Showing posts with label Doncaster Sheffield Airport. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Doncaster Sheffield Airport. Show all posts

18 November, 2022

Doncaster Sheffield Airport ‘could reopen next spring’......

Doncaster Sheffield Airport to close.
Photo Doncaster Sheffield Airport 

Doncaster Sheffield Airport closed on 5th November after being unable to raise a profit since the pandemic and the owners - the Peel Group believe the land is worth more for redevelopment than as an airport.  However, there is hope on the not-too-distant horizon according to the local mayor, who believes the airport could be reopened in the spring of next year. 

Oliver Coppard, the South Yorkshire mayor said last Friday, that a takeover deal was currently being negotiated between the Peel Group and a business consortium from the United Arab Emirates. If all goes ahead, the airport could reopen in April or May Coppard said. 

The Peel Group have said the airport is not financially viable, despite being guaranteed funding from local authorities to keep the airport running until next year. 

A Save Doncaster Sheffield Airport group has been launched on social media, led by Mark Chadwick, who commented "We will be waiting for the investors and Peel to do a deal before we know what’s happening with the future of DSA.  If all goes well and a deal is done the airport could be open to passenger travel by April/May time.  If all fails, talks stop and no purchase happens, then Doncaster Council and South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority are prepared to take this further and carry out a Compulsory Purchase Order on the airport site."

26 September, 2022

Doncaster Sheffield Airport to close in November as Peel Group chase redevelopment profits

Photo Doncaster Sheffield Airport 

A special strategic review by airports operator the Peel Group has found no tangible proposals on the table to continue to operate Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA).  The group said today that because of the high fixed costs associated with running a safe, regulated airport, together with the drop in revenues because of recent events and no real prospect of increased revenue, it just isn't financially viable to keep the airport going.

The airport will start winding down all its aviation services and operations from the end of October with no flights operating to or from the airport beyond the second week of November. Currently, the airport handles on between 10 and 15 passenger aircraft arrivals and a similar number of departures each day and according to operates, generates good loads. 

Robert Hough, Chairman of Peel Airports Group, which includes Doncaster Sheffield Airport, said: “We recognise that this will come as a great disappointment to many. The intractable problem remains the fundamental and insufficient lack of current or prospective revenue streams, together with the airport’s high operating costs. Our employees have always been DSA’s greatest asset, and we are grateful to them all, past and present, for their dedication and diligence over the years. The immediate priority remains to continue engaging closely with them over the next few weeks. 

As such, DSA will now begin a formal process of consulting with team members. We will do everything we can to minimise the impact of these proposals and work closely with local authorities and agencies to support our employees through what we know will be an extremely difficult period. DSA has remained in contact with union representatives on site throughout and we are committed to ensuring they are updated through every step of this next phase.” 

Doncaster Sheffield Airport to close.
Photo Doncaster Sheffield Airport 
Local councils had offered to fund its operating losses until 31 October 2023 to keep the airport open and operating until a buyer could be found. However,  The Peel Group obviously feel the site is far more valuable to redevelop than it is to operate as an airport and has turned down that offer and claims it has not had any others. 

Steven Underwood, Chief Executive, Peel Group said: "We will not accept any public sector grant to cover the costs of an airport that is not viable due to its lack of adequate forward revenues and high operating costs. Accepting funds from SYMCA may postpone the inevitable for another thirteen months, but it will divert funds away from services on which communities throughout South Yorkshire rely."

The firm is now set on redeveloping the airport site in conjunction with the £1.7 billion GatewayEast development next door, which will lead to greater profits and revenues for the family-run company. 

The decision by The Peel Group has been met with dismay and anger by many in the local community and further afield. A statement from Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones stated he was "Absolutely dismayed and disappointed by Peel’s announcement today."

The statement goes on to say, "Despite a realistic offer of a financial lifeline from the public sector and support from national government to keep the airport open and operational whilst a new owner/operator is secured, the airport owners have said it is their decision to close.

This reasonable offer would have created greater certainty for staff, the airport and the aviation industry at a time of economic stress. Our concerted efforts have found several significant and seriously interested parties in the airport which wanted to be part of its future.

Peel’s decision and their wholly reluctant approach throughout the last 10 weeks has been completely uncompromising and unreasonable. It is now clear that Peel was never seriously interested in looking at the opportunities offered to them which have been developed at pace and in good faith, preferring to close the airport and seek to develop the land for other uses which could generate greater commercial value for them and their shareholders.

I would urge Peel that it is not too late to do the right thing and reconsider their decision for the sake of those employees, businesses and communities directly impacted by this appalling decision.

If Peel is determined to follow this course of action then our immediate focus must be on supporting those 2,700 plus employees, staff, residents and businesses within Doncaster and beyond whose futures are now in jeopardy as a result of their actions.”

One of the biggest operators at the airport, Tui, was equally shocked by the announcement, it said it was "Incredibly disappointed about the decision to close Doncaster Sheffield Airport. They say their flights will operate as planned until the 4th Nov and that they will do everything they can to offer suitable, alternative roles to colleagues."

BBC Radio Sheffield reported that South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard says he's devastated & angry about Peel's decision to close  Doncaster Sheffield airport. He says their decision to turn down a funding offer shows "Peel was never serious about finding an alternative and safeguarding the future of DSA."

24 August, 2018

Luton ranked bottom of UK airports by a consumer publication

London Luton is yet again rated the worst airport in the UK, by Which? The annual airport survey reveals passengers have a better experience when flying from smaller airports.

The survey found the disastrous customer service, queues at passport control and poor facilities were part of the reasons why London Luton was named as the worst overall airport, with a customer satisfaction score of just 35% percent.

The survey was based on 11,265 passenger visits to UK airports, taking into account everything from queues at bag drop to the cleanliness of toilets. Of that number, the consumer publication is understood to have questioned just 521 people travelling through Luton. 

“Which? polled 521 of its subscribers who had travelled through the airport between May 2017 and May 2018, 0.003% of all passengers in that period. During this time we’ve undergone a period of significant change, investing £160 million redeveloping the airport to increase capacity and transform the passenger experience." Said Nick Barton, CEO of London Luton Airport, adding “In the first six months of 2018 alone, 1.2 million passengers responded to our customer service tracking, 70 per cent of whom told us they were happy with their experience."

Which? claims that top of the list was Doncaster Sheffield airport with an outstanding customer score of 87 percent. Passengers praised the airport’s short queues, facilities and speedy baggage reclaim process.  Robert Hough, Chairman of Doncaster Sheffield Airport, said: “We are proud to be judged the UK’s and the North’s best airport, this is great recognition of the exceptional customer service offered by every single member of the team.  We have always set out to deliver a top class passenger experience, it’s what people should enjoy when at an airport whether for pleasure or business."