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Tag Archives: Edinburgh

Why throw good money at bad airport?

In the hope of finding why KCC are peeing our money away, we’ve asked Sharon Dawson (top banana at Visit Kent) some simple and obvious questions. We’ll let you know what, if anything, comes of them. Dear Ms Dawson, I understand that Visit Kent has been given £100,000 of public money in order to ‘market’ KLM flights at Manston.  My …

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KLM-Manston: analysis

Regular readers will recall that the last time KLM showed any interest in Manston, they were being lured by the promise of £600,000 - money which Manston and KCC were trying to prise out of the Government's Regional Growth Fund. The Government said "No", and KLM faded into the background. I do hope this new service isn't being subsidised from the public purse (national, county or district).

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Flybe, Manston, night flights and the truth

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...

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David Foley backs night flights

As part of the continuing PR offensive, Manston airport has roped in David Foley to bang the drum for night flights, as if they're not noisy enough already. The local papers are describing David Foley as "business leaders", despite the fact that there is very obviously just one of him. More of this in another post.


News that the airline operator Flybe is scrapping Edinburgh service sparks new demands for more flexible flight schedules. 

Business leaders in Thanet have demanded that night flights be given the go ahead at Manston airport in order to attract passenger airlines after Flybe confirmed it was to scrap its service to Edinburgh in March. The firm said the route was not proving financially viable – thus delivering the latest blow to the terminal as it looks to establish itself within the mass market.

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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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Outlook gets gloomier for Infratil

BAA airport sale squeezes Prestwick

Have you ever had one of those weeks when things just seem to go from bad to worse? If so, you'll be able to empathise with Infratil.

In response to the general downturn and gloom, the bucket shops are reducing capacity and cutting routes. Flybe, the mainstay of Manston's struggling passenger business, is on the ropes and cutting routes that are busier than the infrequent services out of Manston - which doesn't bode well.

And now, to cap it all, BAA (easily the largest airport operator in the country) is moving the goal posts and increasing the competitive pressure on Prestwick, Infratil's busiest airport outside New Zealand.

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Wouldn’t it be a huge boost for the local tourist industry if Manston could actually develop a viable passenger business?

The research says that it wouldn’t. The UK exports tourists rather than importing them - more Brits fly abroad for their holidays than foreigners come here.

The UK currently runs a “tourism deficit” of £19 billion a year and about £17 billion of that flies out of the UK every year with people flying abroad on holiday. This aviation tourism deficit is costing the UK about 900,000 jobs a year because people spend their money abroad instead of here.

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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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