London Southend Airport (LSA), part of the Stobart Group, has today agreed a 10 year contract with easyJet, for flights to a number of European destinations. easyJet will commence operations in April 2012, in advance of the London Olympics, initially basing three aircraft at the airport and expecting to deliver around 800,000 passengers per annum. This will increase the annualised throughput at the airport to nearly 1 million passengers.
Initially, easyJet intends to service around 10 holiday and business destinations (including Barcelona, Faro and Ibiza) and the airline expects to develop further routes over the coming years.
Stobart Group is at an advanced stage of its investment plan for LSA and has built an airport which is able to offer one of the quickest routes to central London for passengers travelling from Europe. The airport offers reduced flight times, a fast terminal experience and a connecting station with up to 8 trains an hour travelling into London in around 50 minutes. In addition, LSA is in a prime location to service the London Olympics in 2012 with a fast, direct train service to Stratford and the Olympic stadium.
Stobart Group has a strategy of creating value from the property assets it holds in the Group. The agreement with easyJet substantiates the investment made by Stobart and demonstrates the potential the airport can offer to airlines.
Stobart Group CEO, Andrew Tinkler, said: “We are delighted to announce our partnership with easyJet. This supports and validates our strategy to develop London Southend as a fast and friendly airport serving London and the South East. Our target is to achieve in excess of two million passengers and this agreement allows us to have continued confidence in this target”.
Catherine Lynn, easyJet Customer and Revenue Director, said: “We are excited to be opening London Southend as easyJet’s 20th base airport. 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 attract a high number of inbound business and leisure passengers to London next year.”
LSA is an established facility serving business and leisure passengers flying within the UK, as well as those destined for Europe and beyond. A dedicated new airport railway station is complete (fewer than 100 paces from the terminal), with up to eight train services an hour offering direct links to Stratford (44 minutes) - site of the 2012 Olympics, and to London Liverpool Street (53 minutes).
Stobart Group is extending LSA’s runway, enabling use by greater capacity aircraft. This and the airport's congestion-free location outside London air traffic control, make it an ideal location to meet the demand for European business and leisure travel. The runway extension will also allow LSA to play a major role in handling visitors to the 2012 Olympic Games.
Stobart Group’s development of LSA also includes a new state-of-the-art control tower (operational in March 2011), a new dedicated train station on the Southend to Stratford and Liverpool Street line (now complete and set to open in July), a new terminal building (due for completion this Autumn), the runway extension (due for completion Winter 2011/12) and a new hotel which will open in 2012.