Airline lines up flights from Robin Hood Airport to Frankfurt, Germany

BMI Regional is looking at flights from Doncaster to Frankfurt
BMI Regional is looking at flights from Doncaster to Frankfurt

Doncaster’s Robin Hood Airport could be set to have an air link with one of Europe’s main financial centres.

In a move that may potentially provide a boost to the business community, the airline BMI Regional is bidding to set up a route to Frankfurt, home of the German stock exchange.

It is on a shortlist of possible routes to be considered for Government funding.

The shortlist of new international and domestic air routes for smaller airports was announced by the Government yesterday.

The money would come from the Regional Air Connectivity Fund, which is to provide improved connectivity with new transport connections for businesses and passengers from their local areas.

There are 15 routes on the shortlist.

Chris Harcombe, Head of Aviation Development at Robin Hood airport, said there is plenty of work still to be done before the route became a reality: “Any scheme that promotes the importance of regional connectivity is welcome news, however, the nature of route development is complex and highly competitive.

“This incentive alone will not deliver a carrier to operate the route. But clearly it will strengthen the case.

“Several new routes have been announced from Doncaster Sheffield Airport in the last 12 months making Doncaster Sheffield Airport the fastest growing airport in the North of England with strong growth projected for the year ahead.

“The FARRRS motorway link road is now fast approaching furthering strengthening the market case to airlines through a greatly expanded catchment area.”

Kate Chouings, policy and communications manager at Doncaster Chamber said: “The Chamber fully supports this expansion and the obvious benefits this brings the town, further enhancing Doncaster’s status as a central UK logistics hub.”

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “Smaller airports are vital for bringing the country together and creating new international opportunities for their local areas. The shortlist we are publishing today shows the potential for smaller airports to create jobs and drive growth.”

The funding will provide support for approved routes for three years. To be successful bidders, the operators of these routes will need to prove they will be commercially viable after that time. The proposed links will also be assessed for providing maximum value for money for the taxpayer. The final announcement of winning bids to be made in November.”