REVIEW: A flight from Teesside International

Posted on July 15th 2020 by Whats on Northeast

Review by Andrew Bramfitt

A new route to an old favourite

July 6th marked a new chapter in the ever expanding routes from Teesside International Airport and is a great example of the partnerships forged by Ben Houchen and Eastern Airways.

With Covid-19 restrictions in force, any travel is likely to be a very different experience from pre-lockdown, and there are many who are still very nervous about going back on public transport.  However right from our arrival at Teesside airport the experience was anything but confusing.  Met at the main entrance by a member of staff (in facemask and gloves) , they explained fully the process throughout the airport, the key areas for social distancing, pointed out the frequent cleaning stations and offered facemasks and gloves if required.

The airport has made brilliant use of floor signs, giving a clear path through check in, security and into the departure lounge.  From there we were able to watch the water cannon salute for the incoming first flight from London for over 10 years before being invited to board our own inaugural journey.  There were 19 passengers on board, all well spaced throughout and sat in comfort

The flight down to Torquay, targeted as being 90 mins, is the perfect way to travel.  The view over familiar Durham countryside makes way for the climb above the clouds with views across to the Irish Sea.  No sooner had we reached cruise height it felt like we were turning right at Bristol and beginning the descent over the North Devon and then Cornish coast with the golden beaches and deep blue sea generating no small amount of excitement.

Torquay airport could be a sister airport of Teesside – small, very friendly and a wonderful welcome to Cornwall and the South West.

Of course, the real appeal for taking this route is the comparison to either driving or taking the train.  Had I driven (and set off at 9am) I would probably have only made it to Birmingham by the time the flight landed in Torquay.  If I had opted for the train then I would have been no further south than the car, but looking at at least one change and an hour wait and would not have got to Torquay until gone 7pm.

Flying down on Eastern Airways meant by 2pm I had enjoyed a lite lunch and a coffee and by 3pm we were heading off for a few hours fishing, still feeling fresh and relaxed.  In fact, after catching a nice mixed bag of Carp, Bream, Tench and Roach; and making a supper of roast chicken and salad, there was still enough energy to sit and watch the dying rays of the Cornish sun, with any semblance of hangover this morning having nothing to do with the travel and more to do with the lovely Cornish cider.

With flights on Mondays and Fridays, flying Eastern Airways from Teesside to Torquay means a weekend in Cornwall (surfing, fishing, eating fresh seafood or just relaxing) is now not just the reserve for people living along the M4 corridor.

Many thanks to Eastern Airways who provided my outbound flight.

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