Flybe, the UK’s Number One Domestic airline, today began operating its first flight from Edinburgh to Manston that, with a suitably Scottish send-off, reflects Flybe’s commitment to growing its services from Edinburgh and marks the return of daily scheduled passenger services from Kent International Airport.
On hand to welcome the first passengers and see the Scottiish-bound passengers on board was Flybe’s Head of Public Relations, Niall Duffy and the team from Infratil, Manston Airport’s owners, led by Tom Wilson, Chief Executive of Infratil Airports Europe.
The significance of the new daily service to the tourism industry at both destinations was reflected by the presence of the Visit Scotland bus and a team from Visit Kent, the county’s tourism industry champions while a Visit Kent team greeted passengers at Edinburgh Airport to promote the route and highlight the organisation’s new ‘Kent contemporary’ campaign with special Garden of England invites.
The passengers were piped aboard at Manston by members of the Pipes & Drums of 5 Scots Battalion based in Canterbury before taking off on Flybe’s fuel efficient 78- seat Bombardier Q-400 aircraft for their 80-minute flight to the Scottish capital. Before boarding the passengers also enjoyed a celebratory glass of Kent-produced Chapel Down sparkling wine. Two of the first passengers to arrive and depart on the special inaugural flight were presented with food hampers generously given by Scottish Food and Drink and Visit Kent.
Mr Duffy said: “We’re delighted to add this new service. It reflects our commitment to continued growth from our Edinburgh base and also to our development into new regions.”
Added Mr Wilson: “This new service demonstrates Manston’s capabilities as a regional airport for the South East and with it the prospect of a further 50,000 passengers using the airport each year. It also reinforces Flybe’s reputation for offering an extensive choice of convenient, affordable regional travel.”
Flybe’s new daily scheduled passenger services between Edinburgh and Manston will continue through to the Winter 2010 schedule so ensuring a daily year-round service on the route.