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Last Updated: Friday, 26 August 2005, 14:21 GMT 15:21 UK
Ryanair 'could fly' from Manston
Ryanair plane
Manston's new owners would like to see Ryanair taking off from Kent
The new owner of Kent International Airport, New Zealand-based air operator Infratil, has said low cost airline Ryanair could fly out of Manston.

Director Stephen Richards said he would "love to see Ryanair at Manston".

The airport was shut down after the collapse of previous owner PlaneStation and its budget airline EUjet.

Infratil already has close links with Ryanair, through its other airport - Glasgow Prestwick. Ryanair has refused to confirm or deny the reports.

Not enough people know exactly where Kent is
David Kaminski-Morrow

Director of Infratil, Steven Fitzgerald, said: "Ryanair is the best business in terms of low cost carriers.

"They have generated a massive amount of business across Europe and have been a very good business partner at Glasgow Prestwick."

But David Kaminski-Morrow, editor of online news service Air Transport Intelligence, said the move would be unlikely because Ryanair is well established at London's Stansted Airport.

He added: "One of Kent's main problems is it needs to be marketed properly as not enough people know exactly where it is.

"It's hard to see that Ryanair would be interested but you could never rule it out."

Meanwhile, Infratil has held its first meeting with Thanet Council on Friday where prospects for local employment and the company's business plans were discussed.

Council leader Sandy Ezekiel described the meeting as "positive" and said it gave the council a chance to put forward the issues that concerned local people when a public consultation on the airport was carried out earlier this year.


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