Manston-Florida flights set for take-off

FLORIDA LINK: Manston Airport
FLORIDA LINK: Manston Airport

FLIGHTS between Kent and Florida could take off next year. Wiggins Group, the owner of London Manston Airport, has agreed a deal with the City of Melbourne Airport Authority in the American Sunshine State.

Melbourne International, a commercial service airport near Orlando, has become the latest airport to join the Plane Station network pioneered by Wiggins.

The airport authority has agreed to build and pay for a new international terminal and granted Wiggins operating licences for 35 years. Wiggins said it hoped to interest airlines in starting flights between Melbourne, Florida, and London Manston.

According to Wiggins, Melbourne chose PlaneStation because of its established airport network in Europe and in particular the potential for new traffic between Melbourne and Plane Station's airports at London Manston and BlackForest Lahr in Germany.

Melbourne Airport is within easy reach of the major Orlando resorts, including Disney World and Universal, Cape Canaveral/Kennedy Space Center and Port Canaveral which is becoming the largest cruise port in the world.

The airport also serves the world famous resorts of Coco Beach and Vero Beach.

Wiggins said the terminal would have concession space, with revenue shared with the airport authority.

It added that there was also considerable potential for cargo as nearby airports such as Miami and Atlanta were already working to full capacity.

As part of the deal, Wiggins has an option to lease surrounding land for retail development. It said it intended to negotiate similar agreements in other parts of the US.

Meanwhile, Wiggins Group told shareholders that suspension of trading in its ordinary shares would be lifted in October.

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