EXCITED holidaymakers have jetted off on Ryanair's first flight to a new destination from Teesside Airport - just days after new travel rules came in. 

Jetsetters from far and wide took the skies on Wednesday evening as they departed on the carrier's very first flight to Corfu.

It comes after a turbulent spell saw several Ryanair flights cancelled in the first two weeks of July due to a drop in demand, which bosses attributed to restrictions on travel.

Read more: Ryanair cancels several flights from Teesside Airport in July

Meanwhile, new rules came in this week which now means those with both vaccines are no longer required to self-isolate when they returning from an amber-list destination.

At around 5.20pm on Wednesday, the flight to the carrier's fourth, and newest destination, lifted off as it was described as an "absolute bonus" for the airport.

Ahead of take-off to the amber-list country, some passengers revealed their excitement as they described returning to the airport for the first time in years.

The Northern Echo:

Viv Williams, from Sunderland, said she returned to Teesside after a break of more than 20 years from the airport.

She said: “Last time we flew from Teesside was 22 years ago when we went to Majorca. The parking is fantastic, better than Newcastle where it is miles to walk.

"To be honest I hope it stays a hidden gem. We don’t want too many people knowing about it.” 

She added: “Staff are friendly, there were so many documents to check but they were really Efficient.”

Under current rules, those travelling to amber-list countries who have had both doses of the vaccine are still required to take a PCR test on or before day two of their arrival.

The Northern Echo:

Sue Thurlbeck, who lives near Richmond in North Yorkshire, said the last time she visited Teesside was to fly Corfu with Thomson Airways at the time.

She said: “Normally I’d go from Newcastle, it’s a bit closer but Teesside is a more relaxing experience and friendly. I’m really impressed with refit and already I’m looking for where else to go.”

'This has been a difficult 18 months'

Despite previous cancellations, the Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said today's flight came as there had already been a "brilliant" uptake in demand.

He said: “This is the last summer service that Ryanair had to launch from our airport, and like Faro it’s an absolute bonus thanks to the brilliant uptake in flights to Alicante and Palma.

The Northern Echo:

"Ryanair originally came to us with two routes and managed to announce two more, even in the face of a global pandemic.

“Since buying our airport and saving it from closure I’ve always said, ‘use it or lose it’ and I’m thrilled that it’s clear people do want to be able to back our local airport.

"We’ve invested in our terminal upgrade to make it even better, smoother and more kitted out than ever before and recruited dozens of new staff to improve the passenger experience, and this is paying off.

“This has been a difficult 18 months and now people from across Teesside, Darlington and Hartlepool have a large slate of international and domestic flights for a well-deserved break."

Mr Houchen added that the airport was not "slowing down" and was instead focusing on continuing to attract more routes and airlines.

He added: "We’re not slowing down as we continue to attract more routes and airlines and we can all look forward to an even bigger and better summer 2022.”


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