Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Now North Is Really Taking Off

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Now North Is Really Taking Off

Article excerpt

Byline: By Steven Oliver

Sun-kissed Majorca, Alicante and Tenerife are the top holiday hotspots for Geordies.

The region's favourite holiday destinations were revealed in a survey of the most popular services through seats booked from Newcastle Airport.

But while traditional holiday favourites still feature heavily in the top 10 they are set to face competition from a host of new flights and package deals being added to the departure boards from Newcastle over the next year.

The huge popularity of the Mediterranean means the export is bracing itself for a flood of three million passengers at its busy terminal this summer ( a whopping 22% increase on 2003.

During July and August alone, more passengers will travel through Newcastle Airport than during the entire 12 months of 2000.

Airport commercial director Mike Luddy said: "We're delighted with the success we've achieved with tour operators and airlines to provide holidaymakers with such a wide variety of destinations and an unrivalled choice of flight times this summer."

He pointed to how Thomas Cook has doubled its summer capacity to accommodate an extra 85,000 holidaymakers.

The holiday outfit has boosted existing services to Spain and the Canaries, as well as adding three new destinations ( Kos, Bourgas and Varna.

Kosmar will operate two new routes to Chania and Volos in Greece, and First Choice, Freedom Flights, Balkan Holidays and Olympic will all deliver programme increases for the summer season.

The airport will also increase the frequency of its services to Orlando, Florida, with up to four weekly departures for the summer peak.

In addition, low-cost scheduled operators have opened up a number of new routes in time for summer. easyJet have launched three services to Palma, Nice and Berlin, and Continental low-cost airline Hapag-Lloyd Express began services to Hanover in Germany last month. …

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