Airport numbers down

NEW figures reveal passenger numbers at Durham Tees Valley Airport have fallen – but officials say services currently using the airport are performing well.

Figures from the Civil Aviation Authority show that in August 13,722 passengers used the airport – a fall of 15.1 per cent on the figure from August 2011.

Meanwhile, in the year to August there was a 21.3 per cent fall in passenger numbers to 164,941.

Airport chiefs at Durham Tees Valley said the reduction in overall passenger numbers was mainly down to the collapse last year of the Turkish holiday operator Holidays4U.

They say another factor was the cancellation of the Eastern Airways Southampton service and say the passenger figures do not give a full picture.

Peter Nears, strategic planning director for airport owner Peel Group, said: “In fact the reality is that the services currently operating from the airport have all performed well over recent months.

“For example, one of the most important measures for airlines is what is known as the load factor - in other words the percentage of seats filled.

“In the case of our key service, the KLM link to Amsterdam Schiphol, load factors have shown an increase in following the launch in May of a major joint marketing campaign, highlighting the access to worldwide destinations via Schiphol.”