Durham Tees Valley Airport becomes Teesside International

Kate Willard, Ben Houchen and Glyn Glyn Jones Image copyright Teesside International Airport
Image caption The Tees Valley Mayor was joined by representatives of the Stobart Group, which now operates the facility

Durham Tees Valley Airport has reverted to its previous name of Teesside International Airport after being brought back into public ownership.

In March, Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen paid previous owner Peel Group £40m to take control of the airport, which was losing about £2.5m a year.

More than 14,000 people took part in a poll to choose its name, with 93% opting for the airport's former name.

Mr Houchen described the switch as a "cheap and cheerful" rebrand.

The airport was known as Teesside International between 1966 and 2004.

The reason given for the change to Durham Tees Valley in 2004 was that many of the airport's passengers, particularly those from outside the UK, were unfamiliar with the location of Teesside, whilst Durham was better known.

Image copyright ???
Image caption Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen unveiled the new sign

Mr Houchen described the naming as "a huge boost".

"When I speak to international investors they don't know where Durham Tees Valley is either... our airport name should reflect a brand people know and understand.

"[The name change] is not the thing that's going to save the airport, but it's a great statement of intent ... and part of our ten year plan to get one million passengers, to break even.

"It's another brick in the wall that we are building to save our local airport."

Kate Willard, of airport operator Stobart Group, added: "Returning the airport to its original name is an important and symbolic milestone.

"Becoming Teesside International Airport once again will ensure not only a strong connection with the area, but also help raise awareness of the exciting opportunity the airport offers within the wider travel industry."

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