Ryanair celebrates 60 million passengers and 20 years of operations at Newcastle

A Ryanair Boeing 737 with new Scimitar winglets.
Photo Credit: Ryanair
By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 5 Min Read
5 Min Read

Ryanair has commemorated a notable milestone as it celebrates 6 million passengers and 20 years of successful operations at Newcastle International Airport.

Having paved the way as the first low-cost airline to establish a presence at Newcastle Airport in 2003, Ryanair has since played a pivotal role in shaping the region’s air travel landscape.

The major low-cost airline has contributed to the growth of the airport and the local economy.

Two decades at Newcastle

Over the past two decades, Ryanair’s dedication to Newcastle Airport has been evident through its continuous investment and expansion. It all began in 2003 when the airline launched its inaugural flight from Dublin to Newcastle.

The same year witnessed the establishment of Ryanair’s base at the airport, marked by the deployment of two aircraft to facilitate the growing demand for their services.

Since then, Ryanair’s presence has grown substantially, with over 1.1 million passengers annually traveling to and from Newcastle Airport on their fleet of two based aircraft.

As the summer of 2023 approaches, Ryanair unveils an extensive schedule that will cater to the needs of travelers from Newcastle Airport.


With two based aircraft representing a substantial investment of $200 million, the airline is set to operate 130+ flights per week, connecting the region to a total of 20 routes.

Among these routes, two exciting additions are Barcelona and Shannon, which will offer passengers even more opportunities to explore remarkable destinations.

This ambitious summer schedule demonstrates a 7% growth compared to the previous year, reflecting Ryanair’s commitment to meeting the evolving travel demands of the region.

A contributor to the local economy

Ryanair’s commitment to Newcastle Airport extends beyond providing exceptional flight services. The airline takes pride in being a key contributor to the local economy, supporting over 800 jobs, including 60 direct positions.

The significant number of jobs created is a testament to Ryanair’s dedication to fostering regional development and growth.

By establishing itself as a vital economic player, Ryanair has enhanced connectivity between Newcastle and various European destinations, attracting millions of tourists to the region.

Newcastle summer schedule

This summer, Newcastle Airport is poised to experience its most extensive Ryanair schedule to date. With over 130 weekly flights covering 20 routes, passengers can choose from an array of destinations, including popular sunshine getaways like Barcelona, Palma, and Zadar.

Whether customers are seeking a relaxing beach holiday or a vibrant city break, Ryanair ensures unbeatable choice and affordability, allowing travellers to create memorable summer getaways.

Moreover, the influx of tourists facilitated by Ryanair’s expanded schedule will contribute to the growth of inbound tourism, boosting the local economy and promoting the region as a desirable travel destination.

Jade Kirwan, Ryanair’s Head of Communications, expressed delight at the milestone achievement and the remarkable summer schedule for 2023.

She emphasized the extensive selection of sunny hotspots and vibrant European city break destinations, highlighting Barcelona, Milan, Chania, Gdansk, Riga, Shannon, Wroclaw, and Zadar as exclusive routes to and from Newcastle Airport.

Kirwan also underlined Ryanair’s dedication to supporting local job creation, promoting regional development, and enhancing connectivity with Europe.

Leon McQuaid, Director of Aviation Development at Newcastle International Airport, joined in the celebration, expressing his delight at the longstanding partnership with Ryanair. He commended the airline for its continuous investment and commitment to the region, resulting in the creation of over 800 jobs.

McQuaid also highlighted the unparalleled travel options available to passengers, with over 130 weekly flights serving 20 European destinations, including sought-after locations like Ibiza, Zadar, and Milan.


As Ryanair commemorates its incredible achievements of 6 million passengers and 20 years of successful operations at Newcastle International Airport, the airline’s contributions to the region’s growth and connectivity cannot be overstated.

With its exceptional summer schedule and commitment to delivering affordable travel options, Ryanair continues to solidify its position as a leading airline, enriching the travel experiences of passengers and leaving an indelible mark on the North East of England.

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