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Aer Lingus Regional today (28 March) marked the maiden flight from Cork to Newcastle as the airline completes the latest part of its ‘new beginning’ strategy.
From today Aer Lingus Regional will operate 4 return flights, four days a week to Newcastle Airport and is the airline’s 8th regional route from the airport. This follows the success of the airline’s Dublin–Newcastle route which went into operation last October. The airline expects to fly over 300,000 passengers from Cork, up 20% from 2013 as the airline aims to double passenger numbers to 2 million by 2016.
The addition of this route will enable Cork passengers to have a direct route to a major business and tourist hub in the North-East of England. Equally it will facilitate a potential tourist influx from Northern England to Cork.
The Cork-Newcastle route will be operated by one of the airline’s new ATR 72-600 aircraft which will offer better comfort and convenience for business and leisure passengers alike. An additional new aircraft will service Cork routes from the 14th of April.
Stobart Air will also be investing €45million in new equipment.
Aer Lingus Regional’s Chief Commercial Officer, Simon Fagan said that the addition of this Cork-Newcastle route is a vital step in the growth plan of the airline:
‘We are delighted to announce the launch of the Cork-Newcastle route. It made sense to facilitate a link between these two vibrant cities. The route has enormous potential in terms of boosting tourist numbers and enhancing business connections between the two cities. This route will exploit the potential connections between the two regionals, particularly in the area of wind and tidal energy projects in the North East of England.
‘The addition of this route reflects our continued commitment to Cork which has seen a rise in passenger numbers in recent months. Our newest aircraft will also service the route which will maximise both efficiency and comfort for our passengers. The new route and aircraft are part of the high level of regional service that we strive to provide our customers.’
Niall MacCarthy, Managing Director at Cork International Airport, said:
‘We’re delighted to see the Cork-Newcastle route with Aer Lingus Regional come into operation today. The new enhanced service provides enormous potential for the south of Ireland, as the region looks to strengthen its business and tourism ties with key cities in the UK. Cork Airport’s proximity to the Wild Atlantic Way and some of Ireland’s most popular tourist attractions makes it an ideal destination for tourists from North East England.’
The airline, which aims to double passenger numbers to over two million over the next five years, has overseen a 32% rise in Aer Lingus Regional passenger numbers in the 2013.
Stobart Air now operates over 550 flights per week across 27 routes in Ireland, the UK and France.