The small Essex airport had previously been a local airport, only offering infrequent flights. But following recent investment, it will operate 70 services a week and handle two million passengers a year by 2020.
The airport, which has a new control tower and runway, has been hailed as a step in the right direction for the UK aviation industry.
“The current debate on the future of aviation in our country as a whole has focused on hubs such as Heathrow and Gatwick,” said Transport Secretary Justine Greening, who opened the airport. “Our regional airports have an absolutely vital part to play in making sure the aviation sector remains competitive and continues to serve businesses and the community.” The re-opening is the first new airport capacity in the South East for decades, and will create up to 500 new jobs.
“We are delighted to be at Southend to launch our services here,” said Carolyn McCall, Chief Executive of easyJet. “We have worked closely with the airport over the past year to help put Southend Airport back on the map and we are sure that its fast, efficient and customer friendly terminal along with its great rail links to London will make it a popular choice with our passengers,” she added.
The budget airline will commence flights from the Essex airport on 2 April, flying to destinations across Europe including Amsterdam, Berlin, Ibiza and Alicante. “We are also pleased to be able to add Geneva to our wide range of routes which are available from the airport,” added Ms McCall. “Our launch programme includes family destinations, city breaks and key business routes but we felt it was important to ensure that a skiing destination was also available for the winter.” If you are planning a holiday, either to Europe or further afield, remember to take out travel insurance to protect yourself financially while you’re away.
Date Created: 29/03/2012