30 Sep 2005
first 747 flight this Sunday
MK Airlines will operate a 747 freight service into Kent International Airport (Manston) this Sunday (October 2).
It's the first MK service into KIA Manston since its withdrawal from the airport in August 2004.
Due to arrive late morning and depart in around two hours, the jumbo jet is flying in from Nairobi, Kenya. It's expected to be carrying a full load of around 100 tonnes of produce from different East African suppliers for UK supermarkets.
Infratil Airports Europe Chief Executive Steve Fitzgerald said: "The management team has been in discussions with a number of freight operators since the acquisition of the airport last month and a number of ad hoc freight movements have already taken place.
"The first MK flight is good news for the airport. We are cautiously optimistic that we can secure more MK services in the future. The quality of service at the airport is an important component in getting produce to supermarket shelves quickly. I am confident the new team at KIA can deliver to the high standard expected by MK and its customers."
Formed in 1990, MK Airlines currently has six 747 aircraft in its fleet. It was the largest freight carrier at KIA Manston prior to relocating its European operations to other airports in Continental Europe in August 2004.
Meanwhile Mr Fitzgerald confirmed that two passenger charter services would be operating from the airport in October, but noted they were not new business for the airport.
"We have two charter flights operated by Newmarket Air Holidays - one flying to Nice this Saturday and another going to Verona on October 23. Both were arranged by the airport's previous owners earlier this year.
"As with cargo services, we are currently talking to a number of scheduled and charter passenger airlines and will announce further services as and when deals are put in place. It was always anticipated that freight operators would be able to commence services from KIA more quickly than passenger operators.
"Overall, progress has been pleasing on all fronts and is in line with the acquisition business plan."
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