Robert Hough CBE, Chairman of Peel Airports Group has announced the promotion of Chris Harcombe to the role of Managing Director and the material expansion of Kate Stow’s responsibilities as part of the Executive Management Team of Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) to take effect on 1st January 2021.
The Airport’s current Aviation Development Director, Chris Harcombe, becomes Managing Director in the New Year, with responsibility across the business, including financial, operational and commercial performance. Chris has successfully led the development of our aviation activity over many years, including Passenger, Cargo and General & Business Aviation activities, taking DSA from being a new entrant in the sector to the credible proposition it is today. He will be responsible for strengthening the performance of DSA as the UK’s best regional airport and will continue to lead on developing its Cargo and General Business Aviation activity.
Kate Stow will assume leadership of DSA’s passenger aviation development, adding to her existing remit as Marketing and Corporate Affairs Director by taking on the new role of Director of Aviation Development and Corporate Affairs. Having played a critical role in the development of the Airport's strategic projects such as the Masterplan, Vision Plan and the development of key land assets, Kate will lead an enlarged team to develop the passenger aviation business alongside corporate affairs activity.
Chairman of Peel Airports Group, Robert Hough, said: “Chris and Kate both joined Doncaster Sheffield Airport in junior roles in 2006 shortly after its opening. Rooted in the local community, they share a passion for the economic opportunities that the development of the Airport offers the region. I am immensely pleased to have witnessed their progress over the last 15 years into these key leadership positions. They are completely committed to the future success of Doncaster Sheffield Airport and their endeavours have been instrumental in its growth to become the UK’s favourite regional airport.
“Between them, Chris and Kate have 40 years’ experience in the aviation industry, the majority of which has been as part of the talented team at Doncaster Sheffield Airport. I cannot think of a better unit to steer a steady course through Brexit, 2021 and beyond to further growth.”
Chris Harcombe, Managing Director Designate, Doncaster Sheffield Airport said: “I am delighted to be appointed Managing Director where my focus will be on working to ensure our award-winning customer service is maintained throughout our terminal development programme, improving operational efficiency, financial and commercial performance.
“The Airport is a proud part of the local community and I am committed to providing responsible, sustainable growth. We are passionate about the regenerative impact Doncaster Sheffield has on the regional economy now and in the future.
“Although 2020 has been the most challenging year on record for the aviation industry, DSA has shown consistent growth over the past five years and we are determined to continue our progress and emerge stronger. Our airlines, TUI and Wizz Air, have both delivered new based aircraft in recent years, adding new destinations, increasing customer choice and creating jobs in our region. This year has also shown the dedication and resilience of our talented team and I am proud to work alongside them.”
With 23 years in the aviation industry, Kate Stow has been at the forefront of many of the Airport’s ambitious, progressive and ‘punch-above-its-weight’ strategies that have made it the UK’s fastest growing and favourite regional airport.
These are just the beginning of the aspirations however, as Kate explains: “We have a lot to do when we start the New Year and work towards recovery from Covid. Our relationship with our airline partners TUI and Wizz Air go from strength to strength and we will be working with them to develop further destinations and quality holiday experiences that our customers enjoy.
“We continue to listen to and strive to fulfil our passengers’ desires for us to deliver global hub connectivity, increase our regional and business connections to destinations such as Belfast, Dublin and Jersey, develop our long-haul network and continue to add more choice to the most popular leisure destinations across the Mediterranean.
“We have always had a vision to be the leading airport east of the Pennines and we are resolute in that goal. DSA provides a great opportunity for airlines to increase market share and reduce their cost base, serving a region with considerable undersupply of airline seats.
“I will also continue to work with our partners in the Sheffield City Region to deliver a value-for-money business case to bring rail connectivity to the economic growth hub surrounding Doncaster Sheffield Airport, with the potential to create tens of thousands of jobs in the region. We will be using our collective Yorkshire grit to face current headwinds with the Department for Transport to illustrate its value in levelling up the North. I am delighted by this appointment and keen to get started on making 2021 the year of our recovery.”