In what must be viewed as a setback both for Teesside airport and domestic aviation, Loganair is to cancel or reduce a number of routes from this northeast airport.
Those cancelled are the routes to London Heathrow and Southampton.
Service to London Heathrow was increased only one year ago as we reported at the time.
Quoted by Teesside Live, both bodies blame “a recent significant cost in Heathrow’s handling fees” along with the higher cost of fuel which have made the Teesside-London route “unviable”.
Teesside manager Phil Forster said:
“While slowly recovering, business flights are still nowhere near pre-pandemic levels, immediately putting the route at a disadvantage.”
Load factors were low on this route in its early days but I had thought business would pick up after Loganair had signed a codeshare deal with British Airways. Clearly this has not been the case.
Teesside Mayor Ben Houchen believed this move would hit the government’s plans for “Levelling up.”
Publicly-owned Teesside airport is already loss-making. For the period 2020/21 the airport lost £13.8 million.
Unbelievably this meant Teesside airport lost a staggering £920 (during the above period) for every passenger it handled, according to The Independent.
Besides the axing of London and Southampton on May 24, there will continue to be Loganair service to Aberdeen, Belfast City, Dublin and Newquay. However schedules will be halved to Dublin (two weekly flights against four) and Newquay (single weekly flight compared with two).
One wonders how the Loganair network at Teesside will fare over the coming winter months.