Friday, August 15, 2008

Airport Freight Drops Off

Holy balance sheets! I see Infartil, the Kiwi owners of RAF London Kent Ramsgate Manston International Airport, have reported a 5% year-on-year nosedive in freight volume compared to the amount the airport had handled at this stage last year.

The shock news is revealed in their 14 August 2008 update to shareholders. Grasping at a positive spin, though, they add:

A survey of more than 10,000 Kent residents, which was undertaken in partnership with a local publishing company, showed an overwhelming majority remain positive about the airport's ability to offer successful scheduled services. The survey found that 71% felt scheduled flights are 'very important' and 86% said they would be 'very likely' to use them.

Would that be the survey that was actually a cynical marketing ploy, run in the otherwise excellent Kent on Sunday? Besides, 86% of 10,000 is, if the old digits are working, 8,600 or 0.005% of the population of Kent. Infartil themselves quote 16,000 passengers a year, so that would represent almost a 50% drop!

At that rate, what's the betting it'll be a wind farm within five years?

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

And you havnt mentioned the 8 possible redundancies yet!

PJK said...

I'm a Ramsgate girl through & through - born here & always lived here - so how come I've never been asked my opinion on these polls/surveys that companies say they've done ??

How many of us actually KNOW someone who HAS been asked ??

Maybe it's my deodorant . . .

Anonymous said...

A wind farm would be ok. Only a swish instead of a ROOAAAAR!

tony flaig bignews said...

Shock indeed if you have not read your own blog, because I for one remember your rather gleeful report on demise earlier in the year of MK Airlines.

In actual fact given the temporary loss of their major customer quite an achievement well done Infratil.

Eastcliff Richard said...

Oh, and the loss of their major customer would be nothing to do with the fact that airports and aviation are going out of style big time then, Tony?

Anonymous said...

now,now Girls ,,

Anonymous said...

Surely with the new GCP development freight/goods from China will see a huge upsurge in activity at Manston Airport? Or are the goods being firstly landed at Tilbury etc and then transported/stored at GCP with little benefit to the local economy.

Anonymous said...

Containers to Tilbury or Felixstowe then HGV to Manston. No local jobs there then.

Perhaps some high value, low weight items to Manston but otherwise I can't see any benefits for the airport apart from Cllr. Ezekiel's hare-brained idea of tourist flights to/from China.

Anonymous said...

Ten passenger flights a day to proper destinations would be reasonable and realistic but even in the aviation boom times that could not be sustained as history has shown. Unfortunately the catchment area for the airport is mostly sea.
The only people who are keen to use it as far as I can see are a few people on Thanet who are too lazy to go to Gatwick and that is not enough to make it profitable. Yet the council have the airport as a top priority in their 2008-11 Corporate Plan it makes you wonder whether Sandy is planning to add a private jet to his new yacht.

Anonymous said...

Even OGL can't be completely deaf.
What am I saying.

Michael Child said...

Two thoughts here now Southern Water have identified the aquifer as critically important to out water supply, a fuel spillage caused by an aviation accident could permanently contaminate the aquifer, so perhaps we ought to be considering not using the airport at all.

Under the new polluter pays legislation the liability to the operator could run into many millions.

It is my understanding that the main distribution to Europe and distant parts of the UK for China Gateway is intended to be Dover harbour, which will be fairly difficult with the existing road network between the development and Ramsgate.

Anonymous said...

Apparently some right wing think tank has advised that the Thanet towns are a total loss and we should all move south east.

So I got a nice spanky new pair of speedos.

Anonymous said...

Lots of people comment that Herne Bay is a nice place to live, and how glad that they now have moved from Margate. Least the council there have made an effort to make it an attractive place, the seafront etc, rather than the mess we have been left with, from the seafromt to Clifftonville which resembles a ghetto. And they now want to destroy what is left of our beautiful contryside and will they protect our vital water assets? How can we respect a council that has lost 3m on the M&s building, to look after our interests.

Lucy Mail said...

Most people like to put their own slant on surveys and statistics. In fact, that seems to be their primary use, rather than for winkling out the truth (which is what people presume is being done, making it a powerful propaganda tool, indeed!).
You, yourself Richard, appear to be suggesting that none of those people, who weren't questioned, would be interested in using Manston airport at all.
Rather unlikely, I would think!
If you need to rely on flimsy half-truths and manipulated facts to win your argument, then you probably don't have much of an argument, it seems to me!

Eastcliff Richard said...

Hmm. I wondered who was going to be the first to spot that. Rather thought it might have been Bignews Tony, but I'll have to inform him he's been pipped to the post by a muppet!

Right, I'm off to the airport now. The real airport, that is.

steve said...

lucy, all those people who travel in and out of heathrow/stansted/gatwick each year on annual holidays, ask them after they have been delayed/lost bags/queued for everything for the past 10m hours of their life for a 2 hour flight, ask them if they will ever come back. not on your life will be the predominant answer, but they come back every year. surveys are opinion, nothing else. 23mm people travelled through stansted last year. 8,600 people say they would if they could travel through manston.

the reality is, if 23m people wanted to travel through manston, they could. the government white paper on air travel allows as much business as they could muster. the fact is the only airline that managed to entice people out of manston was doing it at a loss, and only lasted 11 months.

that says more about its prospects than any survey.

I'm off to gatwick to catch a plane to an actual destination, something my local airport struggles to offer.

Tony said...

So Steve & ECR are off to the airport. OK as long as it's not in their own back yard. Hypocritical or not?

Anonymous said...

'Not' Tony, as Gatwick or Stansted or Heathrow have been major commercial airports for years. Manston has no such history and is being expanded into a major airport against the wishes of many people in the area.

Besides neither Steve nor ECR have ever denied to my knowledge that air travel is a necessity these days they are just against further unnecessary and environmentally damaging expansion for the sake of a few lazy people in Thanet who cannot be bothered to go to Gatwick or Stansted.

Anonymous said...

Just got back from a proper airport. It wasn't bad actually. The rises in fares caused by the rises in fuel prices seem to be deterring poeple from travelling and so the airport is handling the numbers comfortably. No need for additional airports then...unless you're so naive as to believe that fuel prices are ever going to come back down...the only way is up, baby...

Anonymous said...

8 redundancies? That must be 20% of the workforce!!!