Inaugural London flight takes off at Newcastle Airport
The first flight of the new service connecting Newcastle Airport with central London took off today.
Departing Newcastle at 8:05 this morning (January 7), the inaugural flight to London City Airport lasted just over an hour.
The double daily route, operated by Flybe franchise partner Eastern Airways, is forecast to carry more than 17,000 passengers over the next 12 months.
Newcastle Airport COO Richard Knight 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.”
He added: “We expect this service to deliver an increase of tourist traffic to and from the region.”
A number of North East businesses, including software giant Sage and law firm Ward Hadaway, as well as organisations like the CBI and North East England Chamber of Commerce, welcomed the launch.
South Tyneside Council Leader Cllr Iain Malcolm, chair of airport shareholders LA7, said of the new route: “This exciting new service will have a very strong and positive impact for both business commuters and tourists travelling in and out of the North East.
“It will provide a quick and convenient connection right into the heart of London, which I believe will be a very valuable asset to our region.”
To mark the inaugural flight, a red London double-decker was driven onto the runway and snapped next to an Eastern Airways Saab 2000 aircraft.
The general manager of commercial and operations for the airline, Roger Hage, commented: “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.”
The service will operate with business-focussed departure times, leaving Newcastle at 8:05am and 5.50pm, and London City at 9:45am and 7.30pm. An evening flight will operate from Newcastle Airport every Sunday at 5.50pm.