Manston airport could soon be operating flights to Palma. | Majorca Daily Bulletin reporter


After numerous set backs the famous Manston Airport in the heart of Kent is determined to get commercial flights back in the air top holidays destinations such as Mallorca.

It is envisaged one million passengers could travel through the Manston Airport terminal annually with meetings with big-name budget airlines, including Ryanair, easyJet and Wizz Air mooted.

Bosses claim the project to re-open the Thanet site could see it operating as a passenger airport once again by 2028.

This will not be the firs time the airport, just 20 miles from Canterbury will be operating flights to Palma.
Aspro Holidays operated a series of summer charter services during the 1992–93 summer season with its in-house airline Inter European Airways to Palma, Mallorca and Larnaca, Cyprus using the Boeing 737, and added a service to Heraklion, Crete, which was often operated using its larger Boeing 757 airliner but when Aspro was taken over by Airtours, the flights ceased.

A new terminal is going to be built and it expects to handle some one million passengers per year. The airport will also have regular shuttle connections to nearby railway stations and park-and-fly centres to ease traffic and emissions in the area.

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Manston Airport has a great history.
It originally operated as RAF Manston, from 1918, it has also operated as a commercial airport and was known as Kent International Airport and, briefly, London Manston Airport. It has been closed since 2014.

When operational, Manston was capable of handling some of the larger long-haul aircraft, but the runway was not long enough for the largest passenger or freight types at their maximum take-off weights.

The runway was originally built with three “lanes” during the Second World War to handle emergencies, and is among the widest in Europe.
Manston was used as a forward base by many squadrons during the Second World War, owing to its location close to the front line. It was frequently attacked and heavily bombed during the Battle of Britain. Barnes Wallis used the base to test his bouncing bomb on the coast at nearby Reculver, prior to the Dambusters raid.

Dambuster Lancaster Soars Again Over the Derwent Valley Dam

Hawker Typhoon and Gloster Meteor squadrons were based at Manston during the war. On 27 July 1944, RAF 616 Squadron became the first allied jet equipped squadron in the world to become operational, using Meteors to intercept German V-1 flying bombs aimed at London.

Manston’s position close to the front line and its long and broad three lane runway (built during the war, along with the runways at Woodbridge and Carnaby near Bridlington) meant the airfield was heavily used by badly damaged planes that had suffered from ground fire, collisions, or air attack but retained a degree of airworthiness.

The airfield became a “graveyard” for heavy bombers and less-damaged aircraft, offering spare parts for allied aircraft in need of repair.
The museum on site displays some aerial views dating from this era and the post-war years.