Flight Global - David Kaminski-Morrow

New UK prime minister Liz Truss will need more than assurances that regional connectivity is vital to economic growth to avoid Doncaster Sheffield’s following Sheffield City airport into Yorkshire aviation obscurity.

Doncaster Sheffield’s financial performance hardly helps its case. It has never made a full-year operating profit since commercial operations began in April 2005.

Doncaster Sheffield’s operator argued that airlines’ remaining focused on larger airports in the wake of the economic recession was stifling development. Although passenger numbers started to rise again in 2015 – with a growth rate claimed as the fastest outside of London – the airport was hampered by high operating costs, and its financial performance was affected by impairments.

Peel Group initiated a review of the airport’s business case, but could not identify proposals which could deal with the “intractable problem” of its “fundamental lack of financial viability”, given the high fixed costs and slump in the air transport market. Absent of a rescue, the provision of aviation services at Doncaster Sheffield will be wound down from the end of October.

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