Yorkshire airport lands flights to Florida

Holiday-maker Tui has announced a large-scale expansion into the Yorkshire market with the a series of new destinations including the region's first long-haul flight to Florida.

Artists impression of an East Coast mainline station at Doncaster Sheffield Airport

The firm is increasing its capacity at Doncaster Sheffield Airport by 110,000 additional seats, with flights to begin to Orlando from next year, as well as new services to Egypt, Croatia, Greece and Turkey.

The announcement will make Doncaster Sheffield Airport the only airport in Yorkshire with a transatlantic flight.

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Richard Sofer, commercial director with Tui, told The Yorkshire Post: “We will be flying a long haul flight from Doncaster Sheffield Airport to Florida, the only one in Yorkshire.

Orange County Convention Centre, in Orlando, Florida, where the IAAPA convention is held. Credit: Bill Morrow, flickr.com/billmorrow

“We are acting upon a strong growth plans for the airport and are really pleased to be building on the already solid relationship we have with the team.

“Florida is a very popular destination so we expect to see good demand in the Doncaster Sheffield area.

“This is something which is unique and new for the people in the area.”

The investment comes the week after bosses at Doncaster Sheffield Airport revealed ambitious expansion plans to reach millions of new passengers, which involves the building of an East Coast Mainline station and could create as many as 73,000 new jobs throughout the region.

Orange County Convention Centre, in Orlando, Florida, where the IAAPA convention is held. Credit: Bill Morrow, flickr.com/billmorrow

The airport’s masterplan was warmly welcomed by regional business leaders as it seeks to increase its passenger reach to as much as 25 million people.

The upgrade programme, including the station, would carry a £280m price tag, to be funded by a mixture of private and public money procured from both regional and national government.

Mr Sofer said that the new routes and capacity were determined prior to the announcement but that he welcomed the plans.

“The programme is just part of the ongoing relationship we have there and we think it is really exciting news.

“We like to give people a good experience and that includes the airport which is renowned for giving good customer experience.”