Airport blow as holiday firm suspends flights

Durham Tees Valley Airport.
Durham Tees Valley Airport.

A HOLIDAY firm has suspended its flights from Tees Valley’s airport.

Bosses at Thomson say their plans for services from Durham Tees Valley Airport for the summer of 2014 have been affected by “a business review of operations” carried out by the airport.

But customers who have already booked flights have been reassured that they will be given an alternative.

Thomson Holidays was due to operate services to Ibiza in the Balearic Islands, and to Palma in Majorca next year.

But a spokesman for the holiday operators confirmed: “Following a business review of operations by Durham Tees Valley Airport, Thomson and First Choice have been notified that they will no longer be able to operate their flights from the airport.

“We have therefore suspended flights from Durham Tees Valley Airport for summer 2014.”

The spokesman added: “We would like to reassure those customers who have already booked holidays departing from Durham Tees Valley that they will be offered an alternative choice of airport.”

Thomson officials stressed their customers were their “number one priority” and added: “We apologise for any inconvenience caused by this change that is beyond our control.”

A spokesman for Durham Tees Valley Airport said: “We can confirm that there will be no flights to Palma and Ibiza operated by Thomson Holidays from Durham Tees Valley Airport for the summer 2014 season.

“For alternative flights to these destinations customers are asked to consult the Thomson website.

“Further information on the future business direction of the airport will be announced shortly.”

The airport is expected to reveal a masterplan soon for its development over the next decade and beyond.

Bosses said earlier this month that the key to ensuring the future of the airport is to maximise its potential.

Airport strategic planning director Peter Nears said at the time that the draft plan, which will be published soon, “sets out what we believe is a very positive vision—creating a vibrant and sustainable business”.

Airport chiefs also recently revealed that they had reached a five-year deal with the National Police Air Service (NPAS) for its Eurocopter EC135 aircraft to be housed in a purpose-built hanger there.