Durham Tees Valley Airport in northeast England is to be run by Stobart Group after the previous majority owners sold its shareholding to the local authority.
Durham Tees Valley Airport has been acquired by the local authority and will be run by Stobart Group. (Dtvairport)
Earlier this year a proposal developed by Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, recommending that that Tees Valley Combined Authority should acquire the airport from Peel Airports Group, was approved by the local authority. The deal resulted in Peel's 89% stake in the airport - along with 819 acres of land around the perimeter - being sold and returned to public ownership. In a parallel move, Stobart Group has been appointed to take over oversight and strategic development of the facility. The firm, which already runs London Southend and Carlisle Lake District Airport, will be charged with implementing a 10-year rescue plan, as well as increasing throughput ten fold from 140,080 in 2018 to 1.4m passengers per annum. It will also be targeted with attracting a low-cost carrier within the next three years, and driving the creation of 7,600 jobs.
Houchen said: "We have been in discussions with Stobart for quite some time and have worked together on our 10-year rescue plan that will help us see the airport become the success we know it can be. Stobart will hold a minority share in our airport with a clear and overwhelming incentive to turn it around. They have the experience, credibility and relationships with airlines to make Teesside fly again and they’re the right partner for Teesside."
He continued: "This airport has been run into the ground and was just months away from closure, but we will bring it back from the brink and turn it around. This isn’t a quick fix and it will take time - but we’re ready for the challenge ahead."
Glyn Jones, CEO of Stobart Aviation added: "We understand and recognise the important role that Durham Tees Valley Airport plays in the economic development of the area and are proud to be part of the ambitious scheme put forward by the Tees Valley Mayor. Stobart Aviation has built up 10 years’ valuable experience and expertise from successfully operating London Southend Airport, taking it from under 5,000 passengers in 2009 to 1.5 million in 2018. We look forward to bringing that experience and expertise to Durham Tees Valley Airport."
Durham Tees Valley Airport - previously Teesside Airport - is currently served by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (two / three times daily from Amsterdam) and Eastern Airways to Aberdeen. There are also seasonal Flybe services to Jersey. Traffic peaked at 916,973 passengers in 2006 but declined to 130,911 in 2017. The local authority paid £35m for the airport and £5m for adjacent land on which houses were to be built although the plans for housing have now been dropped. A recent online poll found 93% of voters favour renaming the facility back to Teesside Airport.
Text © The Aviation Oracle