Following a 90 day consultation process, Manston is starting to cut its coat according to its cloth and has announced the loss of four jobs. There’s no mention of what these roles were, but hopefully the four unlucky employees will find that their skills are in demand elsewhere in Thanet and they won’t spend too long between jobs.
The four posts probably account for about a third of the £350k savings that have been identified – there’s no indication as to where the rest comes from. I would have assumed that, like most companies in our recessionary/doldrums economy, Manston would be running as lean and mean as it could. This would suggest the savings come from cuts, rather than increased efficiencies.
Nonetheless, true to his roots in corporate communications, Charles Buchanan tries to soften the bad news with a sprinkling of glitter… “talks have been held with representatives of a new airline that is considering introducing direct flights to New York”.
Ah! The magic of New York – just slipping it in at the very end of a press article has the intended transformative effect. Unfortunately (and you knew this was coming, didn’t you) the story gets thinner and thinner the harder you look.
So, who’s the airline? Well, it appears to be FlyInvicta. Never heard of them? Don’t feel bad about it, lots of people haven’t heard of them. It’s a moot point whether they actually exist as an airline yet. They first popped up in the local press in mid-July, sounding new and tentative:
- the fledgling company has contacted Manston Airport chiefs to notify them of their intentions
- [FlyInvicta is] in the process of raising the necessary funding required to secure its short to medium-term future
- [FlyInvicta is] a pioneering long-haul operator with plans to fly new trans-Atlantic routes
- [FlyInvicta said] the Manston to New York route was far from a done deal and that they were also in talks with airports in London, the north of England and mainland Europe
More recently, FlyInvicta said on the Manston Movements fan-site:
FlyInvicta have pleasure in advising that we have held talks with Manston as well as other airports. To stop the rumour mill from working overtime, the airline will be operating from North America. FlyInvicta is a pioneering long-haul operator with plans to fly a number of Trans-Atlantic routes. No other comment will be made at this time and FlyInvicta would like to thank you for your continued support and hope that we can encourage you to fly with us.
As another contributor pointed out, all that’s needed is a “credible business plan, funding sources, and a route map with aircraft and crew”.
So FlyInvicta may be on the brink of greatness, but it seems to be quite a wide brink at the moment.