Special guests and passengers are today celebrating the launch of KLM’s latest regional route – from Manston Airport in Kent to Amsterdam Schiphol, the fourth largest air hub in the world. The new service, the only scheduled passenger flight from the Kent airport, will allow local travellers access to over 190 destinations worldwide via Schiphol with KLM.
KLM is part of the AIR FRANCE KLM Group. It currently offers flights from over 17 regional airports, of which Manston is just the latest. The new service from Manston will mean that passengers from Kent can now avoid having to travel across London or through the congestion that leads to Heathrow or Gatwick.
The new route will run to and from Manston twice a day, every day of the week. Passengers will be carried in a Fokker 70 aircraft, which seats up to 80 travellers. To buy tickets, customers can log on to KLM.com where flights are available for as little as £79 return (including tax).
To mark the launch, KLM and Manston Airport played host to local media and invited guests, including representatives of the local travel trade, local chambers of commerce and from Thanet and Kent Local Authorities. Along with passengers they were able to witness the traditional aircraft ‘baptism’ performed by the Airport Fire and Rescue Service, who sprayed water over the aircraft, after landing from Amsterdam at 9:15am.
Henri Hourcade, General Manager AIR FRANCE KLM, UK & Ireland, said at the launch “The new route from Manston offers passengers in Kent and the South East of England twice daily flights to a key business location, as well as an important connection to a host of worldwide destinations. This is an exciting new chapter in KLM’s long history with the UK and we have been overwhelmed by the support we have received from the local community. Forward bookings look good and we anticipate this service going from strength-to-strength as we become established in Kent.”
Charles Buchanan, Chief Executive at Manston Airport, said: “The start of the KLM service marks the next exciting chapter in the airport’s history. For the first time it connects Kent residents and businesses with the world through a global hub thanks to a national flag carrier airline. Passengers can leave home without the worries of road congestion, arrive at Manston, park adjacent to the terminal and enjoy an easy check-in. Importantly, being outside London air space means flights are not delayed on take-off or landing, which means a hassle-free experience that makes air travel a pleasure. And on arrival back at Manston it is a quick and easy exit from the airport, and a short drive home.”