Yorkshire, in the north of England has a long history of industrial development as well as some of the most beautiful and famous tourism spots in the UK - but is has been poorly served by air transport.

That is all changing, according to Tony Hallwood, the commercial and aviation development director of Leeds Bradford International Airport (LBA).

"We have become the fastest-growing top-15 airport in the UK according to the CAA," Hallwood says. The latest figures show 11% year-on-year growth, and support LBA's plans for a $42 million passenger terminal development.

This year LBA has seen low-cost carrier Ryan Air open a base at the airport and launch 21 routes. Jet 2 has expanded routes and will reintroduce New York for the winter schedules. There has also been a growth in leisure operators and domestic routes from Flybe.

"We are at Routes to talk about the future plans," says Hallwood. "We will be talking to US airlines as our top priority and we are interested in the Middle Eastern gateway carriers as we have a huge ethnic population close to LBA who come from places like India, Pakistan, China and even the Gulf states.

"We have under-served our catchment area in the past, but that is changing. We are also working with Welcome to Yorkshire for inbound tourism. Yorkshire has a lot to offer as a destination and we are in the heart of it."

The airport currently serves 76 destinations.

Source: Flight Daily News