operator MK Airlines has relocated its entire flight operation away from
Manston Kent International Airport near London to the Belgian cargo airport at
Ostend, in a bid to keep costs down.
Airlines says that it has, over the past week, been forced to establish the new
European base after failing to reach a settlement with the UK airport’s
operator, PlaneStation, over costs of operation.
carrier has a fleet of 16 aircraft – a mix of Boeing 747 and McDonnell Douglas
DC-8 freighters – and expects to operate around eight to 12 flights weekly from
down to cost,” says a spokesman for MK Airlines. “Manston has dramatically
increased the costs of operating there. We’ve been trying for many months to
renegotiate but we’ve reached an impasse.
not a question of cost-reduction, more a case of stabilisation.”
says that the decision to transfer to Ostend has additional benefits, such as
the fact that Ostend is a 24-hour airport whereas Manston has a curfew imposed.
was not a great problem. We worked around it,” he adds. “But obviously the
operation at Ostend will give us greater flexibility.”
was not immediately available to comment on the MK Airlines decision.