Passenger rise at Robin Hood Airport

BOSSES at Robin Hood Airport say it has defied industry trends with a significant rise in passengers last year.

Official figures show that passenger numbers using the airport at Finningley rose by five per cent in 2010.

There were 895,136 travellers using the airport in 2010 compared to 851,355 in 2009.

Airport director Mike Morton said: "This is fantastic news, especially given the difficulties we faced in the travel industry in 2010.

"The severe weather conditions at the beginning and end of the year and the volcanic ash cloud from Iceland had a major impact on travel in and out of the UK. Despite this we saw more passengers taking off and landing in Doncaster."

"The easyJet operation was a big boost to our figures in the eight months it operated and we are delighted that with increased capacity and new routes from other operators, we are well on the way to replacing these services for 2011."

Easyjet both launched and ended its services from the airport during 2010.

Aer Lingus Regional stopped flying to Dublin from Doncaster Sheffield Airport in October, as planned.

No announcement has been made as to whether Dublin flights will be back this year, although airport bosses say they hope they will return.

Factors contributing to the increase in passengers are thought to include Wizz Air and Flybe seeing increases in passenger numbers - by four per cent and three per cent respectively.

Wizz Air will add Vilnius, Lithuania to its Doncaster services in April while Ryanair, Holidays4U and Thomas Cook have all increased their flights from Doncaster.

Mayor of Doncaster Peter Davies: "This is great news, I am pleased to see that Robin Hood Airport is bucking the national trend of declining passenger numbers.

"As a local authority we are supporting growth around the airport site through our Invest in Doncaster aviation team."

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