Start spreadin’ the news, it’s leaving in May, we want to be a part of it: New York, New York.
Holidaymakers will be able to take a bite out of the Big Apple after United Airlines announced regular flights from Newcastle to New York for summer 2015.
And the region’s businesses will be hoping for a big boost.
“It’s been a dream for me to get this route for many years and, everywhere I go, people have been stopping me and asking, when is the North East going to get a New York service?,” said Newcastle International’s chief executive Dave Laws. “Today, after years of hard work, it is here.”
“This is game changing for the North East, in the way that the Emirates service to Dubai was game changing – and what better way to celebrate the airport’s 80th birthday next year than with this?”
Each flight will offer 108 economy seats, priced from £549, with 45 Economy Plus seats offering 5in more leg room, and 16 “BusinessFirst” seats, which turn into a 6ft flat bed for sleeping, starting at £2,657.
Passengers will also be able make around 100 non-stop connections with United through New York, with the hope it may prove attractive as a stepping stone to US cities such as Houston, as well as destinations in Central and South America and the Caribbean.
The flights will start on Saturday, May 23, 2015 and run daily, except Wednesday and Thursday, to the States, and Tuesday and Wednesday back across the Atlantic, with the outbound flight leaving Newcastle at 9.10am heading for Newark airport, near New York.
The return flight will leave the Big Apple at 7.20pm and arrive seven hours, 10 minutes, later in the North East, in time for breakfast, at 7.30am.
“We now need the region to get behind it,” said Mr Laws, who is also chairman of the North East Chamber of Commerce.
“We need businesses and holidaymakers to use the new service and hopefully we can turn it from a summer service into a year-round service – and I’m confident that will happen.”
Bob Schumacher, United’s managing director for sales in UK and Ireland, who revealed the airline had almost looked to introduce the route in 2007, but that the global financial downturn had made it unviable, said the announcement was a “momentous day” for the North East. “Its the first regular service from the North East across the Atlantic and it’s been a long time coming, so I’m delighted to introduce it,” he said.
“This will be United’s seventh airport in the UK after London, Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Belfast and Edinburgh to offer a New York flight and we feel it fills in a ‘missing link’.
“Passengers from the North East will be able to make 300 connections from New York, 100 of them non-stop, but we also hope it will bring consumers from the US to the region.”
“We’ve every reason to be confident that this new service will be a success.”