Emotional scenes as final flight lands ahead of planned closure of Doncaster Sheffield Airport
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The Tui flight from Egypt, touched down at 9.15pm to a welcoming party made up of staff members who lined up to witness what is feared could be the last time a plane ever lands there. Yesterday’s emotional scenes came 17 years after the airport opened.
Peel Group, which operates the airport, is winding down operations after announcing the planned closure in September. It came after a ‘strategic review’ into the financial viability of the airport.
Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones revealed yesterday that there was still hope for the airport, claiming “a significantly improved offer” had been made to the Peel Group from “an international conglomerate”. She said an initial “substantial offer was astonishingly turned down” by the company.
But as of today there are no more flights planned into or out of the airport and 800 jobs look set to go, with hundreds others in the supply chain. Earlier this week, Peel Group said there was “no credible offer” on the table.
DSA opened in 2005 after the former RAF Finningley airbase was converted and at its peak more than one million passengers a year flew to 50 destinations. Just last month is was voted the country's best airport.
Lats month, Peel Group said: “Despite this significant investment, the airport has never to date made any profit. Due to competition from other key regional airports including Leeds Bradford, Manchester, East Midlands and Humberside, DSA has never reached the critical mass required to do so.
“This, combined with the unilateral withdrawal of the Wizz Air based aircraft in June 2022 and other changes in the aviation market, has contributed to Peel’s clear view that the airport is and will remain unviable.”
The airport's first commercial flight flew to Majorca, departing at 0915 on April 28, 2005.
Long haul flights to North America began in the summer of 2007 and in December 2009, EasyJet announced it would operate flights from Doncaster to Amsterdam, Barcelona, Faro, Palma de Mallorca and Prague. But the firm later withdrew in 2011.
In 2019, Flybe announced it would be closing its base at Doncaster and earlier this year, Wizz announced it was pulling out of Doncaster in a bitter row with airport chiefs.