture
  • devolution

This formal commitment will see Newcastle International work to proactively promote and publicise the successes of the Northern Powerhouse. Passengers travelling through the airport will also see evidence of this with branding appearing across the site.

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Published 23 February 2018