EasyJet is to cut routes from Stansted to give London City Airport a “run for its money” as part of its plans for its new base at Southend.
Customer and revenue director Catherine Lynn declined to detail which routes would be shelved at Stansted to make way for the new Southend network. But up to 70 flights a week are being scheduled for next year from Southend.
Tickets will go on sale at the end of July for the flights to run from the first week of April next year to 10 destinations including Barcelona, Faro and Ibiza.
The full list of destinations served in the first year is to be confirmed at the end of July when tickets go on sale and is likely to include domestic services and flights to Ireland as well as main links to the Continent.
The budget carrier confirmed it is to base three Airbus A319 aircraft at the Essex airport, creating 150 jobs and handling around 800,000 passengers a year.
The announcement comes ahead of airport owner Stobart Group’s £60 million investment in a new terminal opening in October, a minute’s walk from a train station which opens in July offering links to central London.
Airport managing director Alastair Welch said: “We are delighted to announce our partnership with easyJet, servicing a comprehensive variety of routes into Europe and hot on the heels of other significant developments at London Southend.
“This summer we open a dedicated railway station with up to eight services an hour to Stratford – site of the 2012 games – and to London Liverpool Street, both in well under an hour.
“A new state-of-the-art control tower is now operational, work on our runway extension is underway, as is a new terminal building to be completed this autumn, and a new hotel that will open in 2012.
“All this makes London Southend an ideal gateway for both business and leisure travel across Europe, and puts us right on track for our target of serving over two million passengers annually.”
Confirming the airline’s eleventh UK base in a ten-year deal, Lynn said: “The airport is in a fantastic location just outside London with a fast rail link into the city.
“This is a unique opportunity to offer a world class customer experience, with passengers able to get from the plane to the train in 15 minutes.
“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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