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During another sunny July in 2019, the Durham Tees Valley sign that adorned the front of a forgotten airport, was replaced with its former name Teesside International Airport and the journey to return it to its former airport glory begun.
Despite a challenging 18 months which followed with the global pandemic, we didn’t slam the brakes on, but rather delivered on our promise to make the airport fly again.
It’s not only the name that’s changed since 25 July 2019, there has been lots of improvements to the airport since.
Here’s just 10 things that have changed since the Teesside International Airport name change.
June 2020 saw us sign a new deal with airline partner KLM Royal Dutch Airlines – securing flights to Amsterdam for at least the next five years.
The flights to the Dutch capital, popular with both business and leisure travellers connect the people of Tees Valley with more than 100 destinations worldwide. KLM flights returned from Teesside at the end of June 2021.
The UK’s biggest holiday company came on board in October 2020 as the airport secured a new summer service with TUI.
TUI, which previously operated at the airport as Thomson Holidays, is set to return to the airport to offer weekly flights to Palma, Majorca, from summer 2022 with tickets on sale now.
The news that everyone had been hoping for came in November 2020 when the airport struck a deal with Europe’s biggest low-cost airline, Ryanair, and with it came flights to holiday destinations Alicante and Palma de Mallorca, closely followed by Corfu and Faro. The routes are operating now and continue throughout the summer, with Alicante running into winter 2021/22.
With the Staycation trend showing no signs of stopping, we secured a range of domestic routes with Loganair allowing passengers to explore holidays at home.
Passengers can choose from domestic destinations Newquay, Bristol, Belfast, Jersey, Aberdeen and London.
2021 started with the launch of a new route to London Heathrow with Loganair. Making flights to the Capital as easy as 1,2,3 with three flights daily and partnerships with some of the world’s biggest airlines, meaning a single ticket from Teesside can take you worldwide.
It was out with the old and in with the new as the whole terminal got an overhaul. Reopening hidden away areas to create a fresh, open and modern terminal which was ready to welcome passengers with the launch of the first Ryanair flights in June this year.
The check-in area was remodelled, complete with new baggage processing equipment to get passengers all booked in even quicker. The addition of a new cutting-edge security scanner, a complete make-over for departures with a brand-new bar, an improved retail offer and two new executive lounges.
If it’s retail therapy you’re after, then you can now check out the News } Essentials shop which has replaced the WH Smith offer and has everything you need before jetting off, or you can pick up some fashionable gifts and items from Darlington-based independent retailers House of Zana and Rejoy boutique. The World Duty Free store is also landing soon, and will include all of your usual duty-free favourites.
In February 2021 we launched a competition to name the new bar. The Goosepool was suggested by hundreds of entrants and picked as the winning name by a public vote.
The Goosepool is the stylish new addition to departures which sits alongside the refurbished Transporter Bar & Kitchen. Whether it’s a glass of pop, a pint or a parmo, you’ll find something for everyone while relaxing in comfort in one of the new bars.
Two new lounges have been created in departures to enhance the passenger experience – the Rockliffe Hall Lounge and The Middleton Lounge.
Adding a little bit of luxury to your journey is the new Rockliffe Hall Lounge. The lounge which is due to open soon will see passengers enjoy a slice of the five-star treatment from the luxury hotel located near to Darlington with table service, a menu created by Rockliffe and views of the runway.
The relaxed, family-friendly Middleton Lounge is open now and offers free Wi-Fi, charging stations, TVs and comfy seating.
2021 hasn’t just been about looking forward for the airport as we looked back to celebrate 80 years. The airport was born in January 1941, when the airfield for the World War Two bomber base, then named RAF Middleton St George, was opened.
We have been celebrating throughout the year by sharing “Then and Now” photographs, asking people to share memories and displaying key items of memorabilia. Aviation historian Geoff Hill kindly donated a number of artefacts from a special commemorative display dedicated to Andrew Mynarski, the only Canadian air gunner to receive a Victoria Cross to a brass casting of a Bristol Blenheim aircraft.
Happy two years as Teesside to us!
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