Alicante is "alreet" by US - Video

NEWCASTLE celebrities and residents are joining forces with easyJet to launch a campaign to twin the city with Alicante, Spain.

Big Brother 6 winner Anthony Hutton, former Newcastle United captain Les Ferdinand and winner of the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing, Jill Halfpenny are among a host of the city's celebrity supporters who are backing the move with easyJet.

EasyJet's UK commercial manager Carly Brear, said: "Last year more passengers flew with easyJet from Newcastle to Alicante than any other Spanish destination making it a real home from home for many local residents and a hot favourite to partner with the city.

"Despite the country's popularity with local residents, Newcastle is yet to twin with a Spanish town.

"We think Alicante would be a fantastic choice as, like Newcastle, it has recreated itself over recent years to become a busy, cosmopolitan city with an exciting and multi faceted cultural scene – not to mention attracting thousands of tourists each year.

"The partnership would aim to further promote tourism links between the two destinations, encourage cultural diversity between both communities as well as fostering trade partnerships and inward investment.

"More so it's a great opportunity to bolster the Newcastle economy."

In 2008 easyJet, the UK's largest airline, flew 465,000 passengers from Newcastle to Spain with many choosing Alicante as their preferred destination.

In response the airline is launching its new A319 airbus on routes from Newcastle to particularly high demand hotspots such as Alicante and Malaga. The new plane will replace the Boeing 737 and, whilst initially only two will be servicing routes from Newcastle, the entire fleet of six aircraft will be replaced in due course.