Excelsis Airways: trouble before takeoff

2 Sep 2009 by Mark Caswell

Over the last few weeks several news outlets have reported that new carrier Excelsis Airways will launch flights between London City and Durham Tees Valley.

In July several websites including the BBC reported that Excelsis Airways was “due to resume commercial flights between Durham Tees Valley Airport and London”, following Bmi’s withdrawal from the Heathrow-Durham route earlier this year.

The start-up airline has a website ( with limited details on the new service, and the BBC reported that the carrier plans to launch three flights a day between the cities from September, using Bombardier Q400 turboprop aircraft.

Excelsis’ website says it will offer all passengers free use of a lounge at Durham Tees Valley airport, as well as complimentary soft drinks, wine and beer in-flight. The website is even offering visitors the chance to design the exterior of the carrier’s aircraft, with a closing date of September 19 for entries.

But there are no firm details of when the service is due to commence, and while the carrier says it has made “three key appointments”, it is says that there are “no interview opportunities at this time”.

A reader has posted on our forum that there are a number of similarities between the Excelsis Airways website and that of Canadian carrier Porter Airlines (, and a report on the Northern Echo’s website on August 22 says that there are “growing concerns” about the venture. Click here to read the full report

The possibility of the new airline has certainly created a stir in the industry, but it remains to be seen whether Durham will regain its air link to the capital.

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Report by Mark Caswell

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