Latest News on Kent International Airport
There is great demand for commercial passenger flights from Kent International Airport, near Ramsgate, according to a survey completed by nearly 11,000 local residents.
The online survey undertaken on behalf of the airport found that 71% felt that scheduled commercial air passenger flights from Kent International Airport were very important. A further quarter of respondents felt that commercial flights were ‘somewhat important’ with only 2.7% considering them ‘not important at all’.
When asked whether they would use a commercial air service from Kent International Airport, 85.9% of respondents said it was very likely, and a further 10.7% felt it was ‘somewhat likely’.
Matt Clarke, Chief Executive of Kent International Airport, said: “This is an excellent vote of confidence in the airport and will boost our efforts to bring scheduled passenger services back to the county.”
According to the survey’s respondents, the time saving and locational benefits were seen as the top two advantages of Kent International, according to 91.3% and 86.5% respectively. The results also recognise Kent International Airport’s potential, with 72.5% of the 10,673 respondents acknowledging that the return of passenger services would have local economic benefits.
Importantly from the airport owner’s perspective and Infratil’s on-going efforts to secure the return of scheduled services, the survey showed that should commercial air services be offered from Kent International Airport they would pay a premium. More than a third of respondents (34.3%) said they would consider paying a £20 premium for a return flight from Kent International Airport rather than trek to Gatwick, Heathrow or Stansted.
Matt, Clarke added: “Interestingly, and probably in response to the experience of flying from the London airports, 16% who answered the survey said they would pay a premium in excess of £60 per round trip. In the current economic climate this news will be well received by airlines considering operating from Kent International.
“We believe that Kent International Airport has a major role to play in delivering passenger services to the residents of the South East. This was reinforced by the fact that more than three out of every four of respondents have been inconvenienced at other London airports due to the distance and travel time, traffic, parking and long queues and crowding when they get there.”
Infratil is currently analysing the demand for specific routes highlighted in survey. However, the survey suggests the airport has the potential to meet customer demand all year round, with 59.3% of respondents looking for package holidays and 53.2% interested in jetting off for winter sun. A further 20.8% were interesting in flights from Kent International Airport for skiing holidays.
Matt Clarke concluded: “This provides us with a snapshot of the demand for passenger services from the airport and has confirmed our understanding of the travel habits of Kent residents, importantly where they fly to and where they would like to fly to.
“Later in the year we will present our plans for the long-term future of Kent International Airport with an opportunity for local residents and authorities to give us their views.”
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