We were disappointed to hear that the newly elected Tees Valley Mayor intended to block plans to fund the development of new routes from Durham Tees Valley Airport. With the announcement yesterday that Loganair would be pulling out of their route to Aberdeen, this is a critical thing and could determine any future airline growth at the airport.
Thankfully we still have a route to Aberdeen with Eastern Airways.
Here’s the statement.
Durham Tees Valley Airport (DTVA) has today (February 15) issued the following statement on proposals made to the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA):
These proposals are part of delivering our promises made as part of the Flying for The Future campaign launched in November 17 reaffirming our commitment to the Airport and securing passenger growth.
We are disappointed that the Mayor is intending to block these proposals as we believe we have a shared ambition to bring growth in passenger services to DTVA. The proposals are made against funds already earmarked to DTVA development by TVCA and are to help strengthen the commercial offer to bring new leisure and business routes to the Airport, delivering economic benefit and important connectivity to the region. They are made in the best interests of Tees Valley and its Airport.
The practice of working collectively with stakeholders such as TVCA is common place across the UK given the wider economic benefits an Airport delivers. This has been seen recently with a £4.95m investment from the Cumbria Local Enterprise Partnership made to develop Carlisle Airport to support passenger flights.
Should our proposals be supported there would, of course, be complete transparency of the investment of funding, with the benefit passed to airlines in entirety and evidenced in expanded terminal facilities.
It is important also to emphasise that any funding received from the TVCA would be matched by at least as much again by the Airport on top of our existing commitment to support airlines.
With regard to the Mayor’s pledge to bring the Airport into full public ownership, as we stated at the launch of Flying for the Future, we have no plans to sell our stake in the Airport and nine months since the Mayor’s election, DTVA has still not received any form of proposal from the Mayor nor have we discussed any initiatives he can enable that might help the Airport grow. With this all hanging over the Airport, opportunities are being missed and damaging confidence in the Airport.
A case in point is Loganair who have informed us just this week that, despite their route to Aberdeen launched in October performing well, they are unable to make the commercial case to lease the required aircraft to continue the route and as such will be withdrawing it from sale.
We are naturally very disappointed that Loganair are withdrawing their Aberdeen service, with the passenger numbers performing well and competition had proved a growing market. However, sustaining a new route in the early years is challenging.
We would therefore urge that any available funding allocated by TVCA to the Airport should be used to support passenger growth and attracting businesses to the site.
Loganair commercial director Kay Ryan said “It’s with deep regret that we have taken the decision to cease our operation on the Durham Tees Valley to Aberdeen route due to broader considerations within our network
“The management team at DTVA have been incredibly supportive and have done all possible to make the service viable. We intend to continue our strong relationship with DTVA who have been an excellent Airport partner and welcome the important proposal put forward to TVCA in considering alternative routes in the future.”
The Airport further added, “Aberdeen, a key route to the region, will remain being served by Eastern Airways, ensuring the needs of the business community are served by DTVA in line with our promises made in the Flying for the Future campaign.
“DTVA is a critical asset to the region providing vitally important connectivity; by working collectively we can achieve our shared ambitions to see growth and its development. The dynamics facing Airports to attract and sustain new routes in early years are ever complex and require support to give greater certainty they will be given the time to succeed”