First TUI flight in nine years takes off from Teesside Airport

Flight captain Salvador Sanchis Felguera with Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen Credit: Teesside International Airport

The first TUI flight in nine years has taken off from Teesside International Airport.

The flight departs to Palma in Majorca every Tuesday as part of the airport's summer schedule, the biggest in almost a decade.

Ashleigh Graham, Kristian Graham and their two-year-old son Luka were some of the first passengers jetting out on the TUI service.

The Newton Aycliffe couple said: "His is our first time travelling from Teesside Airport and we've had a fantastic experience so far.

"It feels like a family-run airport and the bar staff have been great."

The airport's schedule is its busiest since 2013. Credit: Teesside International Airport

Peter and Shirley Upton used to fly from Teesside back in the 1970s and 1980s and this was the first time using it for a long time.

They praised the new-look terminal and pointed to its "great atmosphere" as a reason why they are hoping to travel from Teesside again later this year.

Karen Switzer, Director of Aviation Planning at TUI said: "We’re delighted to be taking our customers on holiday from Teesside International Airport once again after so many years.

"Our flights mean people local to Teesside have more options for getting away to enjoy a well-deserved break more quickly and easily, with access to a great range of hotel concepts and cruise holiday options."

But Teesside is losing its link to London Heathrow. Credit: PA Images

The launch comes in the same week the airport and Loganair announced flights to London Heathrow were being scrapped.

They say the route is now unviable, due to a recent increase in Heathrow's take-off and landing fees leading to a significant increase in costs.