Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Our Hope for Future; Call for Action as Airport Is Sold Off

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Our Hope for Future; Call for Action as Airport Is Sold Off

Article excerpt

Byline: ANDREW PAIN

DURHAM Tees Valley Airport can now get "back on the right track" after its ownership changed hands.

The beleaguered airport has been sold back to the Peel Group after just over 18 months under the majority shareholding of Vancouver-based Vantage Airport Group (VAG).

The news has received a cautious welcome from Teesside MPs and the local authorities who remain minor shareholders.

The loss-making airport was put up for sale in December by Peel Airports Ltd - whose ownership was split 65% to VAG and 35% to Peel Group.

Peel Investments (DTVA) Ltd - a wholly-owned subsidiary of Peel Group - has taken over the full majority shareholding, it was confirmed yesterday.

Stockton South Conservative MP James Wharton, who has campaigned for the airport's future and for its name to change back to Teesside Airport, said: "Hopefully Peel Investments will now be able to make a success of this important piece of our regional transport infrastructure.

"We all want to see Teesside continue as a passenger airport and be as successful as possible. We must all now pull behind the new owners and encourage them to ensure it becomes the commercial success it should always have been.

"Peel''s previous track record was not great but this is a chance to put that right and get Teesside Airport back on the right track."

Peel Airports Ltd will continue to act as advisors to the Peel Group meaning "business as usual" for airport employees, airlines and passengers using Durham Tees Valley Airport, according to the new owners.

Craig Richmond, chief executive of Peel Airports Ltd, said: "Since announcing in December that we were seeking a buyer for our shareholding in the airport, we appreciate this has been a period of uncertainty for the staff, our airline customers, passengers and for the region as a whole. "I am therefore pleased that we have been able to conclude this sale process, with our partners the Peel Group purchasing our shareholding and continuing to maintain the airport''s operational activities. …

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