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.