Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) is celebrating its ‘sweet sixteenth’ anniversary, and despite a second consecutive ‘lockdown birthday’, is excited to mark the occasion by celebrating an impressive milestone of 14 million passengers having enjoyed its easy, friendly, relaxed service since 2005.
Although the fifteenth anniversary year has been like no other, spirits refuse to be dampened at the UK’s favourite airport. The team are preparing to welcome customers, ready for a holiday, confident of a swift restart and positive recovery.
No stranger to adversity, the plucky airport has always punched above its weight and has achieved a lot in its short sixteen years. With the same approach and level of dogged determination in the future, no doubt there is more to come.
With a sense of romance and spirit of adventure associated with air travel, as the check-in desk shape up and the sanitiser stations refill in readiness of a much-anticipated summer start, the team is reaching out to its followers and fans asking them to share their favourite DSA memories.
Chris Harcombe joined DSA in 2006 and has witnessed most of the major milestones, growth and occasional setbacks of the last 16 years. He became managing director with responsibility across the business, including financial, operational and commercial performance in January this year, and, as the nation anticipates the return to international travel, he remains confident for the future.
“We’re immensely proud of our track record and what we have achieved in a relatively short space of time. Perhaps it’s Yorkshire grit but we keep on proving naysayer’s wrong! We’ve created a successful, regional airport in the North of England, the first in over 50 years, thanks in no small part to an incredibly hard-working and dedicated team of people and our loyal customers.
“We worked with our partners and stakeholders to open a link road to significantly cut journey time for our customers, we stayed operational in the face of a global pandemic and we have delivered a major growth and additional choice for our customers. With this continued determination, I’m certain we will retain our spot as one of the fastest growing airports in the UK and of course continue to drive forward our ambitions for the GatewayEast Rail scheme.
“There is no denying it has been a very difficult year for the aviation industry. However, we are looking forward to welcoming back passengers. We have robust and vigorous covid protocols in place for the health and safety of our customers and our team. Our operators have done all they can to offer flexible terms for customers so they can book with confidence and we look forward to celebrating anniversaries and milestones for many more years to come.”
HAPPY BIRTHDAY DSA!
Land and Property developers Peel Group acquisition recognised the need for an airport in the North of England East of the Pennines and won a competitive bid process to take over and develop what had been the site of RAF Finningley. An investment of £150m, enabled the construction of a brand-new terminal building for the first new UK airport for 50 years.
The first commercial flight took off from Doncaster Sheffield Airport to Majorca at 09:15 hrs on 28th April 2005. Over 14 million passengers have since travelled through the airport.
Working in partnership with Doncaster Council and Sheffield City Region the Great Yorkshire Way opened in 2018, linking DSA directly with the M18. This was a game changer for the airport significantly expanding its reach and reducing its journey times for more travellers.
In May 2019, pupils from local primary schools Hayfield and St Alban’s, took part in the switching on of the new sign at the front of the terminal building, officially changing the name from Robin Hood to Doncaster Sheffield Airport.
In the same year, DSA achieved the hattrick of being named as the UK’s best small airport by Which? Magazine and the UK’s favourite regional airport by Saga members in 2018, based on its unrivalled customer experience.
DSA has maintained a long and successful relationship with main operators TUI and Wizz Air. Going from strength to strength, TUI, the world’s leading tourism business, has continued to grow the list of popular holiday destinations and number of aircraft based at DSA since aircraft first took off in 2005.
In 2020, Wizz Air grew its presence adding more low-cost routes for customers and two A320 aircraft as it announced DSA as its second UK base. The airport now services almost 50 destinations across the globe including long-haul destinations such as Sandford, Florida.
This year’s birthday will be somewhat different at DSA with Freight traffic currently the cornerstone of business as DSA plays a vital role in the Covid Pandemic.
As the UK eagerly anticipates the green light for international travel and a well-deserved holiday in the sun, DSA is readying for getting passengers back in the air, and the easy, friendly, relaxed service enhanced by recent improvements to the passenger terminal.