Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Emirates Are Soaring out of the Recession; Good Growth Could Lead to More Capacity

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Emirates Are Soaring out of the Recession; Good Growth Could Lead to More Capacity

Article excerpt

Byline: Adam Jupp

LONG-HAUL air carrier Emirates is soaring out of the recession after seeing passenger numbers rocket by a fifth. The carrier, which flies daily from Newcastle International to the Middle East and beyond, yesterday revealed nearly 21,000 people used the service in the first quarter of this year.

That was up more than 20% from the same period in 2009, with continued growth predicted for the rest of the year that could lead to a larger aircraft permanently operating on the route.

The amount of freight being shipped in and out of the region has also risen dramatically, with 720,000 kilos handled between January and March alone.

When looking specifically at exports, there has been a 36% increase in the amount of cargo being flown out of Newcastle by Emirates.

That was today hailed as a huge boost to the Journal's Go Global campaign, which aims to boost the volume of North East goods and services being shipped overseas.

According to Emirates, commodities regularly passing through the airline's hands include car and oil drilling parts and ships spares. UK North manager Laurie Berryman said: "The first quarter for us has been very good. We have seen a big increase in passenger numbers, in fact nearly 25% year-on-year.

"It took us by surprise slightly because Newcastle has grown faster than many other UK airports and it is a sign that people in the North East really know we are there for the long haul and see us as a brand they want to use."

Mr Berryman says the figures show the airline is coming out of the recession strongly, which will have knock-on benefits for Newcastle International in general, where passenger numbers fell by around one million over the past two years.

He added: "We saw the up-turn starting in October and November of last year. There were certainly signs then of things coming back round and it has just continued from them. Of course, we were helped in March by the British Airways strike, which means more people chose to fly with us."

Emirates came to Newcastle in September 2007 and holidaymakers and business travellers alike are now able to travel directly from the region to Dubai and on to a network spanning six continents.

Among the most popular onward destinations are Bangkok, Malaysia and Perth and Sydney, in Australia.

Mr Berryman said he is also delighted with the cargo results. He said: "That has really taken off.

"It has taken a while to persuade local freight-forwarders, who perhaps previously put things in a truck and drove them down to fly out of Manchester of Birmingham.

"Now we have been able to persuade a lot of people to use us, which means they can save costs and also helps the environment by reducing the loads being carried on the roads."

Over the last financial year, around 1. …

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