Tuesday, 13 November 2012


KLM Royal Dutch Airlines further strengthens its regional presence in the UK with the start of scheduled flights out of Manston Airport in Kent.
Commencing on the 2nd of April 2013 schedule, the twice-daily flights will connect Manston to KLM’s award-winning hub Schiphol, in Amsterdam. The airline will offer convenient connections to its worldwide network of over 130 destinations from the South East of England.

KLM will operate the new scheduled services twice daily using Fokker 70 jet aircraft, carrying up to 80 passengers. The flight schedule, which is optimised both for convenient same-day returns to Amsterdam as well as for quick and efficient transfers to its worldwide network, is as follows:

Flight number   Origin  Destination     Departure (local time)  Arrival (local time) 
KL1516  Manston Amsterdam       06:35   08:35
KL1519  Amsterdam       Manston 10:10   10:05
KL1520  Manston Amsterdam       10:40   12:35
KL1523  Amsterdam       Manston 20:50   20:45

Flights will open for sale from the 14th of November on the airline’s website www.klm.com.

The launch of the Manston service further cements KLM’s position as the UK’s regional airline of choice. The carrier now offers 17 departure airports in Great Britain, making it the UK’s largest long haul regional airline. Departure airports include London (Heathrow and City), Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Inverness, Newcastle, Leeds, Cardiff, Bristol, Southampton, Durham Teesvalley, Humberside, Norwich and now Manston.

Henri Hourcade, General Manager for Air France / KLM in the UK stated : ‘Demand for efficient and convenient schedules to long-haul destinations from the UK continues to grow, to emerging markets in Latin America, Africa and the Far East, but equally to established markets such as North America. By connecting the UK regions to worldwide destinations, KLM is offering more choice to holidaymakers, but equally adding to the infrastructure for regional UK businesses.’

The airline’s hub at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is consistently voted one of Europe’s best business airports and was voted Best Airport in Europe at the 2012 Business Traveller magazine awards. Connections to European cities can be made in as little as 40 minutes; to long haul destinations 50 minutes is enough to efficiently transfer at the airport.

Charles Buchanan, Chief Executive at Manston Airport, said: ‘The new services will be a real benefit to Kent and its residents. Passengers will be able to arrive at Manston, park adjacent to the terminal building, check in and be on the flight to Amsterdam within minutes, a hassle-free experience that makes travelling a pleasure. Passengers from Manston can leave home without the worries of road congestion or excessive flight delays affecting their journey.’


  1. The 2 middle flights mean you'd have 35 minutes in Kent before flying back to Amsterdam?!

    Buchanan's right for once that you can be on a flight in minutes - because the airport is bust. He'd probably carry your bags on for you. Hardly worth the risk of booking if Manston closes before April.

    1. Then you have absoluitely nothing to worry about, 01:11, so don't fret your little old self sitting up late writing your cryptic comments. The airport is bust, the bailiffs are about to arrive and soon the whole place will be a bloody great social housing estate to accommodate all those poor folk from London whose housing benefit has been capped. Now won't that make you happy thinking of the great social justice you have helped to bring about with your perpetual moaning.

    2. Spot on, 10:16, and I hear Abdul Qatadar is top of the list for one of the houses. The mosque will be built where the control tower currently stands.

    3. This comment has been removed by the author.


    4. Why is it moaning 10:16 to point out the idiocy of Manston? You seem resentful now at supporting this idiocy. Go on, book a flight before it goes bust.

    5. 14:57, it is not a question of why you moan, but the possible result of it. All I hope is that ultimately you are happy with what you get instead of an airfield for one thing is for sure, it will not be rolling countryside.

    6. 18:48 it sounds as though you want Manston to develop but can't explain how when it's on the aquifer?

      Pointing out the idiocy of Manston isn't moaning - but whining about its failure is.

      And why can't it be returned to farmland to replenish the aquifer? Housing isn't needed with so many empty homes.

      Go on, book a flight before it goes bust again.

    7. I am not whining about Manston's failure because I actually feel it has not be given the support necessary to see if it can succeed. You, on the other hand, go on perpetually about it closing without really thinking through the consequences and you must be very naive if you think it will go to farmland.

      In the brutal commercial world in which we live it is a brownfield site and there is just no way, with the demand for more building, that a site like Manston will be left to the flowers and the bunnies. Elsewhere they are building on the greenbelt so grow up and face realities.

      By all means oppose Manston if you wish but at least let us know how you feel about a large housing estate instead, because that is almost certainly what you will get.

