Cargolux is shifting its Manston Airport freighters to Stansted after Manston’s owners announced that the loss-making airport would close permanently on 15 May. The carrier recently launched twice-weekly B747 freighter services from Stansted via Hong Kong and Luxembourg.
The Luxembourg-based carrier has continued to operate some of its Africa- Europe freighters via the southern UK airport Manston despite recent uncertainty over the future of the airport. Cargolux has been using the airport to link the UK market with African and European destinations including Johannesburg, Nairobi, Luxembourg and Maastricht.
The former military airport will reportedly be sold to property developers, which some have suggested was the intention all along of the current owner, which bought the airport from Infratil for just £1 (€1.23), plus an adjustment for working capital variances and cash injected by Infratil, estimated at around £350,000.
But Manston has not been without its successes over the years as both a lowcost base for scheduled and charter cargo and passenger flights, as well as aircraft maintenance. The airport also served as a congestion-free import hub for UKdestined perishables traffic from Africa, for carriers Cargolux, the now-defunct MK Airlines, DAS Air and Avient.