Local airports are not only critical to air travel in the region they serve. They are also important employers and contributors to the economy. When someone announces a shutdown (rare, but it does happen), there is a negative knock-on effect for the larger community. So an online campaign has been launched in the UK to save Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) after reports it may close its doors, gates and runways in October of this year.
A petition to save the airport, which is currently underway at Change.org, at the time of writing, 96,242 signatures were collected. In mid-July, the airport’s owner, the Peel Group, announced the start of a six-week consultation period in mid-July to see if the operation would still be viable following the closure of the low-cost carrier. Wizzbase a month before. According to The Star, Peel Group say their decision will depend on the outcome of the consultation, which is due to take place in a week’s time.
Wizz Air recently closed a base that opened in 2020. Photo: Getty Images
The applicant blames the high fees at the airport
Around 800 jobs will be at risk if the airport closes at the end of the summer season. Wizz Air still operates flights from the airport TUIGetJet Airlines, SmartLynx, and several charter airlines. The airport also accepts cargo operations, which are reportedly doing better than the passenger side of the business. One potential avenue is that it could switch to freight-only services.
One of the petition signers said,
“I don’t want to see Doncaster Airport close or go freight-only. Peel’s disgraceful holdings received all the available grants, caused chaos in the area with the work of the road and partly railway infrastructure. Why don’t we have a viable airport in this area, we know the answer to why more airlines don’t fly from here – extortionate landing fees.”
Wizz “sacrifices” its base with a tangible blow
Doncaster-Sheffield Airport, formerly Robin Hood, is one of two international commercial airports in Yorkshire. In 2019, DSA served 1.4 million passengers. Another, Leeds Bradford, handled just under 4 million. Peel says it has invested 250 million pounds ($295 million) in the site. However, the airport never reached the critical mass of traffic needed to be profitable and, unsurprisingly, suffered even more difficulties as a result of the pandemic.
Speaking to The Worksop Guardian last month, Robert Hough, chairman of Peels Airport Group, said:
“This is a critical time for aviation worldwide. While the pandemic-related travel restrictions are gradually coming to an end, we still face persistent obstacles and dynamic, long-term threats to the future of the aviation industry. Wizz’s move to sacrifice its Doncaster base to strengthen business opportunities at other bases in southern England is a significant blow to the airport.”
Do you know someone who will be affected by the potential closure of Doncaster-Sheffield? Leave a comment below and share their story.
https://simpleflying.com/doncaster-sheffield-airport-petition/ Almost 100,000 people have signed a petition in the hope of saving Doncaster Sheffield Airport