Newcastle Airport is celebrating a bumper start to 2017 after welcoming almost 40,000 more passengers through the terminal in January, a 16.2% increase on last year.
Strong demand on non-EU routes to the likes of Dubai, Geneva and the Canaries saw the airport’s international traffic grow by 26.8%, while EU-scheduled traffic was up 30.6% due to an increase in capacity on Ryanair, easyJet and Jet2 services.
The airport’s approach to providing more city break destinations is proving to be a popular choice, with new services to Berlin and Polish cities Gdansk, Warsaw and Wroclaw all performing strongly.
In March, the airport will further strengthen its range of city destinations on offer, with flights to Madrid set to commence with Ryanair.
John Irving, business development director at Newcastle International Airport, said: “We recorded our strongest December in over 10 years in 2016 so we are naturally delighted to see the airport carry this momentum into the first month of 2017.
“January is considered to be a relatively quiet period but as we have continued to invest in the airport and add new routes along with additional capacity, we have experienced an increase in demand for our international services.
“We take our role seriously as the international gateway for the North East and will continue to explore additional routes to help ensure the region remains well connected for both business and leisure destinations.”
Sarah Stewart, chief executive at destination management and marketing organisation, NewcastleGateshead Initiative, added: “The news that Newcastle International Airport has seen a 6% increase in passengers through its terminals in 2016 is a real positive for the tourism industry and the wider regional economy.
"Tourism pumps £3.9bn into North East’s economy annually and supports more than 55,000 jobs. The airport is an important gateway, the success of the Emirates route and addition of several new routes last year further enhances our global connectivity, making the wider region an attractive place to visit and to live, learn work and invest.
"This is particularly important as we look ahead to hosting a string of major festivals and events in the coming years including Great Exhibition of the North in 2018 and World Transplant Games in 2019, which will see competitors from 60 countries flock to NewcastleGateshead to compete.”