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Last Updated: Monday, 5 September 2005, 10:47 GMT 11:47 UK
Airport gets back freight licence
Manston airport
A skeleton staff was kept on at Manston while a buyer was found
The newly-sold Manston airport has been given back its Civil Aviation Authority licence to carry freight.

Kent International Airport lost licences to carry passengers and freight when former owner Planestation went into receivership in July.

Infratil, which bought the airport for 17m last month, said on Monday that it had secured the new freight licence.

At the time of the sale, the firm said freight would be reinstated first while passenger flights would take longer.

Infratil also said it would take some time to bring the airport to profitable operation because there were no existing services.

But Europe chief executive Steven Fitzgerald said the quality of the existing assets and the location of the airport close to London led to the company's confidence that demand for freight and passenger services was there.

He said freight operators were keen to bring business to Manston, because of the fast service it could deliver and its proximity to distribution centres and London.

But he said reinstatement of passenger operations would take longer because passenger airlines had to make fleet allocation decisions and start marketing and ticket selling before flights could begin.


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