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?