Monday, November 2, 2015

News: Airport lands "transformational" Flybe deal


Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield, the regional airport for the Sheffield city region, has announced that Flybe, Europe's largest regional airline, will base two Embraer Jet aircraft at the airport with services starting from the end of March 2016.

Doncaster Sheffield Airport currently flies to 35 destinations including Spain, Turkey, Poland, the Canaries and Egypt. Flybe, a budget airline operator listed on the stock exchange, is in the middle of a three-year restructuring plan after struggling with mounting costs.

The deal has been described by the airport as the biggest of its kind since it opened its doors in 2005 as it will see passenger numbers soar with an additional 500,000 seats on offer. Flybe are set to deliver up to 44 new flight departures per week, a 70% increase in departures.

Steve Gill, managing director of Doncaster Sheffield Airport, said: "This announcement is transformational for Sheffield City Region's airport. We are truly delighted to be welcoming Flybe in this new long-term deal.

"A total of eight routes will be announced on Tuesday 10th November serving a mixture of business and leisure destinations to mainland Europe and beyond.

"The additional seats and other forecasted growth are expected to take passenger figures from 900,000 in 2015/16 to over 1.35 million in 2016/17, an increase of around 50% year on year."

Monthly passenger figures have broken the 100,000 mark again. August's figure of 102,721 was the highest since 2011 and 8,000 more than the same month last year.

Saad Hammad, CEO of Flybe, added: "We are delighted to have reached this agreement to begin enhancing connectivity for the people of Yorkshire from Doncaster Sheffield Airport. We look forward to welcoming all our new passengers on board next year with great value fares and a convenient, fast, reliable service to some very popular destinations as well providing them with opportunities for onward connections."

The new link road currently under construction at DSA is of huge importance. The £60m FARRRS project, with £12m from the airports owners, Peel, is estimated to result in £1 billion of further investment and 14,000 jobs.

Reducing all important drive times, the road will become operational in early 2016 and plans are already being finalised for a second phase that will see FARRRS extended from Bawtry Road to Hurst Lane where it will meet up with the existing airport access road.

James Newman, chairman of the Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, added: "We are a city region of 2.1 million people and Sheffield is the UK's fourth largest city. Connectivity to major European centres for trade and investment play a crucial role in the economic prosperity of the region.

"Investments such as this one will help to strongly position the Sheffield City Region as a key player in the Northern Powerhouse and will enable us to start to rebalance the UK economy through significant growth in the North."

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.

Robin Hood Airport website

Images: Flybe


Anonymous,  November 2, 2015 at 12:16 PM  

I think you'll find that Sheffield Airport opened in 1997, a bit before 2005?It was also owned by Peel Holdings but somewhat less invested by them there.
Still good news for Sheffield City Region though.

Tom,  November 2, 2015 at 12:28 PM  

Thanks for the comment. It should read "the first full service airport to open in the UK for 50 years." I'll update the article.

Anonymous,  November 3, 2015 at 1:46 AM  

4th largest city??

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