New figures have revealed passenger numbers have hit their highest level since 2011 at Teesside International Airport.
No fewer than 173,006 people used the terminal in 2022 – up more than 200% on the previous covid-hit year.
The big boost comes on the back of Ryanair confirming its summer programme for 2023 as its seven-year commitment to Teesside continues.
Twice weekly Ryanair flights to Alicante, Faro and Palma start this Spring with a weekly trip to Corfu starting up in June.
Meanwhile, TUI has doubled the number of Teesside flights to Palma this summer – and two flights a week to Majorca are also on sale now for 2024.
Increased passenger numbers come after a £3million terminal transformation at the airport – bringing smoother security and new bars and shops.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “This is yet more great news for our airport that shows that our plan is working.
“When we took over the airport, we had next to no flights and things looked very bleak – but our efforts are now reaping rewards.
“Four years on, even with a global pandemic, we’ve got holiday flights to these great destinations and a low-cost-carrier at our airport. This is what people wanted and that is what we are delivering.
“While we are making huge progress with our business park and cargo facility, I will never lose sight of what people from Teesside, Darlington, and Hartlepool want from their airport.
“This is fantastic news – but I’ll be straight back to work to make sure we have plenty more holiday flights to announce in future.”
A refreshed business plan has forecast the airport will hit profit during the 2024/25 financial year. The revised vision also shows how the airport has exceeded its route development targets set out in the original 10-year turnaround plan.
The airport’s freight centre and cargo handling facility is now handling flights after recently celebrating securing a vital licence to handle flowers and food.
And progress on the Southside Business Park is also continuing at pace with the potential for the site to bring 4,400 jobs to the region.