Member Article

Jet2 celebrates 15 years of flying from Newcastle Airport

It has been 15 years since waved off its first customers from Newcastle Airport, and the leading leisure airline is sharing the milestone with two colleagues who have been with the company since that very first flight took to the skies.

Claire Burns and Lisa McGarry joined the family friendly airline as Cabin Crew and are sharing the 15th anniversary celebrations. The pair were among the first intake of Cabin Crew for the airline at Newcastle Airport and completed their training together, before receiving their wings.

Since then, both Claire and Lisa have swapped the air for the ground with Claire, now a Duty Manager and Lisa, a Cabin Crew Base Manager. has experienced substantial growth and success during this time, having flown over nine million happy customers to and from across the airport, and Claire and Lisa have been there since day one.

As Duty Manager, Claire is responsible for ensuring that all customers receive a VIP service and that aircraft depart safely and on-time. She feels honoured to have been with the company from the very start and to have witnessed it grow.

Claire comments: “It’s difficult to express how much I enjoy working for at Newcastle Airport. I feel incredibly proud to have been with the airline since it first launched in the North East all those years ago and to have watched it go from strength to strength. I started working for the company as Cabin Crew, then after five years I transferred to ground operations as a Customer Service Agent, before taking up the role of Trainer and then Supervisor. Like, you could say I’ve been on a bit of journey over the last 15 years!”

Claire’s passion and desire to work within the aviation industry stems from a holiday to Australia when she was six years old. She explains: “I started my career working as an Administrator, but at the first chance I got, I joined an airline as Cabin Crew. After having a family, I went back to office work but when I heard that was opening a new base in my hometown of Newcastle, I saw it as a golden opportunity to take to the skies once again and haven’t looked back since!”

Thanks to her previous flying experience, Lisa joined in a Senior Cabin Crew position, and then moved on to become a Trainer, before landing her current role of Cabin Crew Base Manager. While a vast majority of Lisa’s time is now spent at the airport overseeing and managing’s Cabin Crew based at Newcastle Airport, she still gets to fly with the crew every so often.

Lisa comments: “It was while I was working for another airline that I heard that had launched. As soon as it was announced that the company would be opening a base at Newcastle Airport, I jumped at the chance to join and was on the first training course for Cabin Crew, along with Claire. I’d heard positive things about the company, since it had started operating from other bases, and I was keen to join an airline that was going places.”

She continues: “While my time now might be spent more on the ground rather then up in the air, I still get to see the excitement on customers’ faces when they are heading off on holiday and ensure that they receive our famous friendly service in the sky. It is a great place to work and I couldn’t imagine carving out my career anywhere else. The whole team are like one big, happy family and there is great comradery amongst us. I’m looking forward to the next 15 years at Newcastle with!”

Steve Heapy, CEO of and Jet2holidays said: “We have grown considerably in the North East since we launched our first flight from Newcastle Airport a decade and a half ago, and this is all down to the support and loyalty from holidaymakers and independent travel agents across the North East. As we look towards to the future, our values remain as strong as they did back then, and we look forward to further success at Newcastle Airport.”

Richard Knight, Chief Operating Officer at Newcastle Airport said: “It’s fantastic to see reach this impressive milestone at Newcastle. It has grown from strength to strength in the region and is now Newcastle’s largest airline.

“ has invested in a wide range of destinations and provide extremely high levels of customer service which makes it a very popular choice with our passengers.

“I would like to thank for its continued support over the last 15 years and look forward to many more years of success to come.”

Some top 15th birthday facts: • has carried more than 9 million customers to and from Newcastle Airport. • Over 1 million cups of tea and more than 270,000 KitKats have been served to Newcastle customers since the airline started operating from the base. • Newcastle’s favourite destination is Palma (Majorca) followed by Alicante. • The most popular hot meal with Newcastle passengers is the All Day Breakfast. • And the most popular sandwich is the Ham & Cheese Toastie.

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Albert .

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