Amsterdam flights take off from Manston
Twice-daily flights to Amsterdam are to take off from Manston,
it's been revealed.
International airline KLM has just made the announcement at a
press conference in Canterbury.
The move comes after a poll of Kent residents saw 9,000
responses, with "staggering support" for the international
The first of the 55-minute flights to Schiphol will take off at
6.30am each day, with the second one a little later.
Flights will cost £99, and the Fokker 70 jet engine
aircraft will carry up to 80 passengers from April 2 next year.
The move will link passengers from the Kent International
Airport with 133 destinations accessed from Amsterdam. The centre
of the city is said to be just 15 to 20 minutes from the
The new service could create dozens of jobs and re-establish
Manston’s reputation as an ideal airport for scheduled
It might also widen the appeal for potential buyers after New
Zealand-based Infratil put the airport up for sale.
Speaking ahead of the announcement, Manston chief executive
Charles Buchanan said the survey had played a big part in KLM's
He said: "We surveyed the local residents across the county and
we got a staggering response.
"We had 5,000 responses within two days and we had 9,000
responses in less than a fortnight - and those have helped inform
the decision by KLM to set up this route."
He said capacity was not a problem at the airport - which had
the largest underutilsed capacity anywhere in the South East.
But he said the move would have great benefits: "It provides
people with the opportunity to travel both into and out of the
county; to attract businesses in; to provide a boost to places like
Discovery Park, that are looking to attract businesses to take over
the sites there.
"It puts people in touch with their friends and families and
holiday destinations across the world."
Manston Airport currently has the capacity for up to one million
passengers a year, with a master plan to boost numbers to
five million by 2033.
Last year, nearly 50 million passengers passed through Schiphol,
making it one of Europe’s busiest airports.
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