Daily flights to Edinburgh start from Kent airport

Image caption,
The new route to Edinburgh will operate until 30 October

The first daily scheduled flight from Kent International Airport in five years has taken off.

The once-a-day Flybe route from the Manston site to Edinburgh is the first daily route since airline EUjet collapsed in 2005.

The 80-minute service is being provided by a 78-seated Bombardier aircraft.

John Grant, the managing director of Airport Strategy and Marketing, said now the airport needed access to a "major European hub".

He said: ""It's all very well serving Edinburgh but what they need is access to Paris, Amsterdam or Frankfurt so that they can then get their local community access to the world."

Airport owners Infratil have estimated the new flights could increase projected passenger numbers from 50,000 in 2010 to more than half a million by 2014.

Tom Wilson, chief executive of Infratil Airports Europe, said: "This new service demonstrates Manston's capabilities as a regional airport for the South East and with it the prospect of a further 50,000 passengers using the airport each year.

"Passengers using the airport will very quickly realise how different it is from others they may use, thanks to the ease of getting to and from Manston and the fact that you can board an aircraft literally metres from where you park your car."

Flybe's new route will operate between 27 May and 30 October.

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