EasyJet is to establish a new base at Southend airport with services to 10 destinations. The budget carrier will base three Airbus A319s at the Essex airport and expects to carry 800,000 passengers a year in a 10-year agreement.
Flights will serve destinations including Barcelona, Faro and Ibiza as Southend becomes the airline’s 11th UK base. A new terminal opens at the airport in the autumn as part of expansion plans by owner the Stobart Group.
It is looking to handle two million passengers a year by 2020. EasyJet flights will start operating from next April and the move will create 150 jobs at the airport.
A key attraction will be the short time it will take passengers to get through the airport which is to be served by eight trains an hour to central London with a journey time of 53 minutes, making Southend competitive with Stansted.
The airport aims to attract Olympic Games traffic with Stratford, the heart of the games, being a 40 minute train trip from the airport’s rail station.
Easyjet customer and revenue director Catherine Lynn said: “Through offering easy and affordable travel, we expect the new routes to appeal to customers in Essex and London looking for a convenient new departure point for many top European destinations.
“We also believe that the European city links will also attract a high number of inbound business and leisure passengers to London next year.”
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