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On 11 December 2016, intercity rail operator TransPennine Express (TPE) introduced four new direct trains between Newcastle and Manchester Airport on weekdays, and five at weekends – calling at York, Leeds and Manchester on the way.
The company, which already operates some direct trains between Newcastle and Manchester will be increasing the amount of direct trains by more than 180% bringing the total amount of services to 74 per week, which is an increase of 48 services.
The new trains will boost airport links, making it easier for customers from across the North to access flights to the rest of the world.
The train company will be delivering these additional direct services a whole year earlier than planned which is great news for customers.
Leo Goodwin, Managing Director for TPE said: “We know that many of our customers from the North East choose to fly from Manchester Airport and we hope these new direct services as well as our great value fares will make it even easier for people to travel.
“I’m proud that we have been able to deliver these improvements ahead of schedule and this is just the start of things to come. In 2018, we are planning to introduce an hourly direct service between Newcastle and Manchester Airport. Over the next three and a half years we will be delivering an investment of £500million in 44 brand new trains which will be delivered between 2018 and 2020 while the rest of our trains will be refurbished to like-new standard.”
Nirvana Europe, a North Shields-based sports travel company, specialising in sending athletes to international competitions, as well as welcoming overseas competitors to UK events has agreed it will benefit from the direct links.
Nigel Morris, Operations director for Nirvana Europe said: "As a business born and bred in the North East but with a significant international focus, the value of this service cannot be understated.
"We often have clients flying in from all over the world to compete in events across the UK, so anything that makes it quicker and easier for our team to access Manchester Airport is hugely positive news.
"We also have lots of North East-based customers who want to travel to far flung destinations served by Manchester, so a non-stop rail service will bring significant benefits to them as well."
Figures show there were more than 400,000 people who flew indirectly from the North East to destinations served by Manchester Airport. The new rail services will give them an alternative that may be cheaper and more convenient than having to take a connecting flight.
Tobyn Hughes, Managing Director of Nexus, which oversees public transport delivery in Tyne and Wear, said: “New TransPennine Express services between Newcastle and Manchester will strengthen connections between the great cities of the North – providing more capacity and more flexibility for people travelling for business and leisure from both Manchester and Newcastle Airports.
“We are very pleased to see these new intercity services delivered a year ahead of planned, as we have worked hard with TransPennine Express to make sure the new franchise delivers tangible improvements for passengers in the North East and across the wider Transport for the North area.”
Ken O'Toole, CEO of Manchester Airport, said: "The launch of direct rail services to and from Newcastle is key to ensuring as many people as possible across the North have quick and easy access to Manchester Airport.
"Manchester has 70-plus airlines flying to more than 200 locations around the world, many of which are not available at any other airport outside of London.
"These include the likes of Beijing, Hong Kong and Singapore to the east, as well as a wide range of destinations in North America and the Caribbean, such as New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Las Vegas, Chicago, Houston, Atlanta, Tobago and Barbados.
"Having a direct rail route will significantly boost connectivity to these key global markets for North East businesses, as well as improving access to a host of long haul leisure destinations for those living in that part of the world.
"It also means the millions of overseas visitors who land at Manchester Airport each year will find it easier than ever before to access the rich array of tourist attractions the region has to offer during their time in the UK."
Advance fares start at £18.60 for a one-way journey between the two destinations.
The service will complement the existing hourly service provided by TPE between Newcastle and Liverpool Lime Street.
Full details of all train times and fares can be found on our train timetables page.