Stobart Group has been named the new operator of Durham Tees Valley Airport.
The announcement follows the recent approval of a £40m scheme to bring the airport into public ownership. The funds came from the Tees Valley Combined Authority £513m investment fund.
Stobart Group will have a 25% stake in the company running the airport. The Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) will hold the remaining 75% stake.
Under the previous ownership of Peel Group, Durham Tees Valley Airport posted a loss of £2.5m per year. Stobart’s 10-year rescue plan aims to increase passenger numbers to 1.4m per year by 2022 and generate 7,600 jobs. Attracting budget carriers like Flybe will be central to the turnaround plan.
Stobart Group is a listed energy, rail and aviation specialist. It operates Carlisle Lake District Airport, which will open for the first time in 25 years this summer, along with London Southend Airport, Stobart Air, and Stobart Aviation Services.
Commenting on the appointment, Houchen said: “We have been in discussions with Stobart for quite some time and have worked together on our ten-year rescue plan that will help us see the airport become the success we know it can be.
“Stobart is a huge company with significant experience, knowledge and expertise in the aviation sector. They’re no stranger to turning around airports – just look at what they have achieved at London Southend and Carlisle Lake District Airport.
“Stobart will hold a minority share in our airport with a clear and overwhelming incentive to turn it around. They have the experience, credibility and relationships with airlines to make Teesside fly again and they’re the right partner for Teesside.”