    8. Anon 22:08, since your argument is devoid of logic, merely repetetive, and you offer no evidence ever to support your case, I do not know why I am bothering to respond. However, your question about why it cannot be farmland caught my eye. Do you have any understanding of our modern world, have you not noticed the fields around Westwood being built on, not to mention countless back and side gardens as well as school playing fields. Manston is airport or other industrial or residential use. It is not airport or Telly Tubby land except maybe in your evidently la la world.

    9. 9:48 you are whining about the failure of Manston. Not been given a chance? It's been 10 years of Planestation, EUJet, KCC funds, removing monitors etc etc. What would you suggest? More tax funds? More pollution? Ignore the aquifer? Back to the RAF for a tax-subsidy?

      You're living in the past.

      Tom, and 9:48, your point is the usual old-fashioned ex-RAF nonsense and insults about why Manston should be an airport, with vague mention of demand for building.

      Explain the aquifer and monitors and banned flighjts and overflights for once.

      Jobs and Infratil? they cut the jobs sharpish and have sold the airprot off - they must thank you for your support though.

      Farmland instead? Why not? Parks, why not? They're a commercial reality. You seem to be arguing for building on greenbelt - or ignoring it. Or rather just empty blog-whining about why can't it be an airport like yesteryear.

      Not everything is measured in empty houses in Thanet or elsewhere. That's why we have councils and planning regulations. Unfortunately as with Westwood as you point out, and Manston, they're incompetent and fraudulent.

      Thanet's older generation has failed. And failed their children and grandchildren. And cancer is the reward.

    10. 21:27, I said Manston needs to be given support, rather than the negativity coming from Labour TDC, not a chance. May be difficult for you to understand but the two things are different.

      Also amuses me how, as you have done with Tom Clarke this time, you accuse others of insults where there are none but then proceed to insult them yourself. Your silly dismissal of people as ex RAF is typical. Perhaps you are unaware that most ex RAF people are proud to be just that.

      All Tom was doing was pointing out that if Manston is not retained as an airfield it will be built on and, no, it will not be a park.

      See you also throw in your usual blanket insult to Thanet's older generation. You really are a very nasty piece of work, totally motivated by self interest and dismissive to the point of rudeness of everybody else. What a sad sac!

      By the way, what happened to your old signature block of 'cancer victim?'

  2. 10:05 you seem to be the one with the insults.

    My reference to ex-RAF was simply that Tom and others are still blinkered to the realities of a non-RAF airport - as proved by Manston going bust again.

    You seem unable to explain the removal of monitors, pollution, banned aircraft and aquifer at Manston - and resort to insults and whining rather than explain these points.

    Infratil must be grateful for your support hence sacking people and selling off the airport. When they leave no doubt you will be cleaning up the site?

    Your points on Manston requiring support, or when Manston closes it having to be built on, are just your empty opinion as are your other random comments.

    1. 14:04 It is you that is so concerned about monitors, aquifers, pollution and banned aircraft, not I and, as such, I have no need to explain or justify these things.

      I am the one with hope for the future of a prosperous Thanet, so the whining about destroying what we alrweady have is entirely down to you along with your snide remarks about ex RAF types and old people. Try as you might to switch the insulting words onto others it comes down to you who resorts to name calling, being devoid of all reasonable arguments, for we can all read your regular references to other contributors falling into one of your hate categories.

      As for empty opinion, I think you will find the redevelopment of Manston, if it closes as an airport, would be hard nosed commercial fact. If you can, produce actual evidence to prove otherwise.

      How many people have commented time and again in despairing terms as you appear in any blog on a variety of topics with your cries of 'what about the aquifer' like some monotonous old mindless moron. Not saying you are, but I have my strong suspicions.

    2. 15:09 you really are pointless. You are the one with insults calling me a sad sac(!) and cancer victim and now an old mindless moron and then pompously bleat your innocence.

      While not to address the aquifer, while supporting the airport, seems unbelievably foolish and blinkered - as per the ex-RAF point.

      You do need to justify not charging the fines for banned planes and pollution surely as this would reduce council tax?

      I didn't understand your previous point about TDC Labour - I thought they were now tieing themselves in knots to explain why there are night flights and ignoring the aquifer and monitors like TDC Tories?

      Your view that Manston would develop as housing or anything else is just that - your view. You produce some so-called evidence to support it as a given if you can.

