North East welcomes New York flights
The North East has welcomed news that United Airlines will introduce non-stop flights between Newcastle and New York in May 2015 – the airport's first scheduled nonstop trans-Atlantic service.
Paul Woolston, chairman of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership, said the flights "will open up news markets and new opportunities for business in the USA".
"The market between the North East and North America is strong, but has the potential to grow significantly with direct connections.
"This was a key recommendation of the Adonis review and a major strand of the North East LEP’s strategic economic plan. We’re delighted it’s been realised and it’s fantastic news that United Airlines will be flying out of Newcastle to New York in 2015."
Sarah Stewart, chief executive of destination management and marketing agency NewcastleGateshead Initiative, added that the service has been a "long time ambition" for Newcastle International Airport, and the announcement is "fantastic news".
"Of course this announcement will be welcomed by people in the North East looking to visit the United States but it also provides a unique opportunity to explore inbound tourism opportunities," said Stewart. "The flight is as much about bringing people into NewcastleGateshead and the North East as it is about taking people to New York.
"We only need look at the success of Emirates’ daily flight to Dubai to see that we have the infrastructure and demand to support additional long haul routes. There’s real excitement in the wider business community following today’s announcement as this service will open up trade and investment opportunities for both UK and US businesses."
The flights will be operated by Boeing 757-200 aircraft with a total of 169 seats – 16 flat-bed seats in United Business First and 153 in United Economy, including 45 Economy Plus seats with added legroom and increased personal space.
Flight times will be seven hours, 50 minutes westbound and seven hours, ten minutes eastbound, and will run from 23 May to 7 September 2015, subject to government approval.