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NEWS Last modified on May 7, 2014

Manston Airport to close on May 15

Manston Airport is to close on May 15 resulting in the loss of a reported 140 jobs after a buyer was not found for the cash-strapped gateway.

The airport which played a role in the Dambusters raid in World War II, will shut after a US firm’s offer to buy the site was rejected on Monday, while another bid fell through in April.

A spokesman from Manston Airport says there has not been ‘a viable alternative’ to allow the airport located in the district of Thanet in Kent to remain open.

In a statement, it says it also considered business proposals put forward by staff, but those would have still required losses to be subsidised, and due to no other options, a decision has been taken to close it.

According to media reports, staff were told of the closure at a meeting yesterday morning.

The site was bought by Ann Gloag, who co-founded the Stagecoach Group, for £1 in October last year, but in March it said it was in talks about closing as it was losing £10,000 a day (€12,000).

Several airlines have pulled out, including KLM, which ran two daily flights to Amsterdam.

US firm RiverOak Investment, which is based in Stamford, Connecticut, says it had made an offer to acquire 100% of the shares in the company that owned Manston Airport, and had developed a long-term plan to own and manage it as an airport.

Campaign groups including members of Save Manston Airport are reportedly rallying to try and keep the airport open.

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