      With the aquifer under the airport (and as it closes, or you think it should remain open and develop?) what would you suggest is viable? I don't think you have a clue.

      Infratil's own figures for the last 3 months are no flights at all and April is a long way away for any KLM flights. And these would hardly turnaround the airport - unless you think otherwise.

      You hope for a future propsperous Thanet? - you're living in the past - and a past that has failed: Manston, Pleasurama, Dreamland, Westwood Cross etc etc.

    3. 20:10 this is my last attempt for clearly you struggle to grasp the point of debate. You claim the airport pollutes the aquifer so it is you that needs to bring evidence to justify that statement as well as considering what pollution might be caused by alternative uses. Do that and some of us might then see your point, otherwise it is just the same old 'what about the aquifer' you keep trundling out.

      Now I see you have brought Westwood X, Pleasurama and Dreamland into the names you toss into the pot. What exactly with these is it you object to? What they are, what they were or what they might become? Otherwise, like the aquifer they are just things you trundle out devoid of any substance. As for the name calling, and I do not propose to list the insults you have thrown at people, it was you that used to sign off your comments as 'cancer victim' presumably on some notion this somehow enhanced your case. If you really are a cancer victim you have my sympathy, but it is meaningless in the flow of a blog debate.

      Finally, since you consider me clueless whilst I find you totally boring and devoid of real debating skill, I think it best if we just call it a day. You do whatever it is you do and I will take off shortly to the Merlin Cafe at Manston for a bacon sandwich, a mug of tea and a few good breaths of Avgas laden air which I find pleasantly familiar and nostalgic.

    4. Anons 20:10 and 09:05

      Mind if I pick up on a couple of little points? According to 20:10 there have been no flights at Manston for three months yet 0905 goes out there to enjoy the smell of aviation fuel. To my mind no flights means no aviation fuel, but them maybe I am missing something like the planes that have flown over my home in the last three months all seemingly heading into or out of Manston. Maybe I just imagined them.

      I too am interested in exactly how Westwood X, Pleasurama and Dreamland figure in Thanet's failures. In their day both Pleasurama and Dreamland were great successes adding to the seaside attractions that once brought people flocking to Thanet. Now time has moved on and something needs to be done with those old sites, but that does not make what was there before a failure.

      On Westwood Cross, well it was never everyone's cup of tea, but commercially it is a success keeping millions of pounds in the Thanet economy that would have otherwise gone to Canterbury or Bluewater. It has its traffic problems and some feel it has expedited the decline of our High Streets though that is not unique to Thanet. All over the western world local shops have closed as out of town shopping takes over. In a few years it will be the turn of out of town malls to close as internet shopping becomes the order of the day. I think it is called progress whether we like it or not and it is driven by market forces.

      Anyway, in conclusion, let me say I hope you two really have called it a day because, like a whole host of other people, I am fed up with hearing about the aquifer, Thor and Southern Water unless, and only then, they are the subject of the debate.

    5. Tom, the figures were Charles Buchanan's in his latest report. He's not known for accuracy. And in terms of flying over your house etc they shouldn't if you live in the towns although of course they do.

      Westwood etc are clearly failures (now not yesteryear): WC destroying the town centres, Pleasurama derelct and bungs etc. You're right shops close with large shopping centres - that's why they're a bad idea for economic and social reasons and have been disastrous in Thnaet - worst High St in Margate etc. Your grasp of retailing economics is feeble - the profits go to the national chains not the area and I presume you have no basis for saying its a commercial success.

      Going back to the aquifer which you two ex-RAF chaps seem keen to ignore - how will that affect any development of the airport or its closure? You're not seriously suggesting an aquifer under the airport is a good thing? RAF #1 doesn't even seem to believe it's there - he needs to do something practical like speak to Southern Water and the Environemtn Agency rather than blog-whining and hoping someone will spoon-feed him the info so he can randomly dispute it.

      For economics how do you explain the lack of fines for Manston - by removing the monitors - to bolster council tax?

      And neither of you have mentioned the banned aircraft, removal of monitors by Infrartil and TDC etc - all relevant for Manston's operation in the past and future.

      Why so reluctant to call for Manston's closure? Just fond memories of yesteryear and tax-subsidies? Why is it bust and what will reverse that?

    6. Like Anon 0905 yesterday, I give up on this 'aquifer' person. Clearly he has no idea about debate, but simply trundles out the same old nonsense time and again, ignoring all points raised by others in the process. OK, 23:21, we all get the message - you don't want Manston to be an airport.


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