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Tag Archives: Southend

Manston dragging its heels over night flights

No haste = no need

OK, let's just make sure we've got this straight...

The night flights that Manston is hankering after have been portrayed as essential, crucial, make-or-break. Without them, so we are told, the airport won't be able to deliver on its fairytale Master Plan.

I find this VERY hard to square with (a) any facts in the real world, and (b) the airport's conduct over the last year. If night flights really did matter so much, why would they spend a YEAR dragging their heels?

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Increasing interest in Southend Airport

It seems that Stobart Group (owners of Southend Airport) are now starting to reap the benefits of their substantial investment in the airport. Unlike Infratil (owners of Manston Airport) they invested their own money, rather than seeking public subsidies.

While Infratil scrimped on monitoring equipment, and belatedly installed new radar only when co-funded by Vattenfall (the windfarm people), Stobart Group put their money where their mouth is and forked out for a new control tower, railway station, etc to the tune of £60m.

The upshot is that they have managed to snatch easyJet from Manston's jaws, and this may be a tipping point for both airports.

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EasyJet commits to Southend Airport

Some interesting things to note here:

  • 800,000 passengers = 150 airport jobs
  • EasyJet chose Southend in preference to Manston
  • Stobart Group invested £60m of their own money in the airport

London to get its sixth international airport in Southend - just in time for the Olympics

The budget airline easyJet unveiled ambitious plans yesterday to transform Southend-on-Sea airport into a rival for Gatwick and Stansted. It means London will be served by a sixth international airport in time for the 2012 Olympics.

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Location, location, location matters for airports too

Manston isn't Outer London. It's out of London.

Well, there are several airports that have leapt on the global branding bandwagon and smuggled the word 'London' into their name, with varying degrees of geographical accuracy.

(A special mention must go to "London Ashford Airport": 60 miles from London, 13 miles from Ashford, 1 mile from Lydd. It seems the greater the distance, the more prominent the billing - it's full title is actually "Jupiter Brazil London Ashford Airport".)

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