Saudi Airlines Cargo choose Manston Airport for twice weekly flights from Kenya and on to the Middle Eastern country
A Middle East cargo operator has chosen Manston Airport for its first flights into the UK.
Saudi Airlines Cargo will run twice weekly flights from Kenya to Thanet, which will then return to Saudi Arabia.
The company’s 747s will be bringing in fresh produce and flowers. Export cargo from all over the UK will be transported to Manston and then to Saudi and beyond.
Saudi Airlines Cargo has chosen Manston Airport for its first freighter operation in the UK
Saudi Airlines Cargo has a fleet of 15 freight aircraft and sells cargo space on 145 passenger aircraft for Saudi Arabia’s carrier airline Saudia.
Manston’s lack of congestion and its ability to turn around a fully-loaded 747 in about 90 minutes is thought to have been a factor in the decision.
The airline’s vice-president of cargo commercial Peter Scholten said: “Manston was the airport of choice for our clients in Kenya for perishables exports to the UK, and there is a growing demand for maindeck cargo from the UK to Saudi Arabia.
“This combination of two different markets is a perfect fit for our network.”
Manston Airport’s freight development manager Allan McQuarrie said: “We are delighted that Saudi Airlines Cargo has shown such confidence in the airport.
“It is a great boost for us and emphasises Manston’s capabilities in the dedicated freighter cargo market.
“Our reputation for freight handling is growing as more and more carriers choose Manston.
“We can turn around a fully loaded 747 in around 90 minutes; cargo is loaded straight onto trucks rather than into a warehouse to be moved at a later date.
“When moving fresh produce this can be vital as it can often add another day to a product’s shelf life.
“The lack of congestion at Manston means we rarely have any delays that involve aircraft circling and not being able to land.
“Thanks to the excellent road infrastructure that links Manston to nearby London and the rest of the UK, the produce can be on a motorway within minutes of leaving the airport.
“We are expecting a very busy winter period this year, and Saudi Cargo will add to the current freighter capacity operating into the airport on a weekly basis.”
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