Teesside International Airport Terminal will be temporarily closed to the public from 18:00 tomorrow, (March 24) following strengthened Government advice on avoiding all non-essential travel to slow the spread of coronavirus.
Eastern Airways has suspended all flights to and from the airport, with flights to Aberdeen, Southampton and Belfast City that were previously running on a reduced service suspended until further notice. Dublin and Cardiff flights were suspended last week and will also remain paused until further notice.
The twice-daily services to London City, and scheduled flights to Alicante planned for later in the year, remain unchanged at present although these will be reviewed in line with Government advice.
KLM had previously confirmed that it would temporarily reduce its service to one daily return flight until Friday, March 27, however the service was temporarily suspended on Saturday 21 March until April 26.
The Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen, has assured staff again that there will be no redundancies at the airport during the period of reduced operation. He is also writing to all airport partners to outline the extensive Government support packages for businesses and employees unveiled by Chancellor Rishi Sunak MP on Friday, and is urging them not to lay off any of their staff.
Mayor Houchen said: “The coronavirus pandemic is presenting an extraordinary and unprecedented challenge to all aspects of daily life. We must put the health and wellbeing of passengers, staff and the wider public at the forefront of everything we do at this time of national emergency. That is why we have made the decision to temporarily close our doors to the public, jointly with our airline partners, to keep everyone safe.
“The latest Government advice is clear; people should only be travelling if absolutely necessary. Our decision is one which is being mirrored across the entire global aviation industry and I’d once again like to thank all airport staff for their support at this difficult time.
“Coronavirus is not only impacting people’s health, though, it is also hitting people’s livelihoods. That’s why I’ve written to all of the businesses that work with the airport, outlining the extensive support package for businesses to keep them going, and keep their workers paid – including the government’s grant to cover 80 percent of a retained workers’ wage.
“The message from the government and NHS is crystal clear, everyone now needs to stay at home, protect our amazing health workers, and save as many lives as possible. People who don’t follow this advice are putting their life, and the life of others in grave danger.”
Kate Willard of Stobart Group added: “The coronavirus situation is changing daily and we need to recognise and respond to these evolving circumstances for the welfare of all of our employees, partners and passengers. Teesside International Airport staff are working as hard as ever under these really difficult circumstances and my thanks goes out to them.”
Passengers travelling beyond 18:00 on 24 March 2020 until Teesside International Airport reopens are advised to contact their relevant airline.
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