Boom in demand for Eastern European flights from Doncaster

A WizzAir flight touches down at Robin Hood Airport, Doncaster. Picture: Shaun Flannery/sfpictures.com
A WizzAir flight touches down at Robin Hood Airport, Doncaster. Picture: Shaun Flannery/sfpictures.com

An influx of migrant workers – and locals looking for value for money holidays – has led to a boom in Eastern European flights at Doncaster Airport.

Airline Wizz Air is increasing flights to Latvia and Lithuania on both routes to three times weekly from April 22, providing an additional 30,000 seats a year.

The Yorkshire airport has been running flights to Vilnius in Lithuania since April 2011. Flights direct to the Latvian capital of Riga only began in June, but more than 90 per cent of seats to the destination have been filled.

Chris Harcombe, head of the airport’s aviation development, said: “All Wizz Air routes are driven by a range of demands, including outbound tourism, the migrant population and business.

“Riga is experiencing a tourism boom on the back of being named European Capital of Culture for 2014. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, enjoys a vibrant nightlife and gives access to beach resorts on the Baltic Coast. The Old Town in Vilnius is a World Heritage Site.

“Both destinations offer fantastic value-for-money short breaks.” Doncaster Sheffield Airport operates 24 flights a week with Wizz Air, the largest low-cost airline in Central and Eastern Europe. Its eight destinations include Bucharest in Romania and Gdansk, Warsaw, Katowice, Poznan and Wroclaw in Poland.

New routes which started this summer, plus an increase in the frequency of flights between existing destinations, means the airline has added 140,000 additional seats since January 2014.

Chris Harcombe added: “This is further evidence of the convenience the airport offers and the huge market we provide access to.

“Partnerships with major airlines are vital for our future success as we constantly look to add new routes, as well as grow existing flights. We now operate flights to more than 30 destinations around the world.

“With the new Finningley and Rossington Regeneration Route Scheme connecting the M18 to the airport, we believe demand in these destinations will continue to increase.”