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Manx2 to rescue Newcastle air link

6th August 2009 - 10:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team


Following the news that air services between the Isle of Man and Newcastle will cease later this month, Manx2 has stepped in to ensure that this key island air link will continue.

This week, Eastern Airways announced that they would be withdrawing from the route at the end of August. Manx2 is starting a limited service to Newcastle on Thursday 27 August.

“The knock-on effect of losing a route can be severe on Manx businesses, tourism and leisure travel,” said Manx2 Chairman Noel Hayes. “As a Manx company we always try to do what’s right for the Island as well as for our own business. We are stepping in to keep the Newcastle route alive although, at present, we can only commit to running services until after the new year holiday period. However, we will use the next few weeks to actively consult with all stakeholders including customers on the route and we’ll be working to put together a plan for the long term sustainable development of this route.

“While we warmly welcome Newcastle passengers on our flights from Leeds or Blackpool, we know that those airports are two and three hours away from Newcastle and, in reality, many passengers will simply not travel to the Isle of Man, which is not good for tourism, for the economy or for many families with ties to the area.”

The flights will take just under an hour, costing from £39.95 (including all charges) one way, and will depart from Ronaldsway at 08:00 on Mondays, at 13:30 on Thursdays and Fridays, and at 16:00 on Sunday afternoons. The return flights will leave Newcastle at 09:15, 14:45 and 17:20.

Mr Hayes said: “We have demonstrated on our Blackpool, East Midlands, Leeds and Gloucester routes how Manx2’s formula of friendly and punctual service combined with low fares is what customers wants on the Islands’ smaller routes. We think we can bring equal success to the Newcastle route but we need time to thoroughly review the situation.

"We believe that with the support of the Island and by growing the number of visitors we will be able to make Newcastle a permanent addition to our network and the eighth year-round destination served by”

Dave Laws, chief executive of Newcastle International Airport, said: “We are very pleased that Manx2 have stepped in to keep this vital route open.  Links between the Isle of Man and North East England are essential for many businesses in our region.  It is especially important during a period of recession that we look to retain and enhance the region’s connectivity to destinations such as this, in order to ensure that the North East is in a position to emerge strongly from the current downturn.  We will be working closely with Manx2 to ensure this route is a long-term success.”

In a statement, Eastern Airways said:

"Eastern Airways has confirmed it's pulling out of the Isle of Man.

"The decision follows a review of the airline's operations to and from Ronaldsway, and services will cease from August 24.

"The company says the current tough economic trading conditions have led to a dramatic reduction in demand for business travel on the Birmingham route.

"The frequency reduction implemented last October took that into account, but since then the business market to the city has diminished even further, with no signs of recovery or improvement.

"Eastern Airways will also be withdrawing from the Newcastle route."

The Shephard News Team


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