A bumper schedule of summer flights has returned to Teesside Airport after almost a decade, with passengers travelling from across the North of England coming in their droves to take advantage of the first flights to Majorca and Faro in Portugal.
This is the first time in nine years that Teesside Airport is boasting a comprehensive slate of seasonal flights, something that’s been long cried out for, as it expects to welcome hundreds of thousands of supportive passengers through its doors once again.
Ryanair’s service to the Mediterranean beach hotspot of Palma, Majorca, departed yesterday at 9.50am and was followed at 12.30pm this afternoon by the service to the airline’s second destination, Faro, in the heart of the Algarve region.
The boost in passenger numbers signals a positive outlook for Teesside Airport, coming as the Airport Operators Association reported that UK airports lost £10billion in revenue since the first lockdown in March 2020. They saw a drop of 12.7% in passenger numbers in 2021, to 64.3million, the lowest figures since 1983.
At Teesside, holidaymakers can now take advantage of the cheapest airport parking in the north, speedy check-in and security and the ultimate convenience of flights being from their local airport with many flying out this week saying that Teesside Airport is smoother and more hassle-free than ever before.
One passenger to take advantage of the improved facilities in the transformed terminal building – the new Bannatyne Spa – was June Jackson from Saltburn. She said: “There’s no hassle, from coming through the car park, right through to now having our nails done!”
People from outside the region are also seeing the benefits of travelling from Teesside, with Stephen Green from Barnard Castle adding: “Thumbs up, Teesside Airport! Fall out of bed and two hours later you’re in Portugal. Can’t beat it!”
A raft of other routes is also set to run from Teesside in the coming weeks. The twice-weekly flights to Majorca and Faro will run until the autumn alongside Ryanair’s year-round service to Alicante, and will soon be joined by flights to the Greek island of Corfu, taking off weekly from 3 June. Balkan Holidays is also introducing its Bulgaria route at the start of June and TUI, the UK’s number one holiday firm, will launch its flights to Majorca on 10 May.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “This is a huge turning point for the airport, as we’re now fully introducing the destinations people from across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool have been crying out for for years.
“We’ve had a fantastic response to the flights, with high passenger numbers proving people have been desperate to get away after the difficult past two years. This is a critical time for the aviation industry with new figures making for difficult reading, but I’ve no doubt we’ll soon see real change. Bookings are looking very strong right across the season and will only get better as schools break up for Easter and summer holidays.
“It’s also been great to hear the response to our new-look terminal and all of its new facilities, like the Bannatyne spa and new World Duty Free store. It has proved all of our hard work and investment has paid off, with even more options for people wanting to unwind before they board the plane.
“Of course, we’ve still got more to come as the Sky Bar and new viewing platform is set to launch in a few short weeks so people who are flying – and people who just want to pay the airport a visit – can get a front-row seat as an increasing number of planes arrive and depart.
“We’re on course for the biggest and best summer Teesside Airport has seen in a long time so if people from across the region – as well as the wider North – want a quick, easy and convenient start to their getaway, they should book now.”