AN airline has confirmed it will no longer operate a number of routes from Teesside Airport as its flights are transferred to other operators.

Eastern Airways has announced a number of its routes will not be returning to the airport once travel restrictions are lifted.

But the Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has said all destinations, that were previously scheduled, will continue to be served by remaining airlines.

In a statement released by the airline, it said its Alicante service would be transferred to Ryanair, and its Heathrow and Belfast service moved to Loganair.

The Northern Echo understands that the decision has been made as Eastern Airways is not a low-cost carrier, with ticket prices seemingly higher than its Teesside Airport competitors.

Eastern Airways said: "Eastern Airways is delighted that the progressive partnership agreement that it has with Teesside International Airport has delivered in such a positive manner for its partner airport.

"With now a 100 per cent uptake by another commercial operator taking on the risks associated to the initial route development that was commenced before the Coronavirus outbreak.

"The full commercial liability uptake of routes started by other operators is how the agreement was planned to work and shows what a great success it has proved to be.

"In accordance with the agreement, Eastern Airways will now look to develop further routes in conjunction with its friends at Teesside International Airport to include further domestic and some exciting new European sun destinations.” 

Eastern Airways said its long-standing route to Aberdeen is unaffected and will continue to serve as the "only" connection currently operating from the North-East.

It also said its Jersey and Newquay flights will continue to remain operated by Eastern Airways and frequency gradually increased - but there was no mention of its Southampton route.

But the Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen paid tribute to the efforts of Eastern Airways in its role launching a number of new routes.

He said: “Eastern Airways is a long-standing and valued airline which helped us launch a number of exciting new routes from Teesside Airport last year.

"By working together, we have successfully attracted a number of airlines and tour operators to now take on these routes and develop their own offers for the airport.

"These new opportunities, and the arrival of new airlines,  should be seen as a welcome achievements as it proves there is huge demand for travel from Teesside, and more airlines choosing to fly from Teesside is a major vote of confidence in our airport as it celebrates its 80th anniversary.

"We will continue to work closely with Eastern Airways and all airlines to deliver the flights local people want to see come to our airport.”