Busy summer forecast
THE first flights took off from Yorkshire's latest airport today.
Hundreds of passengers were at the new Robin Hood Airport Doncaster Sheffield for four flights to holiday destinations during the day.
Low-cost carrier Thomsonfly.com took travellers to Majorca, Faro, Alicante and Malaga.
And airport officials are forecasting a successful summer for the new site, which is six miles south-east of Doncaster.
An airport spokesman said: "Since flights went on sale back in December last year, tickets have been selling rapidly.
"Thomsonfly.com anticipates it will book more than 350,000 customers through Robin Hood airport within the first 12 months."
The airline will operate low-cost flights to 11 destinations from Robin Hood Airport - Palma, Pisa, Prague, Paris, Ibiza, Alicante, Malaga, Valencia, Dublin, Jersey and Faro - throughout the summer season.
Thomson also plans to begin flights to a range of sunshine holiday resorts from May 1.
These include Majorca, Minorca, Costa Brava, Costa Blanca, Costa del Sol, Las Palmas, Ibiza, Portugal, Tenerife, Italy, Malta, Corfu, Rhodes, Cyprus and Venice.
From next year, Thomsonfly.com also plans to fly long-haul from Robin Hood Airport to the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Florida.
The company has based four Boeing 737-300 aircraft at Robin Hood Airport for the low-cost holiday flights this summer.
Alex Hunter, chief commercial officer for Thomsonfly.com, said: "This is a great day for us and the people of Yorkshire.
"Bookings show that there is a huge demand in the area for a low fares flight service to European cities and holiday resorts.
"The airport terminal looks superb and I know people are going to really enjoy the experience of flying from here."
* Robin Hood Airport, the UK's newest purpose built international airport, is built on the site of the former RAF Finningley airbase.
* The scheme to convert RAF Finningley into a commercial airport attracted a massive amount of support from local residents, the business community and particularly the wider aviation industry.
* RAF Finningley opened in 1936 and is best known as the front line Bomber Command base during World War II and the Cold War. The base also provided an air crew training centre of excellence for pilots and navigators.
* The airport runway is just under 2 miles (2,891 metres) long and was resurfaced in 1989 before the Ministry of Defence declared the site surplus to requirements in March 1995.
* Because of the excellent quality of the infrastructure already in place – the airport has one of the longest runways in the north of England – Robin Hood Airport has the capacity to handle charter, scheduled, long-haul, freight, general and business aviation internationally.