Teesside Airport is scrapping controversial passenger tax
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Business is on the upswing at Teeside International Airport (MME), which is giving the North East airport the opportunity to do away with one of its most-disliked features: the passenger facility fee.
Officials say the dreaded tax — a £6 fee that every adult passenger flying out of the tiny airport must pay — will be dumped within six weeks, according to The Northern Echo.
Travellers who use Teesside can thank expanded services and new flights for the elimination of the tax, which will help to improve the airport’s bottom line.
The news comes just two days after budget airline Ryanair announced it would add new flights to Greece from Teesside this summer.
Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said the increase in flights and the accompanying passenger traffic will more than offset the loss of revenue from cutting the fee.
“We’re able to bin the passenger tax now because Ryanair has given our airport, and our region, another huge vote of confidence by expanding services from Teesside Airport with the new Corfu flight,” he said.
The passenger facility fee has been hated almost from day one. The regional airport’s previous owners faced threats of boycotts from airlines and passengers over it. Ryanair even cut its lone flight out of Teesside at the time, to Alicante, from its schedule. But Teesside’s fortunes have improved in recent years thanks to domestic routes from Loganair and other carriers. Ryanair’s return to Teesside in 2020 after a decade was also a significant boost to its bottom line.
Now with summer travel poised to return next month, the airport’s improved financial picture will lead to a small but still significant saving for passengers eager to go on holiday.
The news of Teesside scrapping its passenger tax comes not long after the U.K.’s largest airport Heathrow added its own version of a passenger tax. In February, the airport added a new £8.90 fee to all departing flights.
Featured photo courtesy of Teesside Airport.
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