Direct flights transatlantic flights will start from Kent International Airport next year. Tour operator Cosmos and its sister airline, Monarch, will start direct transatlantic flights between Manston in Thanet and Virginia next year. The weekly charter flights will be the first direct passenger link between the United States and Kent and will initially operate during the spring and summer. The move follows a feasibility study carried out by air industry consultants.
Norfolk International Airport in Virginia is contributing half the start up costs – £400,000 – with Kent County Council and a coalition of investors including SEEDA, Infratil Airports Europe Ltd, Kent Attractions LLP, East Kent Partnership, Thanet District Council, Canterbury City Council and Gravesham Borough Council providing the rest. KCC leader Paul Carter said,
“The 400th anniversary of the founding of the colony of Jamestown in Virginia is coming up next year with strong Kent links; Dover Cruise Terminal is going from strength to strength. There will never be a better time to establish a direct air link between Kent and the States to help boost Kent International Airport, our tourism industry and in particular hard pressed East Kent.”
Terry Williamson, Cosmos Holidays managing director, said:
“It is indeed an exciting development for both the Kent International area and us. Whilst relatively unknown to many in the UK, Virginia offers a huge array of attractions and places of interest and given the 400th anniversary celebrations, it is an excellent time to launch this service.”
YourMaidstone 23rd Jul 2006