THE budget airline Ryanair is set to make a suprise return to Teesside Airport – with flights for two new holiday destinations now on sale.
Brand new flights from Teesside to Alicante in Spain, and Palma in Majorca have been unveiled for the 2021 holiday season.
According to Ryanair, the first holiday flight is set to depart on Friday, June 1 with flights to both destinations, twice per week, until Friday, October 30.
The airline, which also operates out of Newcastle Airport, had previously operated flights between Teesside and Europe up until 2011.
But welcoming the return of Ryanair and describing it as a “seismic day” for Teesside Airport, the Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said people across Darlington, Teesside and North Yorkshire would benefit from ‘great value flights’ on their doorstep.
Mr Houchen, who said the airport was being “reborn” as more airlines make their return, said: “Today is a seismic day for Teesside Airport.
“The fact that Europe’s biggest low-cost airline, Ryanair, is backing Teesside and announcing they are going to fly from our region again shows, despite all the difficulties the aviation industry is facing, that our airport has a great future and is in safe hands.
Picture: PA /NORTHERN ECHO
“Securing a low-cost airline was always the crucial part in our rescue plan for Teesside Airport, and less than two years after agreeing a deal to buy back our airport, we have made it happen.
‘This a huge vote of confidence in Teesside’
“I want to thank our excellent team who have had a hard year but have got this over the line, making sure Ryanair understands and appreciate the potential Teesside has.
“Every time I have announced new flights from our airport, people have always said to me, ‘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.”
‘2021 is the year the airport is being reborn’
Mr Houchen said that 2021 had been “billed” as the year the airport would be closing, but instead said it is the year it is being “reborn.”
Throughout the year, a number of new routes and airlines have been unveiled for Teesside Airport.
In September, it was confirmed that Balkan Holidays had announced the return of holiday flights for the 2021 summer season.
While earlier this month, it was also revealed that the Scottish-airline Loganair would be making a return after an almost three-year gap.
Mr Houchen added: “Many people told me it couldn’t be done, but this is the biggest proof yet that we did the right thing and Teesside Airport has a great future.
Picture: NORTHERN ECHO
“We’ve got the flights, we’re making improvements to the terminal, we’ve got global businesses choosing to invest and base themselves here, and now we’ve got Ryanair. What a fantastic early birthday present for the airport – and for local people.”
The addition of more holiday flights comes as Teesside Airport is spending £1m in the overhaul of its security area, redevelopment of its arrivals hall and the renovation of its business lounge.