Residents of Manston, Kent, have cause for celebration this week, after Flybe announced the creation of a new route between Edinburgh and Kent airports. The route, which is due to begin on the 27 May, is the first connection of its kind for more than five years.
Kent Manston Airport might not seem like the most obvious place to visit, but the hub’s proximity to central London, as well as to Heathrow, Gatwick, and London City airports, makes it an ideal destination for Scottish executives who have business in the southeast. Kent Airport is also an hour’s drive from the Channel Tunnel.
Infratil, the owner of Kent Airport, claims that Flybe’s new route will create up to 20 jobs, and help bolster links with more than 100 businesses in the Manston area. The flight departs every weekday morning, leaving Edinburgh at 10.50 and returning from Kent at 12.45. A similar service operates on Saturday.
A new Bombardier Q400 will operate the service, which is expected to run until the end of October. The Q400 is alleged to be the most hi-tech propeller aircraft in the world, and one of the cheapest to operate. Flybe has 58 Q400 planes in its fleet, with a further eight on order from Bombardier.
Manston boss, Marta Easton, was optimistic for the tiny Kent airport – ‘The team is very excited about the return of daily flights to Edinburgh. We are confident that our passengers will receive great customer service on a par with – if not better than – any other regional airport.’
Flybe has also reinstated flights from Edinburgh Airport to Bergerac and Rennes in France. Kent Airport offers routes to Jersey, and to several destinations in Eastern Europe.