Unemployment at Durham

Durham Tees Valley Airport is to make 32 staff members redundant in a bid to become “better and smarter".

The news, which forms part of a larger press release by Peel Airports Group, comes just days after East Midlands Airport announced heavy cuts to its security team, amounting to 30 different positions.

East Midlands has experienced a slump in passenger numbers over the past year, coupled with a reduction in the number of airlines flying from the airport. A good chunk of its workforce was simply unused and expendable.

Durham has a similar story to tell, but Peel wants to be able to spend more money on airport regeneration, rather than hiding it in bank vaults. The cash gleaned from the redundancies has already been earmarked for an ambitious construction project.

The existing terminal will be divided into two separate areas – one for regular travellers, and a second space reserved for premium customers. Peel cited a new Eastern Airways route to Southampton as ‘evidence’ that the proposals were already attracting new business.

Airport boss, Kerry Quinn, was optimistic, saying that the feedback received on the plans from partners and customers "has been resoundingly positive”. The airport will offer premium options all year round, but other services will be scaled according to market conditions.

Durham has also reduced its opening hours to 18 hours a day. The airport will now open at 4am and close at 10pm, but private aeroplanes will be accommodated if they wish to use the airstrip during the night.

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