A NORTH-EAST airport which suffered years of decline has launched its search to find a new managing director, as part of plans to get annual passenger numbers back to one million over the next decade.

Teesside International Airport – recently brought back into public ownership following years of falling passengers numbers – relaunched chartered flights to summer destinations as part of its ten-year rescue plan, earlier this year.

Headed by Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen, the masterplan to accelerate the number of passengers by 2029, includes new holiday destinations, new jobs and new airport retail stores.

Now Mr Houchen has revealed that the airport has kick-started a nationwide search to find its new managing director to help deliver the rescue plan.

He said: “As part of our ten-year rescue plan we have set some ambitious targets, including attracting a low-cost airline to our airport and getting passenger number back to one million by 2029.

“Over the past seven months we’ve got off to a good start with bringing more flights and commercial partners to the airport like Ramsdens.”

In May, Balkan Holidays introduced its full programme of summer holiday charter flights from the airport to Bulgaria.

It was also confirmed that the firm would run a second season flying from the airport in 2020.

Mr Houchen said: “We can’t rest on our laurels, and we must accelerate our plans to turn the airport around and make it the success we all know it can be. The time is right to find a new, experienced managing director to help take the airport to the next stage in its development.”

The airport’s new managing director will work with Stobart Aviation, which has a 25 percent stake in the airport. Until a new managing director is appointed, Glyn Jones, CEO of Stobart Aviation, will continue to run the site. The director is expected to help the airport secure new airline partners and grow the airport’s revenue under the rescue plan.