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Taildragger
6th Aug 2001, 19:23
Latest wheeze for Manston is that a couple of Whitstable Business men are planning to start an airline with a 737-800 flying out of MSE. Brand new aircraft currently being built and they say they will develop routes to Spain, PRG, GVA, France, Portugal and EDI.
It's going to be called Mama Airlines. !!!
Now I don't wan't to be negative, but the question must be asked..... Why should they succeed where so many have failed.
I have a distinct feeling of deja vu on this one.
The airport operator, Wiggins, has, according to reports, got the go ahead for new runways and aprons. Definitely needs new aprons, but Runways.??
Anybody got any further on this.??

[ 06 August 2001: Message edited by: Taildragger ]

GROUNDHOG
6th Aug 2001, 19:50
Manston to Prague..... now why didn't I think of that, sounds like a winner!!

Seriously the very best to anyone trying to start an airline, some will make it some will not, but this does seem a little unlikely doesn't it??

ramsrc
7th Aug 2001, 10:22
I remember hearing something about this on the local news last time I was in the UK. The two businessmen were interviewed on the "Meridian Tonight" programme.

It did sound like a project with potential, but whether it will actually work out economically is another matter. The very best of luck to them.

According to Thanet councils website: http://www.thanet.gov.uk/factfile/communications/

A total of 14 million will be spent upgrading facilities at London Manston Airport

Work completed April - September 1999

Air Ground Lighting (AGL) - 750,000
A completely new installation to latest civil standards.


Air Traffic Control - 400,000
A new, custom designed, air traffic control tower, relocated to a new site within the airport, including modern control equipment.

Fire Safety - 1 million
Specialist aviation fire-fighting equipment plus two new, specially commissioned major fire-engines.

Instrument Landing System (ILS) - 600,000
The Instrument Landing System guides 'planes into land on a set course, ensuring that all pilots keep to pre-assigned courses and heights, eliminating any flight deviation and low level landings. The installation includes associated Non-Directional Beacons (NDB) and Distance Measuring Equipment (DME).

Runway Resurfacing - 800,000
Replacement of the runway surface friction course which had become polished, resulting in low friction when wet. The entire runway, some 2752 metres long and 61 metres wide, was resurfaced and re-marked over a six night period using the latest technology equipment.

Security
The first phase of a perimeter fencing programme has been completed, comprising the installation of a three metre high steel fence along four kilometres of the airport's boundary. Mobile security patrols have been established with the provision of five new four-wheel drive vehicles to transport security personnel, undertake bird scaring, conduct airfield inspections and transport engineers around the airfield.

Work planned Winter 2001

Aprons
Extension of concrete aprons to provide a dedicated cargo area, separate from the passenger facilities.

Passenger Terminal
Refurbishment of the passenger terminal.

[ 07 August 2001: Message edited by: ramsrc ]

DogsDiner
7th Aug 2001, 12:47
Hmmm. Seem to remember a certain short a..e captain who lives in Whitstable who once had a 707 registered HR-AMA based at Manston.
MAMA could it stand for Alan Marsh Airlines?
My advice keep well away.

Taildragger
7th Aug 2001, 15:19
According to the Newspaper report I have read, the people concerned are Wesley Baker and Craig Mackinlay.
New runways, new lighting, new air traffic control........ where are the revenues.??
Anyway, good luck to them....many have tried.

Jes
9th Aug 2001, 17:20
It's slag off Manston time again. As I've argued before on another thread, it's routes and fares that decide where people travel from: I travel to Luton for easyJet to Athens, so you might travel to Manston for Mama to Prague.

Points of fact.
The aprons and taxiways (not runway, which is media-speak for apron or taxiway) are being built as you whinge: projected finish date Jan/Feb 2002.
Cruise business.
Renaissance: 10 flights 2000
15 flights 2001
20 flights 2002
Cunard: trial flight this month
Royal Caribbean: start using Dover in 2002: MSE touting for business.

Start-ups.
Mama now spring 2002.
Community Air Express - feeder to Amsterdam and Manchester spring 2002.

Freight business set to expand dramatically when new apron in use. At present MSE is No 8 in UK freight: should move up in table several places.

Air Livery Ltd.
Have planning application in for 747 size paintshop and apron. Moving from Southend.

To keep up with news and movements join the LondonManston group on yahoogroups.com

GROUNDHOG
9th Aug 2001, 18:16
Come on now,don't think anyone is slagging off Manston Jes, in fact I was at the oepening by HRH Fergie and certainly thought how good to see the airfield used effectively.

It is only market research that determines where flights are scheduled to and how often, since I have not done that research I cannot make informed comment but 35 years in the business guides me to thinking that Manston to Prague is not an immediate candidate for a Boeing 737-800.

Apart from the fact you can't realistically operate an airline with a single unit how much utilistaion would you need to achieve per month to pay for said new shiney expensive 737-800?

I would be delighted to see Manston have its day but would have thought the growth will more likely come from attracting existing airlines to run schedules from there by offering suitable incentives and subsidies.

Regarding short haul routes with smaller equipment that might just work and be the basis of the start, but as I said before without the market research and route studies no one can be sure on way or another.

Still, what would I know.....