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Kent County Council has asked for extra time to respond to a Freedom of Information request about the cost to the taxpayer of a recent KCC trip to America. Deputy leader Alex King led a Kent delegation to Virginia last month to take part in celebrations to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first English-speaking settlement in the New World.Read More »
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.Read More »
The county could become a gateway to the United States by next spring, Kent on Sunday can reveal. Negotiations are at advanced stages to operate passenger flights between Kent International Airport at Manston and Norfolk, Virginia, on the east coast of the US.Read More »
What were they thinking?
Kent County Council is to spend £225,000 as a joint sponsor of a major cultural festival in America, it has emerged. The council has agreed to become a key financial backer of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington in 2007 as part of a drive to boost the number of American tourists coming to Kent. Council chiefs say the investment represents “value for money” and could eventually deliver a £50 million fillip to the county’s tourism industry.Read More »
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.Read More »
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.Read More »
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.Read More »
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.Read More »
Consultants report on pier's future
[Jun 2004] Consultants have concluded there is the potential to develop Herne Bay pier into a major attraction that could help regenerate the town as a thriving seaside resort. However, their report makes it clear that there is no prospect of attracting sufficient public or private funding, in the foreseeable future, to restore the full three-quarter-mile long pier.Read More »