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Last Updated: Tuesday, 7 December, 2004, 21:53 GMT
Airport seeks cash from investors
EUJet has failed to meet passenger targets since its launch
The owner of Kent International Airport and budget airline EUJet is seeking an extra 22m from investors.

PlaneStation says the money is needed because the operation at Manston has lost 6.5m in the past six months.

In its first year of operation, EUJet hoped to have half a million passengers but since its launch in September it has attracted just 71,000.

Cargo business has also fallen by 33% since a major freight operator pulled out in August citing increasing costs.

'Challenging catchment area'

Setbacks such as these have led to share prices falling from more than 1 to less than 20p since June.

PlaneStation said the last six months have been challenging and it expects this to be the case for the foreseeable future.

It has taken significant advance bookings for next year and is confident about making a recovery, it said.

Industry analyst Chris Tarry described Manston as a "challenging catchment area" due to the proximity of airports at Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted.

"People would tend to think of those airports first rather than changing their behaviour and travelling out to Manston," he said.


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