Wizz Air has conducted the final flight to depart Doncaster Sheffield Airport. Flight W61016 departed Doncaster on Saturday evening en route to Katowice as the airport prepares to shut down for good in the coming days.

Doncaster’s final flight leaves

The last flight to depart Doncaster Sheffield Airport (DSA) took off at 23:43 local time on Saturday night before arriving in Katowice less than two hours later. Wizz Air Flight W61016 left DSA just a day after TUI conducted its own farewell flight with a Friday evening service to Tenerife.

The aircraft selected for this milestone flight was a Wizz Air Airbus A321neo (registration: HA-LZY) seating up to 239 passengers in an all-economy configuration. Interestingly, HA-LZY is the newest aircraft in Wizz Air’s fleet having taken its first flight on August 23rd and joined the airline a week later.

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The ultra-low-cost carrier was involved in a dispute with DSA over the summer, leading it to cut flights without informing the airport beforehand. However, the two long-time partners will have fond memories of Wizz’s 16-year spell at the airport following its inaugural Doncaster Sheffield flight in 2006.

One passenger flying into DSA told BBC Look North,

“I’m disgusted. It’s a waste of a good runway. A lot of people use it. The crew on our flight were on their penultimate flight and they were in tears.”

Inbound flights to continue until Nov 4th

Doncaster Sheffield Airport will continue to welcome inbound flights until November 4th, but Wizz Air’s flight to Katowice on Saturday was the final outbound service. The airport has looked deserted in the wake of September’s announcement that it will wind down and be stripped of its critical assets.

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Wizz Air A321neo

As for Wizz Air, the carrier will shift its Doncaster routes to Leeds Bradford on October 31st, offering a total of seven routes from LBA – Bucharest, Cluj Napoca, Gdańsk, Kraków, Katowice, Warsaw, and Wrocław.

Where did it go wrong for Doncaster?

As Simple Flying reported last month, DSA will officially close following a six-week strategic review of its financial viability. Despite over 100,000 people signing a petition to save Doncaster Sheffield Airport, bosses claimed it was simply not viable to remain open, citing “the fundamental and insufficient lack of current or prospective revenue streams, together with the airport’s high operating costs.”

Yesterday’s final flight was met with a mixture of sadness and frustration, with many bemoaning owner Peel Group’s failure to keep the airport open despite being offered public money. Things could get worse for Peel Group after Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones opened legal proceedings against the company this week.

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Doncaster Shieffield Airport overview

Jones said,

“Following the lack of national government support and the continuing unreasonable actions of Peel with a ridiculous timeframe and current unwillingness to suspend the closure notice, yesterday I instructed Doncaster Council to commence legal proceedings to prevent removal of critical assets and infrastructure essential for operation and future potential operators.”

Doncaster Sheffield Airport was in the unenviable position of being surrounded by other established airports, including Manchester Airport (MAN) and Leeds-Bradford Airport (LBA), making any meaningful and sustained growth difficult to pull off.

Have you ever flown out of Doncaster Sheffield Airport? What did you make of the airport? Let us know in the comments.

Source: BBC

Source: simpleflying.com

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