Ryanair celebrates six million passengers as it marks 20 years at Newcastle International Airport

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Ryanair celebrates two decades of operations at Newcastle International Airport as its six-millionth passenger flies with the airline.

From starting off with its route to Dublin in 2003, Ryanair has expanded its operations at Newcastle International Airport over the last 20 years to now offer more than 130 weekly flights across 20 different routes.

Earlier this week, the low-cost airline marked two decades of operations from the North East’s biggest airport by celebrating its six-millionth passenger.

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Ryanair is also marking 2023 with its biggest ever summer schedule with Newcastle International Airport as it sees growing demand from consumers in the North East.

Jade Kirwan, head of communications at Ryanair, has spoken to NewcastleWorld about the changing landscape of the airline’s operations at Newcastle International Airport over the last 20 years.

Ryanair celebrates 20 years of operations at Newcastle International Airport. Photo: Belga/AFP via Getty Images.Ryanair celebrates 20 years of operations at Newcastle International Airport. Photo: Belga/AFP via Getty Images.
Ryanair celebrates 20 years of operations at Newcastle International Airport. Photo: Belga/AFP via Getty Images. | Belga/AFP via Getty Images

She said: “We would have been a small airline that was just starting out back in 2003, which would have been a flight to Dublin and now we are one of the biggest companies in Ireland so it is something that we are really proud of.

“It is great to be standing here 20 years on having carried six million passengers so it is a great achievement to see how we have grown over that time from such a small operation to now running over 130 weekly flights.

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“We’re really proud of the service that we offer over 20 routes, especially as eight of them are routes that we operate exclusively so it is great to bring that diversity and variety to customers in the North East.”

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Like all travel operators, Ryanair has faced a difficult period over the last few years due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

As a result, the airline saw a trend from customers booking flights with very little notice; however, the company has revealed that it is now starting to see bookings made much further ahead of time.

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This is now allowing the airline to better plan further flight schedules, with routes to mainland Spain proving very popular with customers in the North East.

Newcastle International AirportNewcastle International Airport
Newcastle International Airport

Jade also revealed what Ryanair has in store for the future at Newcastle International Airport as the airline looks to continue its impressive growth that it has experienced over the last two decades.

She added: “We’re going to be launching our winter schedule in the coming weeks which is exciting and then looking beyond that, we are number two at Newcastle International Airport at the moment so there is scope to grow.

“Jet2 has an edge on us a little bit but the competition is healthy and means that there will be more routes on offer for customers.

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“We are looking to grow our market share in Newcastle as we have a great relationship with the airport, they engage with us and we have a very positive outlook for the next couple of years.

“If conditions continue to stay the way that they are now in terms of travel then you will definitely see growth from Ryanair at Newcastle International Airport.”

Leon McQuaid, director of aviation development at Newcastle International Airport, has praised Ryanair for its commitment to the airport over the last 20 years.

He commented: “We are delighted to celebrate 20 years of partnership with Ryanair, an airline that has continuously invested in the North East since starting operations in 2003.

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“Two decades later Ryanair supports over 800 jobs in the region, from cabin crew to engineers, and will operate its biggest ever programme from Newcastle this summer.

“North East passengers will be able to choose from over 130 flights a week, flying to 20 destinations across Europe, including Ibiza, Zadar and Milan.”

To celebrate six million years and 20 years of operations, Ryanair has launched a special seat sale with fares from just £29.99 for travel between July and September.

The low-cost fares are only available to customers via https://www.ryanair.com/gb/en.

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