A NEW air route linking Newcastle to Dublin will operate twice daily from October 24.
Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Aer Arann, this week launched the service, which will run out of Newcastle International Airport.
It is expected to carry up to 65,000 passengers in its first year.
As well as being aimed at tourists, the route will allow travellers to connect to onward Aer Lingus services to major US and Canadian cities including New York, Chicago, Boston, Orlando and Toronto.
Ireland is the only country in Europe to offer passport and customs pre-clearance to some of the main US destinations.
Completing pre-clearance at Dublin Airport, operated by US Customs and Border, means that on arrival in the US, Newcastle-based passengers are treated the same as domestic passengers, thereby avoiding often lengthy delays at security.