The Aviation Minister, Baroness Sugg, has recognised Newcastle International Airport as one of the North East’s “great success stories” as new figures revealed a 10-year-high in passenger numbers.
The latest statistics show the airport enjoyed its best start to a year since 2008, with more than 283,000 passengers passing through its terminal in January alone. The figures show how travellers from across the world are taking advantage of greater connectivity in the north.
The airport, which has been announced as an official Northern Powerhouse partner, represents a fitting example of that success, with its new passenger numbers underlining the growth in tourism and business in the north.
The rise comes on the back of a series of extra routes opening up at the airport in the past year, with new flights to a number of destinations including Egypt, Tunisia and Iceland.
Aviation Minister Baroness Sugg said: "These latest statistics just underline how the northern economy continues to go from strength to strength.
“Newcastle International Airport is undoubtedly one of the North East’s great success stories, bringing thousands of jobs to the area and delivering vital links with countries around the world.
“And we are determined to help boost productivity in the region even further, starting with the significant investment we're making in transport infrastructure to improve connections between the North’s towns, cities and counties.”
As passenger numbers grow, the need for better connectivity increases and the Government is responding with more than £13bn worth of investment in transport across the North through to 2021.
And with multiple daily flights from Newcastle to Heathrow, the region is also in line to benefit from an expanded Heathrow, with the potential for new jobs and business opportunities.
Northern Powerhouse Minister, Jake Berry, said: “I’m delighted to welcome Newcastle Airport as our newest Northern Powerhouse partner. With their international flights connecting the Northern Powerhouse to the wider world, boosting exports by millions of pounds and driving up visitor numbers to the region, they are helping create a truly Global North.”
The Government will provide funding which will go towards upgrading the A1 and completing the route from Newcastle to London as well as improvements to the Tyne and Wear Metro, an important link between Newcastle Airport, Newcastle, Gateshead and Sunderland.
These projects will benefit from the biggest investment in the North for a generation underlining the Government's commitment to improving journeys for people across the entire region and delivering greater connectivity to the North East’s largest airport.
Newcastle International airport supports more than 19,000 jobs with 4,500 of those on site and serves a catchment area which contributes more than £1.6bn to the regional economy every year.