Aer Lingus Regional today launched a new route from Newcastle to Cork as the airline continues to implement its strategic growth plan in the North East of England.
The first flight from Cork touched down at 4.40pm. Aer Lingus Regional will now operate four return flights per week to Cork and aims to fly up to 15,000 passengers on the route in 2014. The airline plans to raise this number to over 25,000 passengers on the route next year and tickets are on sale now on AerLingus.com.
The addition of this route will ensure Newcastle-based customers have a direct route to the south of Ireland. Cork is Ireland’s second largest city, as well as being a key tourist hub and the starting point for Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, which stretches from the south to the west coast of Ireland.
The Newcastle-Cork route is the latest initiative of the airline’s ‘new beginning’ strategy and follows on from the success of the Newcastle-Dublin route which is going from strength to strength with up to three flights a day.
The Newcastle-Cork route will be operated by one of the airline’s new ATR 72-600 aircraft.
Stobart Air’s chief commercial officer, Simon Fagan said that the addition of this new Newcastle-Cork route is a vital step in the growth plan for the airline which aims to double passenger numbers to two million by 2016.
“We are delighted to launch the new Newcastle-Cork route,” he said. “This new route connects passengers in Newcastle with Ireland’s second largest city and adds another of the main UK cities to the airline’s network for Irish passengers. Equally, the new route will enable North East-based passengers to access some of Ireland’s most popular tourist destinations in the south of the country.
“Aer Lingus Regional is committed to providing our customers with easy, convenient and great value in regional connections. We have already enjoyed great success with our Newcastle-Dublin route which launched last October and now we look forward to welcoming more passengers on board this new Newcastle-Cork route. There is enormous potential in this route, particularly given the links in the wind and tidal energy sector between Ireland and North East of England.”
Chris Sanders, aviation development director at Newcastle International Airport, said: “We’re delighted that Aer Lingus Regional will be operating new services to Cork this year. This announcement increases the schedule choice for passengers flying from Newcastle on this important route.
“Cork is a fantastic city break destination with a vibrant culture and fantastic tourist attractions. Its proximity to some of Ireland’s most popular tourist sights makes it an ideal destination for tourists. Business users will also be pleased with the convenient flight times on offer which allow day returns, four days a week, an incredible benefit for regular visitors to one of Europe’s leading technology hubs.”
The airline, which aims to double passenger numbers to over two million over the next five years, has overseen a 32% rise in Aer Lingus Regional passenger numbers in the 2013. Stobart Air, which operates the service, has over 550 flights per week across 27 routes in Ireland, the UK and France.