There was a time when Manchester Airport had very few flights - so how did it become the third busiest in the country?
People used it.
They went to the destinations on offer instead of travelling to Heathrow or Gatwick.
Doncaster Sheffield Airport is at the start of a similar journey today. Last year it signed its biggest-ever deal when it landed Flybe.
The firm, Europe’s biggest regional airline, stationed two jets at the Finningley site which deliver eight routes, 44 departures-a-week and an extra 500,000 seats-a-year. Destinations include two international hubs, Amsterdam and Paris, which connect to the rest of the world.
It’s no surprise that Doncaster Sheffield had a record 1.2million passengers last year. It’s one of the fastest growing in the country - but continued growth isn’t guaranteed.
Flybe chief revenue officer Vincent Hodder says people must “use it or lose it”. For business, he believes bosses should make the most of the places it already serves, rather than dream about places it doesn’t. Because that’s how Manchester did it.
He said: “It’s one of the airports with the highest potential for growth. Doncaster is as good as any airport you will find anywhere.
“In our partnership with Peel Airports the focus is on Flybe delivering much needed connections for business and leisure.
“Look at Sheffield as a city – it’s the only one without significant airport operations. For the fourth largest city in the country, it’s underserved.
“It’s absolutely one of the key growth priorities for aviation in the UK.
“I would settle on it being the airport for Yorkshire.”
Leeds-Bradford has about 4million passengers annually.
He added: “This is an opportunity for you. Work with us, support our services, look at where you can build customers using the services already on your doorstep.”
Sir Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, attended the opening of the Great Yorkshire Way link road to the airport last year. It cuts the journey to Sheffield to 25 minutes.
He said: “We wholeheartedly support the ambitious vision of Peel to make Doncaster Sheffield Airport the place to fly from.
“Welcome to Yorkshire has a proud partnership with the airport, which is the home of FlyBe’s Tour de Yorkshire branded plane, and we are impressed by the work already done to add a motorway link road to improve access.”