BUDGET airline Jet2 is creating nearly 120 jobs at Newcastle International Airport next year after seeing a dramatic increase in business.
The carrier needs the new ground staff, pilots and cabin crew as it moves to fly to five new destinations from Newcastle next summer.
It is also bringing its fifth Boeing 737 to the airport as it starts the services to Alicante, the Algarve, Toulouse, Krakow and Prague. Jet2 will be the airport’s biggest airline when it completes its growth plans which will increase its seat capacity by 50%.
The service, owned by Dart Group, last year had a record year at Newcastle with more than 300,000 passengers using it at Newcastle. It launched six new leisure routes to holiday destinations including Cyprus, Egypt, Turkey and Gran Canaria and currently has 40 flights a week departing from the airport to 20 destinations.
In addition to its new routes, further services are being added to existing summer 2011 schedules to holiday favourites, including Ibiza, Mahon, Malaga, Tunisia, Murcia and Palma.
The expansion comes as rival easyJet is axing services to Murcia and Rome and reducing the frequency of other services as part of a nationwide shake-up of its business.
Philip Meeson, boss of Jet2.com and Dart Group, said: “Easyjet is cutting back its presence at Newcastle Airport significantly in 2011. Jet2.com on the other hand is growing its presence dramatically for next year.
“We see Newcastle Airport as a really key location for us, hence we are introducing another aircraft, to operate additional destinations and increased flight frequency.
“Customer feedback shows there are additional routes and services the people of the North East want, and we have factored those into our plans.”
Dart Group will release its financial results today.