Government urges owners to consider offers to save Doncaster Sheffield Airport

Doncaster Sheffield Airport
Operations at Doncaster Sheffield Airport are winding down. Credit: Nick Fletcher

The government is urging the owners of Doncaster Sheffield Airport to "seriously" consider offers from prospective buyers.

Transport secretary Mark Harper confirmed he had spoken to bosses at Peel Group, who are pressing ahead with plans to close the airport within days.

The company says it has yet to receive a "credible offer".

Mr Harper said: "There are, I understand, people who have made an offer for the airport. I've encouraged them to look seriously at the bid that's on the table. We've urged them to take that bid seriously, and I hope that's what they will do."

Despite a campaign by politicians, the South Yorkshire metro mayor Oliver Coppard and residents, Peel Group is winding down operations at the airport after a review found the business is no longer financially viable.

The company has repeatedly rejected offers of public money to keep the airport running until next year to allow time for a buyer to be found, saying it would only "postpone the inevitable".

Mr Harper said the financial support should be reconsidered to give the company "the breathing space" to finalise a deal to save the airport.

However, he reiterated that the airport is privately owned and the decision will ultimately lie with the company and not the government.

The final flights have already left the airport ahead of the planned closure.

Airport staff shared an emotional video as Tui's final passenger flight – to Tenerife – left the airport on Friday evening.

The last arrival will be on Friday, 4 November.

In a statement issued after Mr Harper's comments, Peel Group said: "In response to the speculation regarding the existence of a credible bidder for Doncaster Sheffield Airport, we can confirm that we are currently not in possession of what could be considered a credible offer.

"We have not been provided with the identity of the members of the proposed consortium. We also have no evidence as to the source or credibility of the interested party’s funding."

The company said "initial due diligence" had raised concerns about the "identity of the bidder consortium’s representatives".

"We are continuing to engage with all interested parties that we have been introduced to by Doncaster Council," it said.

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