Holiday flights to three popular destinations are to be scrapped at Durham Tees Valley Airport from next year as part of an extensive review of the business.
The airport said it is moving away from mainstream holiday charter programmes from summer 2014, with the exception of Flybe flights to Jersey, a move which affects tour operators Thomson/First Choice and Balkan Holidays.
The announcement comes a day after Thomson Holidays claimed it had been forced by airport leaders into pulling the plug on two major holiday flights next year, to Ibiza and Majorca.
Managing director Steve Gill, however, defended the move, saying it formed part of the business’s “first steps toward repositioning itself for the future” which would see it concentrate on business and general aviation.
Scheduled daily passenger flights to Schiphol, Amsterdam, operated by KLM and flights to Aberdeen operated by Eastern Airways are not affected and will continue as normal. The airport said the transition will see the terminal will undergo changes, making the operational area smaller. Investment will also be made in the new layout to make it more suited to customers on scheduled flights.
New retail offerings and business services will also be introduced.
Gill said: “We have taken these steps following a difficult period for the airport and a thorough review of the whole site and our current operations, in order to give the airport a strong foundation to help safeguard the future of aviation activity.”
A blueprint for the airport’s future will soon be unveiled which it will point the way to the airport building on its strengths—including its large landholding and the existing base of aviation-related businesses already established on site. The airport has previously announced it has acquired an important site as part of its future development plans.