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Tag Archives: PlaneStation

The Background Story

Manston a.k.a. Kent International Airport is an ex-RAF base in north-east Kent, just west of Ramsgate. It passed from the RAF to Wiggins, then PlaneStation, owners of EUJet (a budget passenger airline). EUJet went bust, and in August 2005 the administrators sold Manston to Infratil, a New Zealand-based multi-national infrastructure investor.

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Council told to disclose legal advice over night flights

Thanet Council has been ordered to make public legal advice it received over controversial night flights from Manston Airport. The council caused controversy when it entered into an agreement in 2005 with the airport’s operators Planestation that permitted additional scheduled flights to take place beyond 11pm. At the time, many residents in the area were dismayed, saying they faced noise …

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Direct air link to US cleared for take off

Long-promised direct flights between Kent and Virginia look set to take off next year. Senior representatives of Norfolk International Airport, Virginia, and Kent County Council are poised to sign an agreement that paves the way for new aviation links from May 2007.

A weekly charter service between Norfolk and Manston would be operated by Cosmos in the UK and CI Travel in the United States. Norfolk Airport Authority has agreed to become a financial partner and is understood to have pledged half the start-up costs. The proposed service builds on a Memorandum of Understanding between the state of Virginia and Kent signed in Richmond, Virginia, last June. One of its stated aims is the creation of an air bridge between the two regions to promote business, education and leisure links.

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Airport’s new owners ‘in for the long haul’

Steve FitzgeraldKent International Airport could be as busy as Glasgow Prestwick in five years, according to Manston’s new boss. The forecast comes just weeks after Infratil, the New Zealand investment company, bought the Thanet airport from the administrators of former owners PlaneStation for £17 million.

Infratil already owns Glasgow Prestwick which has seen a surge of growth in recent years, employing 500 people directly with a further 3,500 jobs related to the airport.

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KCC defends £100,000 airline gamble charge

Council chiefs have rejected claims that their decision to invest £100,000 of public money in EUJet was a gamble that backfired. Cllr Alex King (Con), Kent County Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and the man responsible, said he accepted the investment was high risk but claimed it had produced "a good return" for Kent by demonstrating that a budget airline could be viable from Manston.

KCC lost its £100,000 investment when EUJet faced financial problems. The authority subsequently agreed to put in an additional 15,000 Euros to provide "working capital" to PlaneStation, the company that owned Manston Airport but which recently went into administration.

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Questions still remain over EUjet collapse

Mystery surrounds the delay in appointing administrators to failed airline EUjet. While Grant Thornton partners are sorting out the financial affairs of PlaneStation, the airline’s parent company that collapsed with estimated debts of £22million, and subsidiary London Manston Airport Plc, EUjet is not subject to the same rules.

The Irish-registered operator, which was grounded last week with the loss of at least 127 jobs and left more than 5,000 passengers stranded, is still run by its directors, including chief executive P J McGoldrick. The airline is subject to Irish law and an "interim examiner" is understood to have been appointed but this person does not have the power of administrators.

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EUJet doomed from the start

Expert claims airline was doomed from first flight

EUjet was a flawed business model that was bound to fail, according to an airline expert. The low-cost airline and its owner PlaneStation, which also owns Kent International Airport at Manston, crashed into administration on July 26 after the Bank of Scotland pulled the plug on PlaneStation’s credit line, thought to be around £25million.

The collapse left thousands of passengers stranded overseas, cost hundreds of jobs and cast a shadow over the longer-term viability of scheduled services operated out of Kent. It was also embarrassing to Kent County Council which had invested £100,000 in the fledgling airline to bring it to Manston.

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Council promises ‘hard negotiations’ with airport

A three month consultation has thrown up a range of concerns from residents in Thanet, Sturry and Herne Bay, that will be discussed with Manston airport owners, PlaneStation. Inappropriate penalties, inadequate noise monitoring, off-route aircraft, and concern that cargo flights may increase, were among the worries voiced. Council leader Cllr Sandy Ezekiel pledged that the local authority would "go into hard negotiations" with the airport owners over a revised Section 106 environmental agreement that will update the original five-year-old voluntary agreement that he described as "rather woolly".

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New era dawns at Kent airport

Kent is finally joined by air to the rest of Europe. EUjet’s new low cost services got off to a flying start yesterday when the first flight - a Fokker-100 - took off from Kent International Airport at Manston, at 6.15am for Dublin. It marked the start of a service that is set to boost east Kent and turn Kent at last into an aviation hub. It has already brought 300 new jobs to Thanet and there could be 100 more over the next 18 months.

Flights on day one were 75 per cent full, with more than 600 passengers flying to Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Dublin, Nice and Girona. A smaller number flew back to Manston, reflecting the lack of marketing effort by EUjet at the destination airports. By the end of the year, EUjet will be flying to 22 destinations including Prague, Madrid, Milan, Palma, Malaga, Turin, Edinburgh and Manchester.

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Manston: Timeline

1915 Early war planes start to use the open fields at Manston in preference to the cliff-side airstrip at St Mildred’s Bay. 1916 Two distinct units stationed at Manston, the Operational War Flight Command and the Handley Page Training School. 1917 The Royal Flying Corps was well established and taking an active part in the defence of England. 1939-45 Manston was heavily …

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