AIRPORT bosses are welcoming a third attempt to run flights between Newcastle Airport and Copenhagen in Denmark to bring new business and tourism opportunities to the region.
The route operated by Scandinavian Airlines will operate once a day between Monday and Friday and start on February 4.
This is the third time an airline has attempted to run a direct flight between Copenhagen and Newcastle after easyJet withdrew its service in 2004 and Cimber Sterling in 2011.
However regular fliers to Denmark fear ticket prices will still make it more cost effective for families to travel on a budget airline from another regional airport.
Chris Sanders, aviation development director for Newcastle International Airport, said: “We expect the flights to be popular with the Danish community in the North East and for people visiting friends and family in Denmark.
“The link will help support the region’s thriving oil and gas and renewable energy sectors, information technology, general manufacturing and business support services.”
He added: “The route timings allow business travellers to get a full day’s work done in the office before flying which is great news.”
Travellers will also be able to make connections to Stockholm in Sweden, the Norwegian capital Oslo, Warsaw and Poznan in Poland, Palanga in Lithuania and Billund in Denmark.
NECC chief executive, James Ramsbotham, said: “A flight to Copenhagen will help our businesses open up another potentially lucrative market and will be particularly welcomed by our oil and gas engineering firms looking to strengthen links with Scandinavia.
“Copenhagen’s rich cultural offer will no doubt also attract tourists. Likewise the North East’s burgeoning reputation as a tourist destination will bring people to the region providing a boost to our visitor economy.”
Ticket prices start at £96 per journey including taxes and charges however some dates in February have seen prices soar to £200 for a single journey.
A spokeswoman for the airline said prices depend on availability and how early people book tickets.
A dad-of-two living in Whitley Bay who travels regularly to Copenhagen to see his mum and sister flies from Manchester with easyJet to save money.
He said: “We go around four times a year to see my family who live there and it costs us around £330 to fly from Manchester for all of us, including parking.
“From Newcastle we’re looking at prices of around £1,000 for a family then tourists would have to combine that with the cost of eating out in Denmark if you don’t have someone to stay with.”
“I used to travel on the direct flights when they ran a few years ago but it was never a busy flight, sometimes there would just be four of five people on the plane.”
However Hans Dyhrfort, SAS’ regional general manager for Western Europe is confident the flight will appeal to the three million – both tourists and businessmen and women – living within easy access to Newcastle Airport.