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HOLIDAYMAKERS JET OFF ON AIRPORT’S BUSIEST DAY SINCE RETURN TO PUBLIC OWNERSHIP
Hundreds of families have headed off to the sun as Teesside International Airport enjoyed its busiest day since returning to public ownership.
Around 2,000 passengers packed the airport on Saturday to board sold-out flights to destinations including Faro in Portugal, Spain’s Alicante and Palma in Majorca.
The first Saturday of the school holidays – known as the Summer Getaway – is always one of the busiest in the summer vacation calendar, and Teesside is no exception.
Holidaymakers were at the busy airport terminal early as flights to Amsterdam and Corfu were the first to take to the skies.
The airport is now on course to record its highest annual passenger numbers since 2011. It is likely to beat the 173,000 traveller total in 2022 – with numbers currently up by around 20% year-on-year.
Teesside Airport returned to public ownership in 2019 and has expanded its list of destinations – with airport bosses now looking to add further routes. The expansion follows £3million of investment in the terminal building, which has seen the return of Duty Free and the opening of the Bannatyne Airport Spa.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “When we took the airport back into public ownership, we faced a huge task in turning round its fortunes.
“Since then, we have steadily grown and are now on course for our best year yet by delivering the flights and destinations the people of Teesside, Hartlepool and Darlington want.
“We have much more yet to do, however and are working hard to further grow passenger numbers and bring in new businesses in our drive to return the airport to profitability as part of our business plan.”
Teesside – named the UK’s second most punctual airport in 2022 – has now grown to enjoy its largest selection of airlines, schedules and destinations since being brought back into public ownership.
Passengers jetted off to holiday hotspots with airline Ryanair, which runs year-round flights to Alicante, alongside Faro in Portugal, Majorca and Corfu.
TUI – one of the UK’s biggest holiday companies – has also expanded its offering from Teesside this year, with twice-weekly flights to Majorca thanks to the popularity of the route last year. It is also offering a service to Antalya, Turkey, ahead of introducing flights to the country’s popular Dalaman destination in 2024.
Balkan Holidays is also operating its service to Bourgas, Bulgaria, and holidaymakers are going further afield easier than ever with KLM’s three-times daily service to Amsterdam Schiphol, serving 200 onward global destinations.
Work has also recently started on the new Business Park South on the airport’s southside, which is set to create 4,400 jobs when fully operational.
This week also saw the airport’s £ 2.5 million cargo handling facility enjoy its best week for business since it was officially launched just under a year ago.
A total of 12 aircraft movements carrying 23 tonnes of cargo passed through its 21,000sq ft hangar, including automotive parts for two new customers. Antonov An-26 planes were among the aircraft transporting goods to the airport, which can carry up to 5.5 tonnes of cargo.
The airport’s success means it is now competing with giants such as Heathrow and Gatwick to be named Best UK Airport for Leisure in the 2023 competition.
Tees Valley residents are being encouraged to throw their weight behind their airports in the public vote.
Winners are decided purely on the number of votes they receive. Everyone who signs up to vote will also be entered into a prize draw, with many prizes on offer for anyone who votes in the awards.
To vote, go to British Travel Awards 2023 – Teesside International Airport