We wondered whether night flights would have made a difference to Flybe’s decision to quit Manston.
After all, Charles Buchanan’s constant message in the media is that night flights are essential to the airport’s long-term commercial success, and Flybe is exactly the kind of high volume passenger carrier that Manston wants to attract (and keep).
So had the lack of scheduled night flights made Manston less attractive? Would scheduled night flights have persuaded Flybe to stay?
So we asked them…
Nice to talk to you just now, and thanks for offering to get me an answer to my question about Flybe leaving Manston airport.
I’d like to know if it would have made a difference to Flybe’s decision to leave if the local authority, Thanet District Council, had agreed to allow night-time flying at Manston.
What was the main reason for Flybe deciding to pull out of Manston?
Thanks for your email.
Please see below for the statement available from Flybe regarding Manston Airport.
Simon Lilley, Flybe’s Director of Marketing, comments:
“It is with regret that Flybe can confirm it will cease its operations from Manston International Airport with effect from the end of IATA Winter season on March 25th, 2012.
“Flybe carefully reviews the viability of all our 200 plus routes on a regular basis looking not only at passenger numbers but also at external cost pressures. This is done not only to monitor where we can offer increased regularity on a given route but also where passenger numbers make a flight uneconomic.
“Our ongoing commitment to Manston has been reliant on the success of the Edinburgh service that we launched in May 2010. Despite extensive marketing of this route both in Scotland and throughout SE England, the challenging economic environment with which we are all faced has meant passenger numbers remain at unsustainable levels, and are insufficient to financially justify its continued operation.
“All passengers who have booked flights online for next summer will be contacted by Flybe and offered a full refund or re-accommodated on alternate flights; and in the interim we look forward to welcoming on board those passengers who continue to book and use our Edinburgh service from now through to the end of March.”
Issued by Flybe press office
T: 0845 675 0681
I still need to know about Flybe’s attitude to night flights. If Thanet Council had agreed to all night flying would Flybe have stayed at Manston? This is what some of the councillors are asserting and I need to know how much truth there is in it.
It looks from your statement that Flybe went for wider economic reasons than just the night flights but I do need you to state something about it!
So the direct question is: if there had been more night flights allowed at Manston Airport would Flybe have stayed there? Yes or No?
Thanks for your note – the answer would be no.