Politicians react with ‘shock and sadness’ at potential Doncaster Sheffield Airport closure risking 800 jobs

Politicians have reacted with shock and sadness at news Doncaster Sheffield Airport could end commercial flights to popular holiday destinations.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Wednesday, 13th July 2022, 1:33 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th July 2022, 1:34 pm

Airport bosses said that despite a growth in passenger numbers, DSA has ‘never achieved the critical mass required to become profitable’.

They added that the situation was made worse by the announcement from airline Wizz Air that they would be pulling out of DSA – leaving TUI as the only one base carrier based in South Yorkshire.

The impact of Covid-19 and environmental factors were also taken into consideration for the strategic review.

Don Valley MP Nick Fletcher at Doncaster Sheffield Airport. Credit: George Torr/LDRS

Conservative Don Valley MP Nick Fletcher, who represents the constituency where the airport is based, said he has already taken steps to speak to ministers in order to save the site and 800 jobs that go with it.

Labour councillor Glyn Jones, deputy mayor of Doncaster and cabinet member for business, said he was disappointed at the news that the future of Doncaster Sheffield Airport was uncertain.

Mr Fletcher said: “It is with deep disappointment that I received the announcement by Peel Holdings that our award-winning Doncaster Sheffield Airport may close.

“Covid-19 has been a terrible time for the aviation industry, but DSA has so many advantages. With its location, facilities, and the fact that it is one of the greenest airports in the country to land aircraft. All these factors make it more than a viable proposition for a forward-thinking enterprise.

Airport bosses said the situation was made worse by the announcement from airline Wizz Air that they would be pulling out of DSA - leaving TUI as the only one base carrier based in South Yorkshire.

“I have already raised this issue with Robert Courts the Minister for Aviation and Grant Shapps the Secretary of State for Transport. Both are happy to offer me their support in keeping this jewel in the crown of South Yorkshire open.

“I have also spoken with Simon Clarke the Chief Secretary to the Treasury and Huw Merriman the Chair of the Transport Select Committee. Again, I have their support.

“I will also be speaking with Ben Houchen, Mayor of Tees Valley Region too, as I know he has had much experience within this industry.

“I am hopeful that the proposed rail link to the airport will still go ahead as this will still be needed due to the development in that area. It would also make it a much more attractive proposition for any future investors.

Deputy mayor councillor Glyn Jones

“As with all my projects and campaigns I will not let this drop.

“Doncaster is a city. It has an airport. It needs an airport. And I will do all I can to help save its airport.”

DMBC deputy mayor Coun Glyn Jones added: “This is very disappointing news and I am saddened to hear that the future of Doncaster Sheffield Airport is under review by its owner The Peel Group.

“The airport is a major asset to Doncaster and the wider region and I am urging that all avenues to make it commercially viable are fully investigated.

“I will be working with our MPs, the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority and Mayor Oliver Coppard and looking to the Government to do all that is necessary to ensure the airport still has a place in our future.”

Robert Hough, Chairman of Peel Airports Group, which includes Doncaster Sheffield Airport, said: “It is a critical time for aviation globally. Despite pandemic related travel restrictions slowly drawing to a close, we are still facing ongoing obstacles and dynamic long-term threats to the future of the aviation industry.

“The actions by Wizz to sacrifice its base at Doncaster to shore up its business opportunities at other bases in the south of England are a significant blow for the airport.

“Now is the right time to review how DSA can best create future growth opportunities for Doncaster and for South Yorkshire.

“The Peel Group remains committed to delivering economic growth, job opportunities and prosperity for Doncaster and the wider region.”