Bad weather and slow recovery in the UK economy have been blamed for a 12% drop in passenger numbers at Durham Tees Valley Airport as the business dropped into the red.
Passenger numbers fell from 192,488 to 168,756 and turnover dropped to £4.82m for the year ended March 2013, down from £5.15m, and an operating loss of £3.62m was also posted, a significant drop from the £6.49m profit lodged at Companies House for the previous 12 months. The airport said the previous year’s profit, however, included compensation received from a former customer for breach of contract and intercompany waiver.
A decline in the domestic market triggered by the introduction of Air Passenger Duty was also mentioned.
The directors’ report accompanying the annual accounts said: “This traffic decline can mostly be attributed to economic uncertainty, slow recovery of the UK economy, exceptionally difficult winter conditions in Northern England which resulted in a number of flight cancellations and a reduced Ryanair route network served from the airport.”
Last month the airport unveiled the first steps in its bid to shore upits future, including moves to axe almost all of its mainstream charter holiday flights from next summer, with the exception of Flybe flights to Jersey.
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 undergo changes, making the operational area smaller.
The airport has previously been unsuccessful in securing investment from the government’s Regional Growth Fund.