North East UK news What Newcastle Airport means to the North East MetiNews.Com

MetiNews.Com - The airport announced earlier this week that it was ending 76 seasonal employees’ contracts early and plans to cut another 34 permanent jobs – after airlines also confirmed major job losses

North East UK news What Newcastle Airport means to the North East MetiNews.Com

MetiNews.Com - The airport announced earlier this week that it was ending 76 seasonal employees’ contracts early and plans to cut another 34 permanent jobs – after airlines also confirmed major job losses

North East UK news  What Newcastle Airport means to the North East MetiNews.Com
02 August 2020 - 06:09

Breaking News ! It welcomes millions of passengers, supports thousands of jobs, connects us to worldwide destinations, and is worth more than £1 billion every year to the region’s economy. And North East leaders have now united in calling for vital aid for the “absolutely crucial” Newcastle International Airport to make sure it can survive the Covid-19 crisis. The airport announced earlier this week that it was ending 76 seasonal employees’ contracts early and plans to cut another 34 permanent jobs – another huge blow after airlines easyJet, Swissport and British Airways also confirmed major job losses in Newcastle. Airport bosses and politicians have been lobbying the government for months to offer business rates relief for regional airports, something which has already happened in Scotland and Northern Ireland, as well as calling for a suspension of Air Passenger Duty for at least six months to help the aviation industry recover. There were no scheduled passenger flights through the airport in May and passenger figures in June were 99% down on 2019 because of the global pandemic. James Ramsbotham, chief executive of North East England Chamber of Commerce said: “Newcastle International Airport is absolutely crucial to the success of the North East economy. It provides our regional businesses with the essential connectivity they need to their domestic and export markets. “The tourism industry is also a major contributor to our region and the airport is a fundamental part of this sector attracting airline investment as well as huge numbers of visitors. “We urge Government to provide support for regional airports to ensure it comes through the current economic challenges in the best possible shape.” Read More Related Articles Developers ‘optimistic’ that gigantic Quayside West plans won't be derailed by Covid-19 impact Read More Related Articles Hopes of massive Metro bailout to avert £500,000-a-week losses once government cash runs out The airport, then known as Woolsington Aerodrome, opened in 1935 and welcomed its first international flight in 1937 when Allied Airways began flying to Stavanger in Norway. It went through a massive expansion as package holidays grew in popularity, jumping from just 5,500 annual passengers in 1955 and to one million in 1980, before major terminal extensions were opened in 1994 by Princess Anne and in 2004 by Ant and Dec. In 2019, more than five million passengers travelled through Newcastle International and the airport supported around 19,000 jobs both on -site and across the region prior to the pandemic. But Newcastle North MP Catherine McKinnell has warned that this week’s sudden quarantine restrictions for travellers returning from Spain, which has resulted in many newly-resumed flights being axed, proved “just how unpredictable international travel now is” and why the airport needs more support. She said: “I have raised concerns repeatedly with Government Ministers, however they do not seem to understand the importance of regional airports like Newcastle to local economies. Inside a new look Newcastle Airport “Newcastle Airport is an important North East transport hub. As well as holiday flights, it underpins many other sections of our local economy from manufacturing, exports and the service sector, to Higher Education and tourism. Across our region it supports 18,900 jobs and it’s absolutely crucial to protect jobs in our region. “I’ve been pushing the Government to act on business rates because these are a huge fixed cost for airports when the business is not operating at its normal level.

.” South Tyneside Council leader Iain Malcolm, who chairs the group of seven local councils that own a 51% share of the airport, added that the transport hub “needs to take steps that will ensure it remains financially strong”. The Unite union has also repeatedly called for protection for the airport and warned that job losses could create a “huge economic hole” around Newcastle that will take decades to recover from. Unite regional officer Brian Cole said: "We are not asking for a giveaway, but for loans that will be repaid when the sector is back on its feet, and we have support for this from across the political spectrum. “Newcastle airport has already been hit by a number of redundancies. Unite is doing everything in its power to support our members who work in or travel in and out of the airport and ensure their best interests are represented. “These job losses underscore the need for the government to provide sector specific support to the aviation industry to allow it to survive the temporary impacts of the crisis and prevent unnecessary job losses.” The airport itself says it “remains strong” and “well-equipped to withstand this challenging period”, but that this week’s job cuts are needed to “ensure the business remains viable”. Sign up for the latest news straight to your inbox We send a range of newsletters each day - sometimes twice a day - on the latest news, up to the minute breaking stories, information on coronavirus and the latest Newcastle United and Sunderland AFC football stories. Just click on this link to our newsletter sign-up form and select which you'd like to receive. A spokesperson added: “There is no doubt that the COVID-19 crisis is significantly affecting the economy and jobs, and that the aviation sector is being particularly badly hit. “Throughout May the Airport saw no scheduled passenger flights. Despite the recent return of some scheduled flights, the outlook for aviation following the COVID-19 crisis remains very uncertain and we do not expect to restore pre-crisis levels of business until 2022 at the earliest. “Redundancy consultations have recently been announced by a number of our business partners. “Although numbers have not been confirmed, it is clear the current crisis will have a considerable impact on employment within our region. “Regrettably, due to the reduction in passenger throughput we have already confirmed the release of our seasonal workforce and are currently in consultation regarding a number of other jobs that have been placed at risk.” The Department for Transport was contacted for a comment.

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North East UK news What Newcastle Airport means to the North East MetiNews.Com


North East UK news What Newcastle Airport means to the North East MetiNews.Com


North East UK news What Newcastle Airport means to the North East MetiNews.Com


North East UK news What Newcastle Airport means to the North East MetiNews.Com

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