June 5, 2020 @ 13:51 by Richard Dawson
Teesside International Airport will reopen its doors to passengers from June 22, with a new route to Newquay taking off just days later.
The first flights to leave the airport will be the Eastern Airways’ Monday to Friday daily routes between Teesside and Aberdeen and Belfast.
Flights to London City will begin on July 6, marking the first time Teesside has been connected to the capital by air for more than a decade.
The London service will run daily on Monday and Friday, and twice daily on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Also from July 6 will be direct flights to Newquay with Eastern Airways, with a once-a-day flight on Mondays and Fridays connecting the popular holiday destination to the region.
The airport is in continued discussions with all of its airline partners over the reintroduction of services, with more announcements on the return of flights expected in the coming weeks.
New health and safety measures have been put in place and, during the first phase of the reopening, the terminal will only be open to local people planning to travel and airport staff.
This means there will be no access to the wider public, including those wanting to wave off departing passengers or welcome inbound travellers home.
Taxi drivers will also be required to wait outside the main terminal for passengers.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “I am delighted that Eastern Airways has decided to resume flights from Teesside Airport and even grow its commitment with a new route to Newquay.
“This is yet another vote of confidence in our amazing airport. It goes to show that our 10-year plan for the airport is working and that our airport is key to our economic recovery.
“A successful Teesside Airport will see more investment come to our region and will help to create local jobs that we need and deserve.
“While it’s clear that there is still some way to go, it is equally true that the pandemic’s rate of transmission is slowing down and, following the latest Government guidance including that on safety in the workplace and for public transport, we are able to gradually phase back our flight schedule, starting with domestic services.
“This will not be at any cost, however. We’ve introduced easy to understand but rigorous safety measures for passengers and staff, and we will continue to monitor the situation and will take appropriate action where necessary.”
Teesside’s six steps for staying safe at the airport are as follows:
Step 1: Clean your hands and collect a face mask to protect yourself and others
Step 2: Check in at one of our socially distanced desks. If you don’t have hold luggage, why not check in online?
Step 3: Use contactless payment to pay for your Passenger Facility Fee (PFF) ticket or alternatively book online
Step 4: Minimise what you carry to help us avoid hand searches during security checks to assist with social distancing
Step 5: Sit two metres apart from passengers outside of your party in the departure lounge
Step 6: Board your flight making sure your face mask is on to protect yourself and others