November 25, 2020 @ 15:39 by Steven Hugill
A regeneration boss has hailed a “seismic day” for a North East airport after confirming the arrival of a low-cost airline.
Teesside International Airport has reached an agreement with Ryanair to run sunshine services from the hub.
The deal will see the budget carrier operate two services a week to Alicante and Palma (Mallorca).
Flights are expected to start on June 1 next year.
Mayor Houchen, who fulfilled a 2017 election pledge when he returned the airport to public ownership, said Ryanair’s arrival was proof the site is in “safe hands”.
He said: “This is a seismic day for the airport.
“Securing a low-cost airline was always the crucial part in our rescue plan, and less than two years after agreeing a deal to buy back our airport, we have made it happen.
“Every time I have announced new flights from our airport, people have always asked, ‘What about a low-cost carrier? What about Ryanair?’
“This is a huge vote of confidence in Teesside, despite us being in the middle of a global pandemic,” added Mayor Houchen, who is pictured with airport worker Faye Parry.
“Our airport has withstood huge challenges before and it is doing so again, coming out the other side even stronger.
“2021 was billed as the year that the airport was closing, but instead it’s the year that it is being reborn.
“Many people told me it couldn’t be done, but this is the biggest proof yet that we did the right thing and Teesside International Airport has a great future.”
Ryanair’s arrival follows significant investment in the airport’s terminal building, which has included a £1 million overhaul of its security area, the redevelopment of the arrivals hall and the renovation of its business lounge.