TEES VALLEY airport is a chicken and egg, a plane and runway, sort of a conundrum. Which came first: did it turn its back on the local community, or did the local community turn its back on the airport?

In the 1990s, we specifically booked our Spanish summer holidays around where we could fly to from the airport. I know one lad who bought a Spanish apartment because it was within striking distance of a destination reached from DTVA. We even organised a football tour of Jersey primarily because we could get there from Middleton St George.

Why would you drive to Newcastle or Manchester when you could fly from your own doorstep?

Then, the year after my knees gave out so I could no longer on football tours, the Spanish flights disappeared from the airport’s schedule, and we were forced to fly elsewhere to find our place in the sun. We’ve never been back.

So Wednesday’s announcement that from May 2019 there will be holiday flights to the Black Sea resort of Bourgas on the Bulgarian Riviera was intriguing. Would it tempt us back into the water?

But I know no one who has holidayed in Bulgaria and I knew nothing about Bourgas. On a list of famous people who come from Bourgas, the only name I recognised was Radostin Kishishev, who played football for various Championship clubs in the 2000s, although with hindsight, I may have confused him with Radovan Karadzic, who was a very different kettle of fish.

A quick google tells me that Bourgas is the fourth largest town in Bulgaria with a population of 200,000. It is the country’s largest port, boasting an oil refinery and a fish processing industry, and I was fascinated to learn that in 1924, a company called Deweko opened the first pencil-making factory in southern Europe in Bourgas. In 1937, Deweko even became the official pencil supplier to the Bulgarian monarchy.

But in July and August, Bourgas has 300 hours of sun, little rain, an average temperature in the highest twenties, and the Black Sea water temperature is a very pleasant mid-twenties.

And it has Sunny Beach, an eight kilometre straight stretch of Blue Flag beach lined by 600 restaurants and bars. The description on the Tui website – at Sunny Beach “the party starts with booze cruises at lunchtime, continues with bar crawls before tea, and ends when the sun rises the next day” – may appeal to some but not necessarily old fogies like me.

There are other places. The 3,000-year-old town of Nessebar sounds fantastic, the quiet seaside resort of Sveti Vlas sounds appealing, and at Pomorie there is a beach of medicinal mud to wallow in after a visit to the nearby museum of salt – I’ll pencil that in for a visit after the Deweko factory.

While I know of no Bulgarian holidaymakers, in 2015 it did attract 11.1m foreign tourists, most of whom came from Greece, Romania, Turkey, Germany and Russia – although 250,038 did come from Britain. In 2017, 352,054 UK tourists visited, so Bulgaria is clearly a destination on the up.

So is it time to say “Y viva Bulgaria” and fly once more from Durham Tees Valley? If you’ve holidayed in Bulgaria, please let me know of your experiences…