POPULAR Irish low-cost airline Ryanair has announced it will open a new base at London Southend, from April 2019, using three new aircraft (an investment of €257 million) and 13 routes.
Although flights will go to eight different countries, Spain is well looked after with five weekly flights to both Alicante and Malaga, four to Palma Mallorca and two to Reus (Tarragona).
The decision to introduce these new routes has been made partly because of the delays on deciding about the third runway for Heathrow and the fact that Southend has a huge catchment area.
In addition, this will see direct competition between the airline and rival easyJet which also operates out of the Southend airport.
Ryanair’s Chief Commercial Officer, David O’Brien said: “We are pleased to add London Southend Airport to our UK base network. Ryanair guests travelling to and from London and the Essex area can now enjoy low fares on a choice of 13 routes through London Southend’s exceptionally passenger friendly terminal.
Warwick Brady, CEO of Stobart Group which manages the airport said: “We are delighted to welcome Ryanair and its guests to London Southend in S2019. We have a clear and focused strategy to grow our airport to welcome over 5 million passengers a year by 2022.”