Teesside 18.10.23

Teesside Airport is UK’s ‘most recovered’ as passenger numbers take off

A surge in holiday demand has helped award-winning Teesside International Airport enjoy the biggest recovery in passenger numbers of any UK airport.

The airport has seen passenger numbers soar by 96% since 2019. It is by far the biggest increase by a UK airport in a period which the industry suffered the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The official figures show major progress being made in the long-term turnaround plan and come as the airport celebrates being named UK and Irish Airport of the Year.

Civil Aviation Authority data showed 25,369 passengers passed through the airport in July, compared with fewer than 13,000 in 2019.

Teesside was one of just six of 35 UK airports to exceed its pre-pandemic figures and bucked the national trend which has seen a 6% drop in overall air travel.

Separately, the airport also enjoyed its best month since 2010 in September – beating the previous record set only in June – as the total exceeded 27,000.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “These figures show that our turnaround plan is working by delivering the flights and services that people want from their local airport.

“We have worked incredibly hard to recover from the impact of the pandemic and it’s fantastic that we’ve achieved by far the biggest bounce-back of any airport in the country.

“This is only the start. We want more great destinations to make sure we grow these numbers. This growth – alongside our development as a great location for businesses – will help us deliver on our plan to return the airport to profit.”

The rise in passenger numbers has been fuelled by an enhanced package of holiday flights, with thousands of families jetting off to the sun,

This summer has seen the airport enjoy its busiest period since returning to public ownership in 2019 and is on course to record its busiest year since 2011.

Holiday hotspots with airline Ryanair to Alicante, Faro in Portugal, Majorca, and Corfu have proved popular.

TUI has also expanded its offering from Teesside this year, with twice-weekly flights to Majorca thanks to the popularity of the route last year and a service to Antalya, Turkey.

Balkan Holidays is also operating to Bourgas, Bulgaria, and holidaymakers are using KLM’s three-times daily service to Amsterdam Schiphol, serving 200 onward global destinations.

Phil Forster, Teesside International Airport Managing Director, said: “These figures confirm how Teesside is moving firmly in the right direction.

“We are confident that we can now build on this success by adding more flights so passengers will make Teesside their first choice thanks to the fantastic experience of flying from our airport.”

Teesside was named UK and Irish Airport of the Year at the TTG Travel Industry Awards in London after winning recognition for its growth in flights and delivering a great passenger experience.

It is also in the running for the British Travel Awards for Best UK Airport, and is the only national airport going up against global competition in the International Airport Review’s Airport Experience Award.

Major progress has been made in developing the airport as a key location for businesses as part of the ten-year plan to return to profit.

Work is now almost complete on the link road and first unit on the £200million Business Park South on the airport’s southside, which is set to create 4,400 jobs when fully operational while new hangars are also being developed on the northside of the airport.