The turnaround of Teesside airport is running ahead of schedule, with a profit expected within the next three years – 24 months earlier than originally forecast.
The latest airport business plan, due to be presented to the Tees Valley mayor and Combined Authority Cabinet this week, shows that the airport is on track to meet and surpass its pre-pandemic targets with revenues hitting £30.5 million by 2025 despite difficulties due to Covid-19.
The upturn has been helped by securing Ryanair flights earlier than expected, as well as growing a network of 15 domestic and international flights since its acquisition, with the original plan only accounting for 10 in this period.
Loganair has increased its commitment to Teesside and Tui has added a second summer 2022 destination to Antalya before its first, to Majorca, has even taken off.
The report confirms that the airport lost £13.8 million in the previous financial year. However this was in line with other airports and shows the devastating effects of the coronvairus pandemic that saw UK airports collectively lose around £4 billion to the end of 2020.
A £10 million investment from the mayor and Combined Authority over the next two years means that no further funding is needed to secure its future, according to the airport.
Increasing revenue from the airport’s property and land will be key to turning the airport around.
Work on a business park will ramp up next month with construction beginning on a new road into the south side of the airport. The airport is also looking to increase handling cargo, with a new freight facility expected to be opened later this year.
Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen (pictured) said: “Despite the huge difficulties the travel industry has faced with the pandemic, Teesside airport is coming out of the past 18 months stronger than ever, with a raft of new routes under its belt and firm commitments from its airline partners.
“As well as securing popular destinations that people across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool were crying out for, we’re also making headway on our business park, and the airport’s Freeport designation means we’re perfectly positioned to welcome new investment and firms looking to place themselves at the heart of our area.
“We’re confident of welcoming more than 400,000 passengers through our new terminal next year thanks to all of the new flights we’ve secured, and our investment in the terminal, creating an airport people will want to use time and time again.
“Our airport is so much more than just flights to Alicante, behind the new routes are new jobs supporting families and the local community. This summer we’ve created 40 new jobs and this will continue to grow further as our airport does.
“Of course, we shouldn’t rest on our laurels, and that’s why we’re working harder than ever to secure even more new routes, airlines and operators.
“If the airport hadn’t been brought back into public control, it would have been a housing estate by now. Instead, we’re turning it around, supporting the local economy and jobs, and becoming an airport that people can be truly proud of.”