Eastern Airways (T3, Humberside) will open a base at Teesside this summer season as part of plans to increase its presence at the airfield, located just east of Darlington in County Durham, north-east England.

According to press releases issued by Eastern and the airport, the flybe. (BE, Exeter) franchise operator will deploy three aircraft - one 50-seat Saab 2000 and two 29-seat Jetstream 41s - to Teesside to operate the following new routes:

Eastern's existing service from Teesside to Aberdeen Dyce, flown for the last 20 years, will also see an increase in weekly frequency. To help ensure reliability, an engineering base will be created at the airport to serve the aircraft operating the new Eastern routes.

Overall, Eastern's commitment will add 185,000 seats each year, more than doubling the number of available seats through Teesside.

Tony Burgess, Managing Director of Eastern Airways, said: “Eastern Airways is one of the longest-serving airlines to fly from Teesside International serving the critical corporate oil and gas market with flights to Aberdeen. We’re delighted to now be strengthening our ties with the airport and branching out to bring enhanced connectivity to some new city destinations for business and leisure travellers. I’m sure these flights will be popular and we are continuing to look at how we can further develop our network for all regions.”

“Ever since we brought the airport back into public ownership, one of the biggest and most frequent questions we’ve been asked from businesses and local people has been when will direct flights to London return," said Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen. “For too long, we’ve lacked this most basic connection, which is why I’m delighted to announce today’s new services which will bring the Tees Valley even closer to the capital with a twice-daily service. This isn’t job done, this is the next stage in our 10-year rescue plan to secure the future of Teesside International. In fact, it’s only the first phase of Eastern’s multi-year commitment, with plenty of opportunity to expand and increase flights in the future.”

In addition to summer season charter flights to Palma de Mallorca and Burgas, the airport's only other scheduled flights alongside the Aberdeen operation is an 18x weekly KLM Royal Dutch Airlines (KL, Amsterdam Schiphol) service to Amsterdam Schiphol, according to the ch-aviation schedules module.