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You can now fly from London Heathrow to Teesside International with Eastern Airways

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Eastern Airways, formerly a Flybe franchise, has announced flights to Heathrow from its base at Teesside International (formerly Durham Tees Valley Airport).

This is a new route for Eastern, and there have been no Heathrow flights from Teesside since bmi British Midland dropped the route in 2009. It will join Eastern’s existing flights to London City Airport, launched in July.

The new Heathrow route launches on Monday 14th September.  The service builds up each week, becoming daily by early October.  It will operate from Heathrow Terminal 2 on an Embraer 170, a jet aircraft.

If you are looking for somewhere to relax on the flight to London, our review of the SKYLIFE lounge at Teesside International Airport is here.  The lounge appears to be open, looking at the airport website.  If you don’t have a qualifying Eastern Airways ticket, you can use Priority Pass (which comes free with American Express Platinum, or you can buy one separately), DragonPass or a Lounge Club card (two free entry vouchers come with the free-in-year-one American Express Preferred Rewards Gold).

It isn’t clear how Eastern obtained the landing slots, although clearly there are plenty of airlines who would be happy to accept a small payment for the use of their currently unused Heathrow slots.

It is still not clear if the ‘use it or lose it’ rules for airport slots will be put back in place for the Winter season, which starts at the end of October.  If they are, you can expect many similar routes to launch as airlines will be desperate to sublease their Heathrow slots rather than forfeit them.

You can book on the Eastern Airways website here.

Comments (25)

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

  • The Savage Squirrel says:

    Will they have paid for the slots at all? We are surely reaching the stage unless the use-it-or-lose-it rule is reversed, where rather than them having value, airlines are paying others to fly planes into their landing slots.

  • David says:

    In terms of the slots, there is also aspect that they are domestic flights.

  • DarloTraveller says:

    Interestingly, the twice daily Teesside-London City flight is currently only bookable until the end of October so if the slots open up, I guess they will go to LHR.

    But no codeshares announced yet which surely will be needed. My dream situation would be to have some BA flight numbers on this route.

  • Heathrow Flyer says:

    OAG data shows the 2nd largest connecting market for the current x3 daily KLM service to Amsterdam from Teesside is…LHR!

    In 2019 over 5,000 pax made that journey.

    Mad, when you consider the train takes only 2.5hrs to London.

    • ChrisBCN says:

      On your numbers, that’s only 4-5 people a flight… But yes, where on earth are the people going that made them choose to fly two planes instead of the train?

      • ChrisC says:

        Transit at AMS is far easier than getting from Kings X to LHR especially if you have luggage. Even if the tube is step free it’s still some long walks.

        If I still lived in Stockton I’d be tempted to fly MME-AMS-LHR

        • Jonathan says:

          To then have to collect baggage/clear immigration at T2 then transfer to T5? Surely you’d only go MME-AMS-LHR if you wanted a BA onward flight otherwise you’d just go to your destination from AMS? Would definitely rather take train!

    • The Savage Squirrel says:

      … train runs every hour or more and puts you in the centre of tLondon too.

      Are some people working not-very-dilligently-scrutinised expense accounts to acquire flying blue points/status? Even that seems very much not worth the time and effort…

    • Charlieface says:

      Connecting onwards past LHR maybe? Teesside to LHR by train is the pits, only 5 a day in normal times, plus tube.

      • Lady London says:

        As is LBA. fighting a maze of underground corridors, dirty noisy crowded trains out to Heathrow, schlepping luggage even just a pullalong through all of that… possibly having to stand on a bumpy rolling underground train to LHR too.

        You’d have to be nuts.

      • ChrisC says:

        where do you get five a day from?

        there are dozens of trains from Darlington to King’s Cross every day of the week

        • Paul Bennett says:

          Yes, but have you ever tried getting from Darlington Station to MME by public transport with luggage? The Tees Valley Line glides serenely past, not even stopping at the station a mile away, which has a Parliamentary ‘service’ of 1 train per week – Hartlepool to Darlington on Sundays. The best you can do is the Arriva number 12 bus, but not after 6pm or at weekends.

          • TeessideTraveller says:

            It is £10 in a taxi from Darlington to the airport (pre-booked) and about £15 off the rank going the other way.

        • Charlieface says:

          Darlington is not Teesside. Middlesbrough, Stockton and Hartlepool are, and getting to Heathrow from there is difficult.

          • ChrisC says:

            You missed out Redcar which is definitly in Teesside

            Darlington is in the Tees Valley and the Council owns a share in the airport via the Tees Valley Combined Authority. The airport is within Darlington Council’s boundaries.

            And people have no issue using the trains from Darlington to King’s X then the tube. It;s not an ideal journey but people do it. It’s certainly more (in normal times) than 5 trains a day that can get you to London and Heathrow.

            And airline staff do it as well. I chatted once to a member of VS cabin crew at Eaglesclife station who was returning home.

          • Lady L says:

            Newcastle airport is uswd a lot by Teesside family but requires a car to get to.

          • Lady London says:

            is that Eaglescliff with the.funicilar at the beach? Happy memories of Teesside – time to go back soon.

          • John says:

            Eaglescliffe is pretty far inland.

            There are funiculars at Saltburn and Rob’s beloved Scarborough

    • Dubious says:

      What’s OAG’s definition of connection, in particular the maximum length of time possible?

      Could they be making a 23 hr connection?

      Does OAG indicate if main origin from passengers arriving at MML is also Heathrow…i.e. are people booking one-way journeys?

      • TeessideTraveller says:

        I would take the OAG data with a huge pinch of salt. Top destination ex-MME via AMS is ALC – if that is true I would expect to see PMI and AGP also on the top 10 list but they are not. But Atyrau (in Kazakhstan) is, despite only 3 flights a week from AMS. I know there is a large oil & gas business in the Teesside area but in my experience, people are flying to AMS and connecting on to the Gulf, North Africa and Norway.

  • Yorkieflyer says:

    To Heathrow… from Teeside Terminal 2?!

  • Jonny Price says:

    Do you think Eastern could be persuaded to resurrect other domestic routes into LHR? LBA, IOM, GCI, LPL… any others? Get an interline/codeshare agreement with BA and it seems a fantastic use of spare LHR capacity whilst it is available. Only problem is the longer connecting time from T2 to T5. Minimum connection time between flights at T5 is 60 minutes whereas I believe between terminals it is 90 minutes.

    • Ian says:

      Persuading them is super easy….just show them they’ll make a profit, either through revenue or subsidy.

  • PMR Flyer says:

    You piqued my interest so I looked at our IATA BSP figures and saw that in 2019 only 72 people flew MME-AMS-LHR. MME connections are largely to other European destinations with the largest port being CPH with under 4,000 annual passengers.
    However, I do confess to burning up my orphan Flying Blue points to take my son on a ride MAN-AMS-NCL in business to see his Gran.

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