The airline announced in March 2017 that it would run twice weekly flights between NCL and MAD, news that was welcomed by both Madrileños living in the UK’s Northeast and by Geordies who had moved to Spain’s capital.
But the popular route was among those dropped during 2018 due to cutbacks by the airline, leaving those with strong ties to the two cities facing long, complicated and expensive journeys.
One Madrid resident, Leah Pattem, who hails from Newcastle but has made her home in Lavapies, has taken the matter into her own hands and started a petition calling for the route to be reinstated.
“I'm from Newcastle but live in Madrid, and there are currently no direct flights,” she writes on the change.org petition.
“Newcastle airport currently runs direct flights to 12 cities in Spain but, oddly, not the populous capital city of Madrid,” a fact she hopes will change if enough people shout about it.
She doesn’t just want the route operating for selfish reasons – “I'd love to be able to visit my family more easily but I'd also like to reduce my personal carbon footprint by taking just one flight each way instead of two (or sometimes three).”
Pattem also believes that Newcastle is a destination that deserves to be promoted to the people of Spain.
“I hope that this flight can help Newcastle grow as a tourist destination – it's a beautiful city that deserves more visitors!” she writes.
Hundreds of people have already signed the petition since its launch a week ago.
“I'm from Madrid and I have been living in the North East for 4 years now,” explained Lara Puertas de Mesa.
“When Ryanair made Direct flights available twice a week, It made everything easier for us as expats and nationals,” she pointed out.
“The flights were fully booked and there was high demand until they disappeared. I still don't understand how Newcastle has direct flights to lots of other cities in Spain, excluding the capital Madrid.”
While Patricia Santamaria said: “I'm fed up to have to travel to London or Manchester if I want to go home”
Alison Heywood-Hill thought the route was a no-brainer.
“Madrid as the capital of Spain is an important destination for business and leisure. The North of England is an important destination for business and leisure. Link the two together!” she said.
Pattem hopes that if there is a strong enough show of support for the route another airline, such as Easyjet or Jet2 will start flying between the two cities, if Ryanair fails to reinstate the route.
If you are in favour of the route being reinstated sign the petition HERE