KLM Cityhopper Fokker 70
KLM Cityhopper will end its 2X-daily Fokker 70 services between Amsterdam and Manston Airport from April 10, as the Southeast UK airport braces for possible closure.
New Zealand infrastructure investment firm Infratil sold Manston Airport to Manston Skyport for £1 ($1.65) last October. However, last month the new owners launched a 45-day consultation, which could result in an April closure if no alternative is found. Manston said it would continue operating as normal, but this was not enough of an assurance for KLM Cityhopper.
“We can’t leave the booking window open if they can’t guarantee operations after April 9,” KLM Cityhopper MD Boet Kreiken told ATW during an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the ERA Regional Airline Conference in Lisbon.
The Dutch regional carrier launched services on the route a year ago, on April 2, 2013. Kreiken described Manston as “a real tertiary market,” but said flights were maintained during the winter season and would have continued if it were not for the closure threat.
“We can’t do business in a shaky environment. That’s not possible, not for the company, or our customers,” Kreiken said.
He ruled out a resumption of the routes, even if the airport continues operations. “Now it is game over; we will redeploy the aircraft. We are gone. We can’t flip-flop in and out all the time. That is not the way we work.”