First holiday flights in five years set off from Durham Tees Valley Airport as mayor hails 'incredible' response

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen with passengers at Durham Tees Valley Airport departing to Bulgaria
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen with passengers at Durham Tees Valley Airport departing to Bulgaria

The first holiday flights to leave Durham Tees Valley Airport in five years have set off, loaded with tourists looking forward to fun in the sun.

Balkan Holidays, a leading specialist for beach breaks to Bulgaria, has introduced a full programme of summer holiday charter flights to the Eastern European nation.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen with The Balkan Holidays flight crew

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen with The Balkan Holidays flight crew

The company is this year operating a weekly service to Bourgas, taking in popular beach resorts such as Sunny Beach, Nessebar and Golden Sands.

The first flight, scheduled for 8.40am, proved to be very popular, with almost all seats being booked up.

Louise Newton, head of marketing and PR at Balkan Holidays, said: “We are delighted to see just how popular our flights from Durham Tees Valley Airport to Bulgaria are.

"This is a great start to our exciting relationship with the airport and Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, and we hope all of our customers have a fantastic time and make the most of the half-term holidays.”

The travel firm confirmed last week that it will now run a second summer of holidays flying from Durham Tees Valley in 2020, priced from £230pp for self-catering in June, and from £300pp all-inclusive.

Bulgaria was named ‘the world’s best value holiday destination’, as voted for in a 2019 Post Office Survey.

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said: “Balkan Holidays has shown confidence in our airport by bringing the first holiday flights for five years, and the response has been incredible.

"I’m delighted so many people have supported these breaks, allowing Balkan to start selling for 2020 already.

“This first flight isn’t just take-off for the passengers onboard, it’s also take-off for our 10-year rescue plan to deliver holiday flights from our international airport.”