South Yorkshire holidaymakers are enjoying a taste of Paris in the springtime after the first Flybe flights to the French capital took off from Doncaster’s Robin Hood Airport this morning.
Excited tourists jetted off aboard the Embraer 195 jet aircraft to Charles de Gaulle Airport just after 7am, which was airline Flybe’s inaugural flight to the European city from Doncaster.
The trip was part of a new eight route deal and the airline also chose the milestone day to announce they are launching a new business route to Dusseldorf in Germany from March 31. Services to Berlin will also increase from four weekly to daily.
Prior to take off the aircraft was given a traditional ‘baptism’, in which airport emergency services sprayed an arc of water behind it. The plane was also emblazoned with eye-catching Welcome to Yorkshire livery with the aim of promoting the region to potential tourists across Europe as part of a deal that has seen the airport and Flybe become the official airport and airline partner of the tourism agency. This latest development comes after the opening of the Great Yorkshire Way - formerly known as FARRRS - which is a link road from the M18 that will reduce travel time to the airport by up to 20 minutes.
Steve Gill, managing director of the airport, said: “We are delighted to see the first Flybe flight taking passengers to Paris.”
The introduction of these new routes will see Flybe deliver the largest number of departures from the airport, offering 42 extra flights per week meaning 500,000 extra new flight seats are available per year to Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Jersey, Newquay, Malaga, Alicante and Faro.
Vincent Hodder, chief revenue officer for Flybe, said: “Today is a day we have been working towards for a long time with eight brand new routes starting over the next few days from a brand new base.”
Sir Gary Verity, chief executive officer of Welcome to Yorkshire, said the new services have “the potential to bring an additional 65,000 international visitors to the region.”
The extra seats will see major growth at the airport in 2016 with the additional seats and growth from other incumbent carriers expected to take passenger figures from 900,000 in 2015 to 1.35m in 2016.