Monday, February 15, 2010

Flybe Day

Much hoo-ha over at Chas 'n' Dave Margate International Airport this morning, with the island's hacks called to a bunfight announcing a daily service to Edinburgh. The new route's operators, Flybe, have previously tried Jersey. Now they feel (with a slot to keep open at Edinburgh Airport) that Scotland could be the go, and will start the run on 27 May.

Good on them for trying, I say. I've never been against scheduled flights, and with the quiet planes Flybe use, taking off and landing during the day, nobody should be the least bit bothered. Knackered old 747s stuffed full of bananas groaning over at 3am is a different matter!

However, quite why the airport should bill this as the dawn of a new age necessitating the full media circus is a mystery. It's an airport. We expect to be able to fly somewhere from it!

Click here to read full announcement

Update: The derbrains at the BBC Kent website are saying: 'In 2009 the airport received approval to extend operating hours at the Manston site, allowing planes to take off or land between 0600 until 2330.' As we all know, they only received temporary approval on condition BAWC relocated to Manston. Which they didn't. So they don't.

Meanwhile, here's a vid of the PR launch that yourfannitinnit has bunged up on BoobTube:


Anonymous said...

Did I detect a hint of approval there ECR?

Richard Eastcliff said...

The merest smidge, yes!

I've never been against a sensible number of scheduled, daytime flights to places that people want to go to. If it's possible to route them away from a Victorian seaside town with 950 listed buildings so much the better.

What I am against is a 24/7 cargo/training airport on Ramsgate's doorstep. Unfortunately as Infratil are such bad neighbours and don't engage with the locals, we've been left to assume from their actions over the past couple of years that that's their aim.

I'm not sure these Edinburgh flights are the start of something different. Personally I think Flybe will try them for a few weeks and then give up, like they did last year.

But if I'm proved wrong I'll be happy to admit it.

Anonymous said...

Matt Clarke today; "Flying to Kent International is a hassle free way to arrive in south east England. Our airport is easy to get to, easy to find your way around and allows passengers to enjoy flying the way it’s meant to be – boarding an aircraft merely metres from where you have parked your car.”

Will it be like that when you have 4,700,000 passengers using your airport?

Anonymous said...

boarding an aircraft merely metres from where you have parked your car

i.e third world

Anonymous said...

Make it a water park.

Anonymous said...

Or an ice rink.

Anonymous said...

Channel Island Travel operate the Jersey flights - in 2008 they used VLM as their aircraft provider, 2009 Flybe and in 2010 they will use Air Southwest.

I hear Newmarket are also adding extra charter flights this year. With the daily Flybe services Manston will begin to be something of a passenger airport.

That will make it the fastest growing passenger airport in the UK, along with already being the fastest growing cargo airport - good news for the millionaires in the playground richie..

Richard Eastcliff said...

Hmmm. It wouldn't be difficult to be 'the fastest growing passenger airport in the UK' starting from a base of 5,335 passengers in 2009 (provisional CAA figures) now would it?

Another 533 would mean growth of 10%!

As for the cargo, it can fuck off.

Anonymous said...

So how many new jobs wll ths bring for 2010?. I heard the local MP state on the radio today that 1,000,000 passengers equate to 1,000 new jobs. How does the maths for ths work bearing in mind the spoils have to be split between Manston and the destination?

Donkey Oaty said...

Thought I'd give the website a go and maybe take a trip to Auld Reekie just 'cos I can. Looked pretty good to start with. Travel out on the inaugural flight on Thursday the 27 May and return Sunday lunch in time for a pint down the local. £99.96 for the two of us, not bad. A 20kg single bag in the hold each way added £19.98.OK I could always elect to just take cabin luggage, but hey, what the hell.

Then you get to choose your seat. Now here is where I start to feel a bit miffed. A minimum of £6.00 per person each way. Like, would they let you fly WITHOUT a seat?!

So now we're up to £143.98. OK I'll take this one on the chin.

Try to pay. Well if you have a Visa Electron card there is no surcharge. Well I don't have one.

Debit card? That'll be another 12 quid please. 12 quid for something that costs them pence to process on a bill of less than £145.00. 18 quid no less if you want to pay by credit card! At least with a credit card the money is recoverable in the event of an airline failure. But 18 quid for that peace of mind?!!

By this time I am beginning to feel that I am no longer wanting to support the new service and I will spend those few days here in sunny Thanet drinking pints of Gadds instead of munching on shortbread and deep fried Mars bars in some overpriced Edinburgh hotel.

So they can stick their new flights right up their kilt. Here are two who won't be adding to Manston's numbers as the fastest growing airport in the land until Flybe adopts a more reasonable payment policy.

Shambolic_Steve said...

While in general I'm VERY sceptical about the airport, I don't mind these flights either. Small planes going soemwhere good, by a reputable firm, and during sane hours is fine by me.

It's just the night flights and 106breaches that get my goat!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you could become 'East Kilbride Richard' C YA!

Anonymous said...

I give this weeny little operation around nine months. They may fill a few planes in the Summer months but when the nights draw in no-one will be wanting to go to Edinburgh.

"The Scots will", I hear you say.

I'll let you into a secret. They may go on aboot the bonny heather, the Great Glen, haggis and the bagpipes.........but they never go back.

In evidence I present the BBC. You can't turn the TV on withoot a Scottish presenter popping up. 3% of the UK population is Scottish but 50% of the BBC's employees wear kilts in private.

Anonymous said...

I give it 5 months cos, er, it's only due to operate from May until October.

Anonymous said...

You have the Belgium cafe, some enterprising person needs to open up the scotch egg shop, porridge breakfast bar,, and what about an Edinburgh woollen mill shop? Or have you got these in Ramsgate?

Richard Eastcliff said...

We have the Edinburgh Woollen Mill (in the Wyevale Garden Centre, and another in Margate where the leader and deputy leader of our council like to throw petitions around). We also have a Trevor MacDonalds.

Rooks do a decent Scotch Egg.

Plus there's a forthcoming Ramsgate Festival. And, er, there's no shortage of tattoos.

Anonymous said...

5 months....
type in any flybe route from anywhere and you can only book until oct. don't read anything into that, it is normal to only be able to book so far in advance. in oct we could get more destinations :)

Anonymous said...

I believe in fairies as well - and talking of fairy stories and of airports...sponge bob square pants was more believable at Smyths!!!

Anonymous said...

How come the new guy who is supposed to be running the airport wasn't there?

Anonymous said...

All the time that our Country offers 'no questions asked' fast tracking onto incapacity benefit, for alcoholics, and Scotland says "Up your clunge", our Town will always enjoy late night, unintelligible screeching and the faint smell of whisky vom.