Ben Houchen has pledged new holiday routes to Malaga and Tenerife if he is re-elected as Tees Valley Mayor.

Since Teesside International Airport was brought back into public ownership in 2019, Ryanair and TUI have been brought to the airport.

In the last five years a range of destinations have been available for holiday-makers.

Currently, the airport offers flights to Alicante, Dalaman, Corfu, Faro, Majorca, Amsterdam, Bourgas, Aberdeen, Jersey, and Iceland. 

The Northern Echo: Tees Valley passengers

Lord Houchen said: "Teesside Airport today is unrecognisable from the airport we saved from Peel’s destruction back in 2019.

"We have worked tirelessly to turn things around and in a short space of time we have seen massive progress. We have seen holiday flights to Spain, Greece, Portugal, and Turkey return, alongside the complete transformation of the terminal.

"Our plan is ahead of schedule, we are seeing record passenger numbers, and now is the time to increase our offer to local people further.

"That is why, if re-elected, I will bring flights to Malaga and Tenerife to our airport.

"Whilst my Labour opposition wanted to close the airport and sell it off for housing, I want to make sure more people can visit more poolside destinations from Teesside. That’s my promise, and that’s what I will deliver, just as I delivered on my pledge to save the airport."

The Northern Echo: Tees Valley passengers

Labour candidate for Tees Valley Mayor, Chris McEwan, responded by advising Lord Houchen to focus on unpicking the disastrous impact of the Conservative government in the region.

He said: "This is welcome news. I am 100 per cent behind our airport and want nothing more than for it to succeed.

"The reality is though, that with over a third of children in the Tees Valley living in relative poverty, well above the national average, a holiday is right down the list of many parent's priorities.

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"The Tories have crashed the economy, and created a cost of living crisis, and right now, Lord Houchen may be better served trying to do something to unpick the disastrous record of his party."

The Tees Valley Mayoral election will take place on May 2. 

Lord Houchen will be representing the Conservatives, Chris McEwan for the Labour Party, Simon Thorley for the Liberal Democrats and Sally Bunce for the Green Party.