Home ... Tag Archives: Belfast

Tag Archives: Belfast

Trevor wants a Parkway

Kent Online's business editor Trevor Sturgess argues for a Parkway station and high speed rail links, but I think he's missed a few relevant points [my comments are bracketed in italics].


Flybe’s decision to pull out of Manston is another blow to the airport, especially disappointing at the turn of the year. However attractive we in Kent think Manston is, it seems that not enough people agree.

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Flybe quit Manston: analysis

Too few passengers

Flybe's decision makes it absolutely clear – Manston does not have the makings of a successful passenger airport.

The current owners of Manston airport (Infratil) have always pushed the story that they want Manston to be a mixed passenger and freight airport. We know that Ryanair and easyJet have both examined Manston airport carefully in the past. They both came to the same conclusion: if Manston airport was 10 miles further West, it would have a large enough catchment area to have the potential to succeed as a passenger airport.

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Flybe quit Manston

Flybe has said it will not be flying from Manston International Airport in Kent after March. The airline said it would cease operations there at the end of the winter season. Flybe launched its Manston to Edinburgh service in May 2010. Flybe spokesman Niall Duffy said:

"We tried different routes and the numbers simply weren't there. It's impossible to sustain routes without the passengers.

Unfortunately for the Manston services it was just impossible to look at those passenger numbers and think that we could sustain the kind of difficulties we were facing.

It is fair to say that Manston is one of the airports with the smaller catchment areas in the United Kingdom, and you have Gatwick not too far away."

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Q: What DOESN’T connect George Best, John Lennon and Robin Hood?

A: Flybe

George Best is Belfast's airport, John Lennon is Liverpool's and Robin Hood is Doncaster's. Flybe used to have scheduled flights connecting them, but that was before their share price fell through the floor after their recent profit warning.

In Charles Buchanan's position, I would be rather by worried by the second paragraph of Flybe's statement...

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Job losses at Manston Airport

Four jobs are to go at Manston Airport in a cost-cutting programme amid speculation that a new service to New York is poised for take-off. The airport, owned by New Zealand company Infratil, has been losing money on its operations and needed to cut costs to give it a more secure future.

Airport chiefs recently examined working patterns to see where cost savings could be made. This process and staff consultation has identified savings of more than £350,000 and the loss of four roles. Charles Buchanan, airport chief executive, said:

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Airport campaigner’s anger over ‘secret’ bid

Town planners refuse to release details of rail proposal

Campaigners against Manston night flights were left fuming this week after county council officials refused to release details of their bid for a new train station at the airport.

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Airport expansion could bring 3,500 jobs

New research for Manston airport owners Infratil shows that the airport could create 3,500 jobs in the local economy, but only if more flexibility is allowed for night flights. The study by aviation consultants York Aviation into the economic impact of Manston suggests it would contribute nearly £65 million a year to the local economy by 2018, if its masterplan development is realised.

The research indicates the airport would provide direct employment for 2,070 people and a further 1,035 jobs in the wider economy by 2018, on the basis of the masterplan. The findings reinforce the claims in the airport's masterplan and Infratil's vision of developing a South East regional airport that would offer scheduled passenger services, chartered flights and handling international freight.

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Nothing to smile about

Charles Buchanan, chief executive, Kent International Airport, Manston

The economics of the marketplace are impartial and unforgiving, grimly scything down any business models that are weak, lame or faltering.

Plenty of people want to go to Manchester, and plenty of people want to come to East Kent. Evidently, not enough people want to travel between the two. So the Manchester route failed. Within a year, we'll find out how many people want to travel between East Kent and Belfast.

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Manchester “unsustainable”. Belfast “attractive”?

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."

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