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Archive for June, 2018

Ryanair, Europe’s biggest budget airline, has announced that it will base three aircraft at London Southend Airport from summer 2019, with between 55 and 60 weekly flights to 13 destinations in eight countries. The Irish airline expects to create 750 on-site jobs per year, and carry around a million passengers a year from the Essex airport, largely to Spain and Italy. However, the €300m investment in basing three planes at Southend is to be accompanied by the airline closing its Glasgow airport base because of low demand.

EasyJet established a base at Southend in 2012 after the site boundaries were secured, but with most of the Ryanair routes flying to four sunshine destinations already served from Southend by EasyJet – Alicante, Faro, Malaga and Palma, the competition between the two airlines could trigger a fares war.

Ryanair is also adding holiday services to Reus (described as ‘Barcelona’) and Bilbao in Spain, Brest in France, the Greek island of Corfu and Venice. Four city links are also on the new route map from the Essex airport: Dublin, Milan Bergamo, Kosice in Slovakia and Cluj in Romania.

The Stobart Group, which purchased the airport in 2008 for under £21m, announced pre-tax profits in May 2018 of £100m for the year to 28 February 2018, and is set to invest £40m in the airport between 2018 and 2021 following a 25 per cent increase in passenger numbers in 2017, and a 10 per cent increase in passenger numbers flying its own airline Stobart Air (formerly Aer Arann), which has been operating for Aer Lingus Regional and Flybe. The rapid expansion at Southend is set to continue, with Stobart anticipating five million passengers using the terminal by 2022.

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