Doncaster Sheffield Airport owners eager to find out more about consortium interested in a takeover

The owners of Doncaster Sheffield Airport say they are waiting to find out which consortium is believed to be interested in a takeover.

Peel Group has announced the airport may no longer be commercially viable and it will make a decision on its future later this month, after carrying out a strategic review.

South Yorkshire Mayor Oliver Coppard has been searching for a new operator to save it from closure, and announced this week that a “credible consortium” with “extensive aviation experience” is interested.

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But Peel Group said it cannot consider this offer until it receives “the necessary detail” from the mayor’s office.

Doncaster Sheffield Airport is facing an uncertain futureDoncaster Sheffield Airport is facing an uncertain future
Doncaster Sheffield Airport is facing an uncertain future

“We requested details of the identity of the consortium, but this has not been forthcoming, nor have the terms of any proposal or evidence of the consortium’s financial standing or aviation expertise,” a spokeswoman said.

“The Peel Group has been given until Wednesday, September 14, to respond to this news. We will carefully consider this expression of interest as soon as we receive the necessary detail.

“In the meantime, we will continue to engage with the local and regional political leadership on the Strategic Review.

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“As a mark of respect for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, we will postpone the scheduled announcement regarding the conclusion of the strategic review until Monday, September 26.”

According to Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones, the consortium has come forward with an “extremely serious proposition” even though Peel Group has set out “very re strictive” criteria for a potential takeover.

She also said Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) supports more than 2,700 jobs and contributes over £100m per year to the local economy.

Peel Group said Mr Coppard and Ms Jones have set out the economic benefits of the airport but provided “no solution to the lack of financial viability”.

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The investment group said it has “never achieved the critical mass required to become profitable", despite £250m of investment, and the passenger shortage had been exacerbated by Wizz Air’s decision to stop running flights from the airport and the Covid-19 pandemic.

Last month, Peel Group said it was open to “any credible proposals from both the public and private sector” but not interested in “loans to cover operational losses”.

Teesside International Airport was taken into public ownership three years ago after

Peel Group agreed a deal with Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen, to sell for £40m.

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The investment group was keen to sell the airport, claiming it was losing around £2.5m a year.

Prime Minister Liz Truss intervened last week and said new Transport Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan will take part in the negotiations and work to “protect this airport".

She also said regional airports like DSA are are a vital to economic growth.