Saturday, July 13, 2024

Closed-down UK airport to reveal huge update ahead of plans to reopen by 2026

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A CLOSED down UK airport is taking a step closer to reopening this week, with flights expected to resume in the next two years.

Airlines like TUI have spoken in support of Doncaster Sheffield Airport, which is hoping to reopen by 2026.

Doncaster Sheffield Airport is set to reopen in 2026

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Doncaster Sheffield Airport is set to reopen in 2026Credit: Alamy
The airport closed in 2022 despite being named the UK's best by passengers

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The airport closed in 2022 despite being named the UK’s best by passengersCredit: Alamy
TUI has spoken in favour of returning to the airport in the future

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TUI has spoken in favour of returning to the airport in the futureCredit: Alamy

Despite only opening in 2005, the airport closed down in 2022, after the site was deemed no longer commercially viable.

However, that all looks set to change, with of Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones set to inform councillors this week that a well known international operator has been chosen to run the transport hub.

Mayor Jones will announce the outcome of a procurement exercise at a full council meeting, after working through a list of prospective investors.

However, that name will remain confidential for the time being, to allow for scrutiny by the government under the auspices of the National Security and Investment Act.

Nevertheless, it can only be seen as a good thing for the airport, which was given a £30m government grant earlier this year to help with its plans to resume flights.

In a letter at the time, then Transport Secretary, Mark Harper, said: “The government is supporting South Yorkshire through Gainshare funding, making £900 million available through £30 million funding per year over 30 years. 

“This is exactly the funding which the mayor of Teesside used to support Teesside Airport and is consequently very likely to be suitable for your needs.

“I am sure we can both agree that it is excellent news that there is clear government grant available that you can choose to use to support Doncaster Sheffield Airport.”

Airlines are also keen to return to the airport in the near future too.

A spokesperson from tour operator TUI said earlier this year: “TUI has always supported Doncaster Sheffield Airport, proudly flying customers from the region and were disappointed when the airport closed.”

Thousands of passengers hit by cancelled flights at two of UK’s top airports

The airline said it was “excited about actively engaging with stakeholders about a potential re-opening”.

In March this year, current landowners, Peel, agreed on an 125-year lease of the airport to Doncaster Council, to help it reopen its doors to travellers.

That was after the South Yorkshire Mayoral Authority agreed to make £138m of funding available to pay for the lease.

At the time, Mayor Jones told local media: “We have engaged TUI with the bidders for their return to our airport to be explored and we are hopeful that we will see TUI’s brand back in Doncaster.”

The UK’s quietest airports 2024

  1. Humberside – 136,976

Humberside stands out as the quietest UK airport with 136,976 terminal departures in 2023

  1. Southend – 146,072

Second on the list goes to Southend, as Southend-on-Sea airport had 146,072 departures

  1. Teesside – 226,557

With 226,557 terminal passengers last year, Teesside International Airport will be one of the quietest for UK travellers

  1.  Norwich – 357,852

Norwich is also one of the quietest airports in the UK with 357,852

  1. Newquay – 408,870

To round out the list, Cornwall airport in Newquay ranks inside the top 5 with 408,870 passengers

TUI was the last airline to fly from the airport, but they weren’t the only one, with Wizz Air connecting Doncaster Sheffield to holiday hotspots like Lanzarote, Malaga, Cyprus, Amsterdam and Dublin.

Whether or not Wizz also returns is something to be considered for the future.

However, news of the airport reopening will please passengers, who voted it to be the country’s best travel hub just before it shut.

A study at the time by consumer champions Which? found that customers were pleased with the airport’s “helpful staff” and “faultless service”.

That news was released in October 2022, with the airport closing down later that month.

Meanwhile, this new £400m airport is set to open in an Italian holiday hotspot this summer.

And this £422m airport will link travellers to a Greek island when it opens.

The airport first opened in 2005 but closed just 17 years later

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The airport first opened in 2005 but closed just 17 years laterCredit: Alamy

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