Teesside International is once again flying to the UK’s largest airport as the first plane in more than ten years from Teesside to London Heathrow took to the skies this morning (14 September).
The new service, which will run daily, has renewed the region’s links to one of the world’s best airports which historically serves more than 80million people per year.
Local people in Teesside, the North East and Yorkshire will be better connected to the capital than ever before, allowing them to fly into London for business or to travel on to more than 180 locations in 84 countries across the world.
Teesside Airport and Eastern Airways remain in talks with airlines to make it even easier to continue onward travel via Heathrow, with a number of announcements expected in the coming months.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “In just 18 months we’ve gone from our airport facing the prospect of imminent closure, before I did a deal to save it, to an ever-expanding list of destinations and the first plane departing for Heathrow in over a decade.
“This amazing new route gives holidaymakers from Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool access to more than 180 destinations across the world and will play an important role in my plan for jobs for local workers as we recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Linking Teesside to Heathrow, one of the world’s best airports, will mean our amazing companies are not only able to do business in London but can capitalise on our global aspirations with onward flights to scores of worldwide destinations. We will also be able to welcome more investors from around the world through our terminal, investors who will create the good-quality well paid jobs we all want to see come to Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool.”
Aviation Minister Robert Courts said: “Re-establishing the route between Teesside International and Heathrow is not only a positive sign that the aviation sector is getting back up and running despite coronavirus, but also that levelling up the UK is central to Government’s plans and is powering ahead.
“I’m delighted to welcome this route, providing more connections for local people, and boosting communities and businesses.”
Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: ““Today’s first flight is the start of an exciting new partnership between Teesside International, Eastern Airways and Heathrow Airport, after an absence of over a decade. The Tees Valley region now has the world at their doorstep, and this sort of connectivity will facilitate the economic recovery and future growth for the people and businesses across the region.
“The importance and value of hub connectivity to the UK’s regions is critical to the Government’s levelling up agenda. If regions cannot connect to global trade, productivity and skills they will instead experience higher unemployment, skills shortages and an investment decline.”
Roger Hage, General Manager Commercial & Operations for Eastern Airways, said: “As the UK’s regional airline, we at Eastern Airways are all about connecting people and places, which by providing a rare new domestic service into London Heathrow adds a worldwide array of onward destinations for business and leisure needs, vital for the economic recovery and prosperity of the Teesside region as a whole. It also makes for a quick and comfortable option for all to reach the capital or Teesside and adds to our growing array of services supporting the region.”
The departure comes just a week after the first flight to Southampton took off since the airport’s reopening to passengers following the coronavirus pandemic. Further route announcements are expected over the coming weeks and months.
The recently announced £1million redevelopment of Teesside International’s security area, including newly installed state-of-the-art body and bag scanners will also make travel smoother by removing the requirement to travel through Heathrow’s security processes.
Tickets for the service start at just £54.99, which includes all taxes and fees, and a baggage allowance of 15kg, while the flex fare type offers access to the Lufthansa Senator and Business Lounge at Heathrow among other connections facilities.