Flybe scraps Manchester service from Manston and launches Belfast flights
Regional airline Flybe is grounding its service between Manston and Manchester and replacing it with a new summer operation to Belfast.
The service to Northern Ireland will operate three times a week and begin on May 26. Flybe said its services between Kent International and Edinburgh were popular and would continue. However, it was suspending its Manchester service from April 4 because passenger numbers had made the flight “economically and environmentally hard to justify.”
Despite this setback, the airline insisted it remained committed to developing its route network from Manston. Airport chief executive officer Charles Buchanan said:
“We are pleased that Flybe have reinforced their commitment to Manston with the announcement of a Belfast City service. Initially this will be three times a week, but will hopefully increase as demand grows and aircraft become available. Sadly, despite the best efforts of both the Manston Airport team and Flybe, the Manchester route has not proved sustainable; however we are confident that Belfast will attract more passengers.”
Mike Rutter, Flybe’s chief commercial officer said:
“We’re delighted to be adding this new service between Belfast and Manston, providing passengers with a quick and direct route between South East England and Northern Ireland. Whilst the service to Manchester has unfortunately proved unsustainable, we’ve been delighted with the support shown by travellers to and from the region on the Manston-Edinburgh route and remain committed to developing our route network from Manston.”
The Belfast service will operate on Tuesdays and Thursdays (departing from Manston at 13.45) and Sundays (12.50). Flights will depart from Belfast at 11.40 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 10.45 on Sundays. One-way fares start at £29.99. The flight time will be 1h 40m.
by business editor Trevor Sturgess
kentonline 15th Mar 2011