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Desperate Durham adds £6 levy

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Page last updated: 21st Oct 2010 - 04:02 PM

From November 15 2010, visitors passing through security at Durham Tees Valley Airport will be charged for the privilege.

Durham, the eighth smallest airport in the UK by total passenger numbers, is operated by Peel Airports Ltd., which is in turn owned by two partners, The Peel Group and Vancouver Airport Services (VAS).

The Passenger Facility Fee (PFF) is a moneymaking ploy designed to shore up Durham’s finances over the difficult winter season.

Local newspaper GazetteLive claims that the north-eastern airport has lost more than 30% of its annual passengers, and is now “battling for survival” against its rival, Newcastle International.

The increasing number of routes available from Manchester and Edinburgh must also be having an effect on Durham’s fortunes, as many holidaymakers are prepared to travel long distances to find a cheap flight.

Adults will be charged £6 when the PFF comes into effect, whilst children from 3-15 years old will have to part with £3.

Given Durham’s flagging popularity, the scheme’s success hinges entirely on the loyalty of regular customers, as the plan can only make the airport look unattractive to people who traditionally fly from Newcastle.

However, local councillors believe that Durham’s ‘loyal’ travellers will flee like rats from a sinking ship when the PFF is introduced.

Responding to the scheme’s critics, the CEO of Peel Airports, Craig Richmond, said “No one likes being asked to pay money, but I hope the whole community will recognise that it is something we have to do if the airport is able to move forward.”

Peel is attempting to set up new contracts with its partner VAS in a bid to lure new business to Durham Tees Valley. GazetteLive cites the example of new routes to airports in Cyprus, which could be facilitated by VAS’s existing presence on the island.

Whilst the PFF might seem like a novel way of extracting money from travellers’ wallets, the scheme is not a new one, having been championed by Norwich, Blackpool and Newquay airports in recent years.

Durham could make a tidy £500,000 a year from the PFF if the airport can convince local residents to support their local airport rather than going wherever the tickets are cheapest.

Comments - 11

1. Julie

28th Oct 2010 - 07:45 PM

I can't believe what with the ever increasing taxes that must be paid to travel by air that this airport finds it even slightly sensible to add yet another money making effort to actually go through security I must agree that this will be the straw that breaks the back of Durham tees valley airport all that remains to be said is R.I.P to one of the smallest airports in the country

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2. John Nicholson

15th Nov 2010 - 01:33 PM

Dear Sir/Madam, I was until recently a regular user of DTV airport however for some reason I now have to use Newcastle when I travel to the Far East as a KLM flight from yourselves for some reason is much higher than Newcastle. I have asked KLM and they have said it is down to the airport as they have charged KLM a high landing charge. I want to use DTV but the extra monies prohibits this is there anything that can be done to change this as I know a collegue of mine has the same problem and we dont want to see DTV close as it is so much more personel than Newcastle airport and gives a better service

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3. Craig

19th Dec 2010 - 11:20 AM

I am a regular business traveller, and will now never again travel through Teesside airport due to this extra airport passenger tax. The IATA states that the airport should pass all charges to the airline and not charge individual passengers. I feel sorry for the local workers when the management drive away all customers by imposition of this tax. I would have thought the employees unions would have done more to stop this

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4. T Morris

31st Dec 2010 - 10:49 AM

Over the years I have been a frequent user of this airport, this charge has made me re-think my future travel plans, Newcastle airport is looking very attractive. I will never understand the mentality of those who believe this is the way to move forward (Craig Richmond), this kind of thinking is utter rubbish - we have a choice Mr Richmond & my choice is not to pay your daft tax!!
Hello Newcastle.....

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5. David

5th Jan 2011 - 04:27 PM

This extra charge is crazy: you don't have enough customers, so you decide to increase the price? Not like any price/demand curve I've ever come across. I am a fairly frequent flyer and used to fly out of Teesside about once per month. I now use Newcastle or even Manchester as they have more choice and a quick, cheap rail connection straight into the terminal.

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6. P. Kirwan

11th Jan 2011 - 05:04 PM

Once again stupidity in all its glory over-rules common sense.
Cheaper or no extra cost flights equates to more travellers?
Extra costs. or local taxes equates to less (including myself) travellers. Ergo DuH?

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7. Confused

31st Jan 2011 - 12:18 PM

This is the last act of a dying business. Our revenues are going down, our costs are going up so rather than taking some hard decisions (like reducing the costs and providing incentives to carriers to use the airport)lets increase the costs for our loyal customers in a way that will really irritate them so they wont come back - genius

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8. S Prime

16th Feb 2011 - 08:11 PM

I note from the above that it states "Loyal Travellers" will flee. It is not the fact that we will flee, it is a matter of not being able to get a flight to Spain. We and many others who live in Spain and have relatives who want to visit and come back on numerous trips per year are very disappointed that we cannot fly from Teesside Any more. There do not appear to be any flights to Spain from Teesside now.

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9. Dave

29th Mar 2011 - 04:28 PM

I have been going through DTV airport on business trips for the past 33 years....with the odd trip in and out of newcastle... However the latest trip through DTV being last weekend. Now with the new stealth tax machine well placed to take an extra £6.00 per person. How dumb can some people get Mr Richmond....I did look for reasons why we should not being a stealth tax... And bugger me I found one sunday the 27th of March... 8 people in the security area...and only 3 working...5 doing JS ((Hello Spud)) Was that 5 peoples shift money being put to good use... Or the £6.00 stealth tax money..... being stolen from the airport user,s pockets...Well no more.. You can put the £6.00 money box where the sun doasant shine. & hello pet...going to newcastle from now on. Its a cheaper airport for the customers and in travel terms to get there an extra 15mins...(well worth the petrol) my choice is stuff ya daft tax!!!!
Hello Newcastle.....

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10. Ian Diggory

22nd Mar 2013 - 06:06 PM

I had never heard of this tax until I recently took a business trip to Schipol. I am a frequent business flier but it is highly unlikely that I or my colleagues will consider using DTV airport in future. Adding costs does not seem a rational approach to retaining customers.

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11. Bill Hartley

17th Aug 2013 - 04:31 PM

Having paid the £6 'facilities charge' at 14.30 on Monday 12 August 2013 I found the Bureau de Change shut, as was the bar & newsagent. There was an ATM offering only GBP, Euro's & USD but in large multiples. The only facility available was the rather dismal cafe. £17.50 taxi fare to get there plus £6. Newcastle is the better option.

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