Eastern Airways is starting its first scheduled service from Heathrow with daily flights to Teesside International airport.
The move restores an air link between the London hub and the north-east regional airport after a gap of more than a decade.
The airline will deploy a 76-seat Embraer 170 regional jet on the route from September 14 wit fares starting at £54.99 one-way.
Eastern Airways’ usual complimentary on-board service will initialy be limited to ensure reduced customer contact.
Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said: “We are delighted that Eastern Airways will launch a new connection between Teesside and Heathrow for the first time in over a decade.
“Adding the UK’s hub airport to Teesside’s network demonstrates the growth ambitions of the Tees Valley region, and will provide a vital levelling-up boost – unlocking a huge amount of potential for the region as we build the UK’s economic recovery.
“Heathrow is committed to strengthening our regional connections across the UK with our discount on domestic routes, and we believe this new service will be a springboard for the great businesses in the region to reach out to the world.”
Eastern has already started flying to London City airport from Teesside as part of a growing network from the north-east airport since the Covid-19 lockdown, including link to Aberdeen, Belfast City and Newquay.
Commercial and perations general manager Roger Hage said: “The opportunity for Eastern Airways to connect Teesside to London Heathrow, the UK’s primary hub for worldwide connections, is significant in the region’s economic prosperity and economic recovery.
“Offering an initial daily e-Jet operated service helps add further London capacity and makes reaching the capital or getting to the north-east a little over an hour away, with the array of connections worldwide this opens up.”
Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen said: “Since I did a deal to take back control of our airport last year to save it from closure, we’ve announced some brilliant new daily and seasonal routes.
“But whenever I’ve revealed a new service people have said, ‘that’s great, but what about a connection to Heathrow?’ Well, I can now say we have flights to one of our most-requested destinations, and it starts next month. Whether people from Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool are looking to travel for business or pleasure, they now have a range of options for getting to London.
“This is another massive vote of confidence in our airport.”
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