Thank you to many of you who have contacted me concerned about the proposed closure of the EasyJet hub at Newcastle Airport.
I was saddened to hear of these proposals and shocked by EasyJet's decision to close it's base here in the North East.
Newcastle Airport is very important to our region and significantly benefits the region's tourism revenue. Not to mention the hundreds of jobs it has created for local residents of the North East.
If EasyJet continue with their proposed plan to depart the Newcastle site, there will be significant job losses and a huge loss of local connectivity in the region.
I have written to Mayor Jamie Driscoll and the North of Tyne Combined Authority, to Councillor Peter Jackson, Leader of Northumberland County Council and to The Rt Hon Grant Shapps MP, Secretary of State for Transport, in order to highlight the importance of Newcastle Airport and the EasyJet base there and to ask if there is anything that they can do to assist. The North of Tyne Combined Authority and Northumberland County Council are both local authority owners of Newcastle Airport.
I have also written directly to Johan Lundgren, Chief Executive Officer of EasyJet to ask that he reconsiders the proposed closure and to highlight the devastating effects that this will have on the region.
My hope is that all parties will commit to helping the Airport and to work with others on this serious, time sensitive issue to help the carriers who are struggling during this incredibly difficult time and to ensure our region continues to flourish.
It is concerning that EasyJet has made generous use of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which was designed to allow employees to keep their staff through this crisis and to help companies avoid redundancies.
Please rest assured that I am monitoring the situation very closely and listening to the views of all those here in our constituency and I will continue to do all I can to support EasyJet staff in Tynedale and Ponteland.