Leeds Bradford International Airport has revealed ambitious plans to increase passenger numbers from 3 to 5 million in the next five years, as well as increase the number of destinations served from 75 to 100.
New routes are planned for business destinations in Germany, as well as to the new EU states. In the wake of Pakistan International Airlines introducing its twice weekly service from Leeds Bradford to Islamabad, an airport spokesperson has said that plans are afoot over the next five years to introduce more medium and long haul flights to America and the Middle East, in order to meet the passenger targets.
First it is hoped that a new route to an as yet unnamed west coast US city will facilitate links to North and South American destinations. A new route planned for Leeds Bradford to Dubai would enable the Emirates city to be used as a hub for onward flights to Australia, Japan and China.
The owners of the airport, Bridgepoint Capital, a private equity firm, bought the airport last year for £145.5 million. The airport had previously been in public ownership since 1930 when it was opened as Yeadon Aerodrome. Although Bridgepoint Capital owns the airport from a financial point of view, the five councils who previously owned it still have a say in the operation of the airport.
Bridgepoint Capital has promised to spend a further £70 million to boost the region’s business and tourism prospects. A £3 million project is about to get underway to improve the airport’s parking facilities and drop-off and pick-up points.