The Editor’s Corner #25 – Downfall of Doncaster Represents The Beginning of the Regional Collapse

LONDON – It remains clear that the downfall of Doncaster Airport represents the beginning of the regional collapse. Welcome to The Editor’s Corner.

The Editor’s Corner is an op-ed series from AviationSource Editor-in-Chief James Field, who is going to give his thoughts (Maybe controversial) on all things going on in the aviation industry.

In case you have missed the last 22, feel free to browse through them before you continue to read this piece:

  1. The Editor’s Corner #1: The Industry Isn’t Ready for Summer 2022 Demand
  2. The Editor’s Corner #2: JetBlue’s Offer for Spirit Airlines Will Change The American Airline Dynamic
  3. The Editor’s Corner #3: Boris Johnson’s Damage To The Aviation Sector is Another Reason for Resignation
  4. The Editor’s Corner #4: PLAY Will Transform The Market with a Post-Pandemic Edge
  5. The Editor’s Corner #5: Detriment of the Boeing 737 MAX & 787 Is Causing a 777X-Based Aftershock
  6. The Editor’s Corner #6: Qantas’ Plans For The Future Will Turn Around Negative Times
  7. The Editor’s Corner #7: The P2F Market Is Hotting Up…
  8. The Editor’s Corner #8: O’Leary Is Gunning For Another Cheap Boeing Order
  9. The Editor’s Corner #9: Ukraine Crisis: Turkish Airlines’ A350 Snap-Up from Aeroflot May Have Something To Do With A Red Carpet…
  10. The Editor’s Corner #10 – Ukraine Crisis: Lessors Will Not Win The Russia Battle
  11. The Editor’s Corner #11 – Spirit Airlines Are Slowly Changing Their Mind…
  12. The Editor’s Corner #12 – The Indian Air Cargo Market Is Hotting Up
  13. The Editor’s Corner #13 – Video Footage From RedAir Flight 203 Highlights Dangers of Carrying Luggage During an Evacuation
  14. The Editor’s Corner #14 – The Spirit-Frontier-JetBlue Battle for Merger Will Be Remembered As A Mess
  15. The Editor’s Corner #15 – Flyr, Norse & Norwegian Have Opportunity to Capitalise on SAS’ Woes
  16. The Editor’s Corner #16 – The Airbus & Boeing Battle Will Heat Up At Farnborough
  17. The Editor’s Corner #17 – My Predictions for Farnborough Were Well Off…
  18. The Editor’s Corner #18 – Why Do Airports & Airlines Fight Over Chaos When Government is to Blame?
  19. The Editor’s Corner #19 – Manchester Airport Has Resolved Its Chaotic Period – But Improvements Are Needed…
  20. The Editor’s Corner #20 – Ukraine Crisis: Wizz Air Abu Dhabi’s Russia Return Was A Mistake From The Get-Go
  21. The Editor’s Corner #21 – More Than Meets The Eye to The Emirates-United Codeshare
  22. The Editor’s Corner #22 – Israel Banning Boeing 747s Will Have Massive Impact on Cargo Operators
  23. The Editor’s Corner #23 – Amid Their Chaos, Qantas Is Taking The Fight to Air New Zealand
  24. The Editor’s Corner #24 – The Russian Airline Industry Is Heading for a Nosedive

Downfall of Doncaster Represents The Beginning of the Regional Collapse


The downfall of Doncaster Airport represents the beginning of the regional airport collapse, especially with funds drying up by the day.

Such a closure on October 31 will provide benefits to other regional airports in the area, but this will be at a massive disadvantage to passengers and the airports as costs rise.

Either way, airports across the UK that don’t handle as many passengers are going to be in for a rough ride this winter.

The Shift to Mainstream Airports Begins…

With the airport closing on October 31st, airlines such as TUI have already announced where their based aircraft are going ahead of the Winter when DSA will be no more.

Although a limited number of carriers operate out of the airport, it is still going to represent a significant switch over to the mainstream airports that are more financially fluid.

This is why I believe this is going to be the beginning of the collapse of regional airports, as consolidation will no doubt take place across the UK.

We will probably see a widescale switch, that is going to put pressure on them moving forward.

Could Leeds Bradford Benefit?

With the airport going under, this could mean that Leeds Bradford would benefit, due to the close proximity to the Doncaster catchment area.

However, this will be at the expense of inconvenience to passengers having to travel further to get to the airport to go on their holidays or work trips.

This means that Leeds may not stand to benefit at all, as it is all dependent on consumer confidence and needs, and if they are willing to make that trip or not.

Either way, all we can do is wait and see what happens in that regard, because it really can go either way.

What Will This Mean for Regional Airports?

Regional airports within the Doncaster area will begin to feel the pressure to succeed, especially as we head into the Winter 2022 season, where anything can happen.

The winter season is typically the most volatile, so consolidation and revenue performance needs to be an airport, airline’s top priority.

This also means that some airlines may not operate in regional airports due to the low turnover of revenue that they may receive from it.

But what we can expect to see is a massive struggle, with January/February time probably expected to be the worst period as inflation continues to rise in the country.

Pound Dropping Will Put Additional Pressure On The Industry…

With the recent news that the Pound has dropped in value, such international welcoming won’t be as strong as it used to be pre-COVID, pre-Ukraine, and pre-BREXIT.

This is going to be interesting to watch, as it is clear that the budget from Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng hasn’t projected any level of confidence to the market.

Ultimately, such low confidence will spread into the regional airports and will provide further negativity financially down the line.

Again, this is also something to watch too.

Overall: A Sad Day for UK Aviation…

Either way, it’s a sad day for UK aviation, especially with an airport as prevalent as Doncaster going under. It’s a shame that the Peel Group can’t allocate the funds needed nor accept government help.

Looking ahead, it does appear that the UK aviation industry is going to need another handout, especially as we get deeper and deeper into recession.

As I have mentioned, it is very much “wait and see” when it comes to the condition of the industry, but we can probably expect regional airports to get hit the most moving forward.

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