Thursday, August 25, 2016

News: Airport sees busiest month ever

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Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield, the regional airport for the Sheffield city region, has seen a record number of passengers for July, its busiest month ever.

A "transformational deal" with Flybe was signed last year and eight new routes launched in April with 44 departures per week and almost half a million seats on the new routes in their first year of operation. The new routes are Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Jersey, Newquay, Malaga, Alicante and Faro.

Since April, new routes have been announced for Dusseldorf and Chambery in the Rhone-Alps region of south eastern France. Flybe as also announced that it will take over the route to Dublin, previously the Aer Lingus Regional service operated by Stobart Air.

With the new routes and the opening of the new £56m Finningley And Rossington Regeneration Route Scheme (FARRRS), passenger numbers for July increased by 42% from the previous year to 141,155, with the airport on track to deliver over 1.3 million passengers for the year.

As passenger numbers grow, a £200k investment has been made in the airport's departure and security operations.

The purchase of four state of the art security machines will allow for quicker scanning of hand luggage and reduce the number of person searches required; meaning that passengers can expect an enhanced passenger experience. On average, the airport now aims to process passengers through security within ten minutes.

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Other improvements include the introduction of airport ambassadors who will meet and greet passengers on arrival at the airport, assisting with any information requirements and their efficient flow through the airport.

Steve Gill, chief executive of Doncaster Sheffield Airport, said: "We are delighted to be seeing growth in our passenger numbers and have made this investment in our terminal and staff to ensure that we improve the ease and speed of using our airport.

"This will allow us to increase the speed of journeys for our passengers through the airport whilst maintaining stringent security levels so a real gain in convenience for leisure and business travellers alike."

Peel Holdings bought the site from the Ministry of Defence when it was RAF Finningley in 1999 and has invested around £150m. It was the first full service airport to open in the UK in 50 years when the first commercial flight took off in 2005.

Ian Howarth, finance director, Pegler Yorkshire Group, who are regular users of the airport for business travel from their Doncaster head office, said: "The airport is key to supporting our business, allowing us to easily bring staff to our UK operations from group operations in France, Germany and Holland alongside facilitating our wider travel needs. The ease of access to the airport through the new link road, convenience of parking and quick processing times through the airport are all major reasons driving the use of our local airport."

Jillian Thomas, managing director of Future Life Wealth Management based in Sheffield and President of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce added: "The new Flybe routes to European travel hubs have been a real benefit to my business allowing me to access long haul destinations such as Dubai.

"The opening of the new motorway link road, the closeness of the parking to the terminal and fast processing through the airport means I use our local airport whenever possible. I would encourage others to use the airport when travelling to enjoy these benefits and support a key asset for the Sheffield City region."

Robin Hood Airport website

Images: Robin Hood Airport


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