Manston Airport holds talks over possible closure

THE UK’s Manston Airport is holding talks over its possible closure, it is reported.
144 staff at the loss-making airport located to the east of London have been given details about a 45-day consultation.
The airport was acquired last year for £1 by Ann Gloag, co-founder of the Stagecoach transport group.
Last September, Saudi Airlines Cargo began twice-weekly B747-400 freighter flights from Kenya to the airport, delivering fresh produce and flowers.
At the time, it was stated that Manston’s lack of congestion and its ability to turn around a fully-laden B747 in about 90 minutes was thought to have been a factor in the decision.
Peter Scholten, the airline’s vice-president of cargo commercial, stated that Manston was the airport of choice for clients in Kenya for perishables exports to the UK. “There is a growing demand for main-deck cargo from the UK to Saudi Arabia,” he said.
Some eight months ago, the airport revealed a 40-year vision as part of its submission to the UK government commission looking at airport expansion in the UK’s south-east region.
The plan was that, between 2015 and 2025, Manston could be handling up to 400,000 tonnes of freight a year.
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