Chamber chiefs are urging business people to back Doncaster Airport after Aer Lingus announced flights to New York with the warning: “Use us or lose us”
The Irish flag carrier is starting a five times a week service to Dublin in May – four years after it axed a similar service due to the recession and the Icelandic ash cloud which grounded flights across Europe for weeks.
Now, Richard Wright, executive director of Sheffield Chamber, has made a personal appeal to the business community saying “it’s time to back the airport.”
He said: “About four years ago the chambers across South Yorkshire put all their weight behind the long term development of Doncaster Sheffield airport.
“We felt that it had the best chance of survival because the business plan was based on passengers, freight and the industrial park.
“Last year freight more than doubled and passengers grew by eight per cent and the new FARRS road was started. We have been speaking to the airport for some time about business-friendly connections and the Aer Lingus announcement is the first step in providing them.”
The new service comes with a major attraction for businesspeople – links to four North American cities: New York, Chicago and Boston in the USA and Toronto in Canada.
On LinkedIn, Mark Waterhouse, director of Mediascope Productions, said: “Credit to Doncaster Council for having the foresight to keep Finningley Airport maintained and working after it closed in 1994. I was at the ceremony when the base finally closed and never dreamed that I would see a civilian airport bring it back to life.”
Andy Morley, group managing director at ProAktive Ltd, said: “As a Sheffield boy born and bred, who now lives in Doncaster and who is MD of a business with offices in Doncaster and Sheffield, I think the emergence of Robin Hood Airport is fantastic news for our region.
“The logistics industry is certainly backing the developments and now growth in freight and passenger numbers show that Peel will be vindicated.
“I encourage anyone who hasn’t used the airport to give it a go and I challenge the airport to use the momentum to bring new carriers and routes to Sheffield City Region.
Scott Cooper, director at P&A Receivables, said: “Great news for the region and for those of us who head to Dublin frequently.
“Doncaster is such a hassle-free airport to use.
“The car park out front is a dream compared to the chaos of Manchester!”
Tim Hale, chairman at Champion Hire Ltd, added: “From a personal viewpoint, please can we focus on calling it ‘Doncaster Sheffield Airport’ every time, not the ridiculous ‘Robin Hood’ and certainly not just ‘Doncaster’.
“One of the key things we must all do is to ensure that overseas customers, suppliers, colleagues and friends know of the new routes, and how easy the airport is to use.”