HOLIDAYMAKERS celebrated the start of their holidays today as the first TUI flights in nine years left Teesside Airport.

Passengers jetted off to the Balearic Island of Majorca, Spain, on Tuesday, for the first flight from the airline as part of its new summer schedule.

The recently renovated terminal, which has seen huge changes to the check-in area, security hall, and new two luxury lounges and bars was buzzing as many were making their first trips abroad since before the coronavirus pandemic.

The new Palma flight paves the way for an encouraging future for the airport not just among staff, but also passengers. Many told of a desire to see more European destinations added to its growing departure list.

The Northern Echo:

Peter and Shirley Upton travelled from Skelton-in-Cleveland for their first holiday abroad in three years and were among many couples to praise the locality of the airport.

“It’s really great that we have this airport on our doorstep,” Mrs Upton said. “I’m hoping there will be more flights added to from here.”

The couple 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.

The Northern Echo: Shirley and Peter Upton enjoying a drink before take offShirley and Peter Upton enjoying a drink before take off

Read more: Teesside Airport's London route cancelled by Loganair

Friends Mags Colley, of Stockton, and Alison Kerr from Kirklevington told of their excitement ahead of their trip away and the need for some “much-needed sun”.

Ms Colley said: “I would normally go to Newcastle, purely because there aren’t that many flights from here.”

Destinations that passengers want to see included to the departure list include Greece, Cyprus, Portugal and Tenerife.

The first flight, which was fully booked, jetted out of the airport to Palma at 13:05, joining the airport’s busiest schedule since 2013 - the last time TUI touched down.

An Alba Star-branded plane was used for Tuesday's flight, with TUI Airways planes operating from 17 May. 

The service runs every Tuesday, providing brilliant breaks to the island, famed for its golden sands, waterfront villages and exciting nightlife.

It will also give people flying from Teesside access to four Marella Cruises sailing itineraries, including Coastal Gems, Treasures of the Mediterranean, Magic of Spain and Mediterranean Medley, all on Marella Discovery.

Ashleigh Graham, Kristian Graham and their son Luka, 2, were some of the first passengers jetting out on the TUI service. The Newton Aycliffe couple said: “This 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 Northern Echo: Mother and daughters Mary Jackson, Karen Lister and Denise Wood Mother and daughters Mary Jackson, Karen Lister and Denise Wood

Mother and daughters Mary Jackson, Karen Lister and Denise Wood were on their first trip together in three years due to the pandemic, and this was their first time using the airport in more than a decade. Karen said: “We’ve had a great experience and we’re excited to travel with TUI. I’m even looking forward to coming home because I’ve only got a 20-minute journey back to my house – that travel can usually be a nightmare!”

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