Manston: Airport Could Close

Up to 150 jobs have been placed under threat following the announcement that Manston airport could close.

The mostly part-time staff were told that a 45-day consultation period had begun over its possible closure.

It is understood the airport has been suffering losses of £10,000 a day under its new owner, making its long-term future unsustainable.

An airport spokesman said:"Following a meeting with staff at Manston Airport in Kent today, Wednesday March 19, we can confirm we have commenced a process of consultation over the possible orderly closure of the airport.

"No further comment will be made until the consultation period with staff has been concluded.''

Scottish businesswoman Ann Gloag, who co-founded the Stagecoach Group, bought Manston Airport for £1 last year.

She drafted in a team of experts, including Alastair Welch, to help revive its fortunes and various options were explored.

These included holding discussions with low-cost airline Ryanair about possibly bringing in new routes to Manston.

But the plans were hit late last year when Ryanair issued its second profits warning in as many months, as it warned it would be hammered by downward pressure on fares.

The new owners at Manston had also held out hopes of pursuing opportunities with cargo flights but they failed to materialise too.

The airport will continue to run as normal during the consultation period.

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