The reopening of Teesside International Airport provides a gateway of opportunity for local businesses – and a local car sales showroom has fast become a regular.
There’s a renewed sense of excitement at Teesside International Airport as demand for air travel begins to pick up and customers are tentatively taking to the skies once more.
Though the region’s airport temporarily closed during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, it’s now all systems go once again, with flights to London City, Newquay and Belfast well under way, a keenly anticipated summer service to Alicante beginning next month, and other routes primed for take-off as the airport, and its partner airlines, navigate their way post-pandemic.
With so much to recommend – location, parking and ease of access – it’s no wonder that many local businesses are using their airport.
During a carefully orchestrated phased re-opening, the inaugural London City flight – the first flight linking Teesside with the capital for more than ten years – took off on July 6, quickly followed by the first twice-weekly connection to staycation hotspot Newquay.
Aboard the London-bound Eastern Airways flight was local businessman Ian Eyre, logistics and transport manager at Acklam Car Centre, along with colleague, driver Paul Weall. Ian couldn’t have praised the service more.
“We travel up and down the country a lot picking cars up and then bringing them back to Teesside,” said Ian.
“When the London flights became available it was a no-brainer for us really. Aside from the obvious saving in time and stress levels, the flight actually worked out cheaper than the train.”
Ian and Paul boarded the flight at 7.15am and were in London City at 8.25am.
“The plane actually arrived early,” laughed Ian.
“By 2.30pm that day Paul and I had two cars prepared and on the forecourt in our showroom in Middlesbrough.”
Potential fliers may worry about the increased hygiene and safety measures and how this will impact their enjoyment of air travel, especially on a holiday flight.
But Teesside International has a rigorous six-step plan for staying safe, including hand sanitisers, masks and social distancing in place to protect staff and customers.
Ian was quick to point out that this was an easy, convenient and straightforward process.
“We had to sanitise our hands and wear a face mask as soon as we walked into the airport terminal, but it really wasn’t a problem,” he said.
“Let’s face it, it’s part of life of life at the moment and we’d have had to do the same on a train.
“The precautions really didn’t spoil the experience at all. Boarding was stress-free and the flight was smooth. It was a lovely clear day and the crew were very friendly and helpful.”
Like many, Ian is thrilled that the airport is offering a way of linking our region to the wider country.
“It’s so important to support our local airport,” he reflected. “We will definitely be doing so again and encourage others to do the same.”
Check and book flights online at teessideinternational.com.