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Since July 2013, TUI Airways operates with their Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft out of East Midlands, serving the long haul holiday destinations of Sanford (Orlando) and Cancun.There are also return flights to Jamaica and Barbados, operated once each year to join cruises and holidays.This is because all the skylink bus services stop outside the station, so it does not require private taxis etc.Although very much still in the initial stages of planning, a proposed route for the High Speed 2 rail line from London Euston to the north of England via Birmingham could bring the Leeds branch very close to East Midlands Airport with proposals for a station to serve the airport and the Nottingham and Derby catchment areas.The airfield was renamed East Midlands Airport to reflect the area it served, and it opened for passengers in April 1965. Go Fly established a hub at East Midlands, and the operation has been strengthened since the airline's absorption by easy Jet.The majority of BMI operations were ceded to a new low cost subsidiary, bmibaby, in 2002.
Though the nearest station is East Midlands Parkway, Long Eaton is a more practical option.
The arrivals hall has been extended, a new transport interchange has been created, and a new pier has been built to reduce 'across tarmac' walking to aircraft.
However, it was announced on 13 April 2011 that Bmibaby would close its Manchester and Cardiff bases, moving an additional service to East Midlands Airport with increased frequencies and new routes for summer 2012.
The airport was originally a Royal Air Force station, RAF Castle Donington, which was decommissioned in 1946.
The site was purchased by a consortium of local government authorities in 1964, when a major programme of building work and runway investment was begun.