Major deal for Manston

One of the world's biggest airlines has tonight confirmed a major deal which will see regular flights linking Manston, in Kent, with the international hub airport at Amsterdam's Schipol airport.

MPs welcome airport deal

Kent MPs Sir Roger Gale for Thanet North and Laura Sandys for Thanet South have both welcomed the news that KLM/Air France will run a twice-daily service between Manston International Airport and Schiphol near Amsterdam.

For more than twenty years a few of us have staked our faith in the belief that Manston has a job-creating future as a successful regional airport. We have, of course, seen some false starts but this is the first time that a major international flag-carrier has made a commitment to regular flights to mainland Europe. With Schiphol's status as one of Europe's fastest-growing inter-lining airports this move really does connect Kent with the rest of the world and the rest of the world with Kent."

– Sir Roger Gale MP, Thanet North

I am delighted that KLM have decided to start offering flights from Manston. This makes Thanet even better connected with the rest of the world and makes our area a more attractive place to invest. I am very much looking forward to supporting KLM to ensure that this route is a success."

– Laura Sandys, MP Thanet South

Sir Roger added that plans for a third runway at Heathrow or a second at Gatwick were all a long way in the future. He said the demand for more airport capacity in the south east was immediate.

Major deal for Manston, despite sell-off

Manston airport Credit: PA

One of the world's biggest airlines has tonight confirmed a major deal which will see regular flights linking Manston, in Kent, with the international hub airport at Amsterdam's Schipol airport.

KLM, which is part of Air France, will operate twice-daily flights. It's seen as a major boost to tourism and business for the airport, which is currently looking for a buyer.

Infrastructure investment firm Infratil announced in March that it was to sell the airport as part of a refocusing of its investment profile.

However, in its half-year results published today, it said: "The sales process for both the Glasgow Prestwick and Kent airports has been unsuccessful to date and as a result Infratil took an impairment charge of £22.5 million at the half year to write-down the value of both assets.

"The European airports are continuing to operate in a cost minimisation basis.

"The current intention is to continue to seek a buyer for the airports and work with local stakeholders to review alternatives."

Infratil said manston is currently valued at £7.6 million.

For more than 20 years, via a series of owners and operators, Manston has tried and failed to establish itself as a major south-east airport.

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