Fresh blow to airport as Thomson axes flights from Durham Tees Valley (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Fresh blow to airport as Thomson axes flights from Durham Tees Valley
TOUR operator Thomson has axed flights from Durham Tees Valley airport.
The tour operator has pulled its 2014 flights to Palma and Ibiza from the airport which has seen its passenger numbers fall from almost one million in its 2006 heyday to 160,000 annually.
An airport spokesman said: “We can confirm that there will be no flights to Palma and Ibiza operated by Thomson Holidays from Durham Tees Valley Airport for the summer 2014 season.
“For alternative flights to these destinations customers are asked to consult the Thomson website.
“Further information on the future business direction of the airport will be announced shortly.”
A visit to Thomson’s website shows Alicante, Ibiza, Palma Mallorca and Tenerife South offered as destinations from DTV, but customers attempting to book are redirected to Doncaster airport’s timetable.
A call to the customer advice line querying this was met with a response from an operator that Thomson has ‘pulled out of Durham Tees Valley because it is not a popular airport’.
Darlington Borough Council leader Bill Dixon is one of several councillors who sit on the airport's board representing the interests of six local councils with a minority shareholding in DTV.
He said the future of the Thomson flights was always going to be a case of “use them or lose them”.
He added: “I think it is sad, but to be fair to Thomson they have seen passenger numbers decline quite markedly and have been having to offer significant discounts to get people to fly from there.
“It is a pity that not enough people have used the flights from the airport and it is a shame that the tourism operators don’t see it as a viable market – but that could change in the future.”
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