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Tag Archives: Europe

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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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 “overlooked” by airport planners

Airport planners have been accused of using out of date facts to ground Manston's chances of easing the looming capacity crisis. They dismissed Thanet's aviation jewel in a couple of paragraphs in the SERAS report that included a controversial airport at Cliffe marshes in a list of options.

But Wiggins Group has told the Government that its advisers overlooked the huge potential of Manston. In its official response to an inquiry into the future development of air transport, Wiggins said the consultants only visited the airport in 1999. Wiggins claimed they took no account of the expert study by Arthur D Little in 2001 suggesting that Manston had the potential to grow into a "sizeable" airport.

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