Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has today (Thursday 22nd April) revealed that the hated Passenger Facilitation Fee, a tax levied on every passenger flying out of Teesside Airport, will be abolished from 1st June 2021.
The news comes just 48 hours after Ryanair, Europe’s no. 1 airline, announced they are increasing services from Teesside.
From July this year the low-cost airline will fly from Teesside to Corfu, helping people from across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool get great value flights to another top UK holiday destination, without having to travel to Newcastle.
To celebrate the launch of the new route, Ryanair has launched a seat sale with fares available from just £19.99, for travel from July until the end of October 2021. Flights need to be booked by midnight on Friday 23 April on the Ryanair.com
Abolishing the tax on people flying out of their airport was a key part of Mayor Houchen’s 10-year Rescue Plan to transform the fortunes of Teesside Airport.
The £6 tax to fly from the airport was introduced by the airport’s previous owners Peel in 2010.
Within days of the charge being introduced by Peel, Ryanair announced that they would stop flying to Alicante from Teesside, the airlines only remaining route from the airport at the time.
Mayor Houchen said: “When I bought our airport and saved it from closure, I said I would abolish the hated passenger tax as soon as possible. And today I am pleased to be able to deliver on that promise.
“When the tax was introduced back in 2010 everyone hated it, it drove passengers to Newcastle Airport and led to airlines leaving Teesside. Exactly what supporters of our airport said would happen.
“We’re able to bin the passenger tax now because Ryanair has given our airport, and our region, another huge vote of confidence by expanding services from Teesside Airport with the new Corfu flight. This means local people from across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool can now fly to three of the UK’s top holiday destination, from their local airport, with Europe’s no. 1 airline.
“This support from Ryanair is matched by Loganair who have shown a long-term commitment to Teesside with an ever-growing list of domestic destinations, ideal for staycations, weekend city breaks or business travel.
“As with my promise to save our airport from closure - if I promise something, I deliver on it.
“This year we are celebrating our airports 80th anniversary rather than commiserating its closure. Labour sold our airport for just £500,000 and did nothing while Peel ran it into the ground. Labour couldn’t be trusted with our airport then and they cannot be trusted with it now.
“We’ve made huge progress with Teesside Airport in an incredibly short period of time, but there’s a huge amount of work still to do, so let’s not go back to square one. Let’s stick with the plan that’s working.”