Airline of the Month
A monthly look at one airline's history through postcards

The Airline of the Month Archive

July 2010 - Newcastle Airport 75th Anniversary Special

(Thanks to Ian Mac, Glen Auld, Michael Dawes, Andy Hutchings, Alan Proudfoot and Jim and Viv Denyer for additional material)

1) North Eastern Airways - although mainly operating from Cramlington Aerodrome which was then the major airport for Newcastle, it is believed that some services did operate through what was then the 'new' Newcastle Airport at Woolsington. 2) Allied Airways (Gander Dower) Ltd - similarly operated from Cramlington with again it is believed, the occasional service through Woolsington.

3) Silver City - it wasn't until the middle 1950s that scheduled airlines became established at Newcastle. With the closure of Cramlington Aerodrome all services transferred to Newcastle Woolsington. Amongst the first airlines to operate were Silver City and their Northern division.

5) One of the 'great' airlines which helped put Newcastle on the aviation map. Dan-Air started operating in winter 1961 and became a major operator and a very familiar sight at Newcastle until their closure 31 years later.

4) Mercury Airlines - commenced operations in 1963, operating from Newcastle to Manchester and then Birmingham.

6) The second of the major 'players' that helped put Newcastle on the aviation map was BKS. Commencing scheduled services in 1953 to the Isle of Man and Jersey, a partnership had begun. This lasted through name changes and ownership - BKS to British Air Services(1967) to Northeast Airlines(1970) to British Airways (1973).

7) Timetables from Northeast and BAS pre British Airways.

8) Derby Airways to become British Midland were also early scheduled airlines during 1963/4, operating to Derby, Glasgow and Manchester.

9) British United were the first airline to operate scheduled International services on a regular basis. Flights to Amsterdam and Dusseldorf operated daily from the 1960s onwards.

10) Air Anglia and then Air UK operated East Coast services and then the very successful Amsterdam route until this was taken over by KLM.

11) Metropolitan operated link city routes during the 1980s in association with Dan Air. Gill Air was Newcastle's first based schedule airline until their demise in 2001, following a period of uncertainty and a spell in administration.

12) BIA, Eastern and Manx have all helped the airport develop its passenger base over the years.

13) British Airways continue to be the major passenger carrying airline through Newcastle with around 400,000 passengers each year. These timetables depict the early years of operation.

14) Lufthansa, KLM, SAS(Cimber), Wideroe, Air France, Sabena, Aer Lingus, Ryanair,easyJet, GoFly and others too many to mention! have all helped the airport reach the 75th anniversary in good shape. But probably the most important event in the airport's history occurred on 1st September 2007 when the first long haul scheduled service departed Newcastle for Dubai - Emirates was the airline and seen here is a picture from that opening day. In 1938 North-Eastern Airways had 19 departures from the airport in two months. Today the airport regularly sees 19 departures every hour !!

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