HOLIDAYMAKERS will be able to jet off for a break in the world’s third newest country after launched package trips from Newcastle.

The airline, which only started services to and from the regional airport in 2005, already boasted 27 destinations, but the former Yugoslav nation of Montenegro makes it 28.

Graeme Mason, planning and corporate affairs director at Newcastle International, said he hoped sunseekers would take advantage of the new twice-weekly summer service, which will make use of the recently introduced Dubrovnik route.

“Montenegro is a very exciting additional to the fast growing portfolio of destinations spanning across the globe with from Newcastle Airport,” he said.

“And we hope the North East flying public take the opportunity to experience yet another new holiday hot spot.”

Montenegro gained independence from Serbia in 2006 and provided the setting for the first James Bond film starring Daniel Craig, Casino Royale. Apart from the opportunities for gambling, which do exist for those who feel lucky, the country also offers a stunning Adriatic coastline, with turquoise-watered bays, imposing mountain ranges and old towns such as Kotor and Budva.

Steve Heapy, managing director of Jet2holidays, said he hoped as families began planning their holidays for 2013, they would consider Montenegro as well as Pula in Croatia, which is another recently announced destination from Newcastle.

“With average temperatures reaching over 30c in the summer months, Montenegro provides an ideal summer holiday hotspot,” he said.

“It’s an exciting place to visit, and offers a unique and special experience for those seeking something a bit different.”

But before thoughts turn to next year’s holidays, bosses at Tyne and Wear Metro are looking to help the thousands of families and football fans set to arrive in the region this weekend.

A fortnight ago more than 50,000 people passed through the airport’s doors, with many due to return in coming days.

With spectators arriving for the Olympic football quarter final at St James’ Park, it could mean Friday is particularly busy so the public transport operator is laying on airline-style stewards and stewardesses to help passengers on their way.

Sharon Kelly, customer services director at Tyne and Wear Metro, said: “The service to and from the airport is fast, frequent and a hassle-free way of getting your holiday off to a great start, and getting home again afterwards.

“We hope the people of the North East make the most of it.”

Meanwhile, last night a video allegedly showing an RAF aircraft making an emergency landing at Newcastle Airport on Monday appeared on YouTube along with the claim that the Raytheon Sentinel was forced to land after a lightning strike.

A spokesman for Newcastle Airport said a military aircraft landing at the airport was not an unusual occurrence as they train in the area, adding that the plane had landed as a precaution.