My View, Steve Gill: People want to fly from the local airport

A Flybe pilot completing final checks before departing. Pic: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire
A Flybe pilot completing final checks before departing. Pic: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Wow, what a week we had recently for Doncaster and the Sheffield City Region.

We’ve been so proud to announce eight new routes with Flybe, the operator which is Europe’s largest regional airline.

We promised more seats to more destinations.

And we are delighted that we have now delivered this pledge.

The new routes include two major European hub airports.

They will be operational from the end of March 2016.

This means we will have an extra 44 departures per week.

That means almost half a million seats on the new routes.

This is simply fantastic news for the Sheffield City Region.

The two hub feeder services to Paris and Amsterdam offer global connectivity.

That is something which will benefit businesses from across the region.

And this new wave of connectivity will take the airport and the city region to the next level.

We have worked extremely closely with the Flybe team to ensure that the route network meets the needs of the region.

From March 27, 2016, Flybe will serve the following routes from Doncaster Sheffield Airport – Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, Jersey, Newquay, Malaga, Alicante and Faro.

There is a clear message in this.

That is that local people want to fly from their local airport and not have to trek to Heathrow or across the Pennines in needless car or train journeys.

Thanks to the new motorway link road, journey times between the airport and Sheffield will be reduced to 25 minutes and some 15-20 minutes will be knocked off most journeys.

Regional airports are vital to the economic prosperity of city regions.

And we welcome Flybe’s massive investment into the Sheffield City Region, as well as the wider Yorkshire, North Nottinghamshire, North Lincolnshire and North Derbyshire regions.

Doncaster Sheffield Airport will experience double-digit growth in 2016.

This is because the additional seats and growth from other incumbent carriers is expected to take passenger figures from 900,000 in 2015 to 1.35 million in 2016.

The news has received great support from passengers who were eagerly awaiting the news of the routes.

And we’ve been thrilled by their support and the support of the business community.

We are really looking forward to welcoming Flybe to the airport next March and seeing leisure and business passengers using these new routes.