Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen today (21 February) welcomed around 70 business representatives from across the region to highlight the opportunities of new air links to the capital from Teesside International Airport.
At the event, organised by Tees Valley Business Club in partnership with Teesside International Airport and London City Airport, companies of all types and sizes heard how the flights could benefit their businesses and help them to grow.
Firms and organisations including the Department for International Trade, British Business Bank, LV Shipping and Teesside University attended the lunch at Rockliffe Hall in Darlington. There, they also had the chance to put questions to the Mayor and London City Airport’s Director of Corporate Affairs, Liam McKay, and Head of Sales Anne Doyere about the route.
The first flights to the capital in 11 years will take off from Teesside International on April 27. The twice-daily service is one of six new routes operated by Eastern Airways, which will launch daily flights to Dublin, Belfast City, Cardiff, Southampton and a seasonal route to the Isle of Man over the coming months.
Mayor Houchen said: “I’ve always said that investment into our area won’t step off a bus, it will come through our airport terminal. This event gave some of our great businesses – the job creators, innovators and entrepreneurs that are the lifeblood of our economy – a real idea of how these flights can help their company.
“Business isn’t a one-way street and, thanks to our ever-closer ties with the capital by air, we can forge new partnerships and take our expertise to London. This route is fantastic for local people wanting a city break, but it’s just as important that now it’s back in public ownership, our airport serves the needs of our companies, which this event has highlighted.”
Liam McKay said: “Teesside will be our 9th UK regional route. It demonstrates our commitment to levelling up the UK economy and the benefits of fast, reliable, cost effective connections to London at times people want to fly.
“We look forward to getting to know the Teesside business community and to help forge strong links which will help the route thrive.”
Jane Reynolds MBE, Chair of Tees Valley Business Club, said: “There is positive change happening in the region and our members are seeing the effects of the new opportunities driven by Tees Valley Combined Authority. The introduction of the additional flights from Teesside International Airport to London City Airport adds to the already growing landscape and will attract investment to the region whilst supporting local businesses.”