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Last Updated: Friday, 17 December, 2004, 15:45 GMT
Airport gets 30m rescue package
Kent International Airport
The airport has tried to lure passengers away from Gatwick
The owner of Kent International Airport and budget airline EUjet, which has lost over 6m during its first year, has announced a 30m rescue package.

PlaneStation said the money, from city investors, will safeguard the airport and the airline for two years.

1 flights and other deals to tempt customers away from Gatwick and Heathrow have already been offered.

On Friday, the company announced eight new destinations and also night-time flights from Manston.

You never expect to have passengers in the first year. It takes a number of years to build up the operation
PJ McGoldrick

PlaneStation's chief executive, Martin May, said: "By the time we get to the year 2006/2007, the airline will be profitable in it's own right.

"In the beginning, all these airlines lose money."

And PJ McGoldrick, managing director of the airline, said the company expected to see 800,000 passengers flying out of the airport next year.

"You never expect to have passengers in the first year," he said.

"It takes a number of years to build up the operation.

"This is an investment in the future of this airport and the future of the airline."

In its first year of operation, EUJet hoped for half a million passengers but after leisure flights began in September attracted just 71,000 in the three months.

Cargo business also fell by 33% after a major freight operator pulled out in August citing increasing costs.




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