EasyJet to start flying from Southend airport

16.6.2011 (Guardian)
Budget airline expected to carry 800,000 passengers in the first year from new
multimillion pound terminal in Essex

Low-fare airline easyJet is to begin operating from a new UK airport and will carry around 800,000 passengers
in the first 12 months from its new base, it was announced today.

The budget carrier is to start flights at Southend airport in Essex from April
2012, where a multimillion pound terminal will open this autumn.

Under a 10-year partnership with the airport’s owners, Stobart Group, easyJet
will operate 70 flights a week to a number of European destinations including
Barcelona, Ibiza and Faro in Portugal.

Around 150 easyJet staff will work at the airport, which will be the carrier’s
11th UK base. EasyJet will be operating three Airbus A319 planes and tickets will
go on sale at the end of next month.

EasyJet customer and revenue director Catherine Lynn said: “We are excited to
be opening Southend. The airport is in a fantastic location just outside London
with a fast rail link into the city.

“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.

The airport’s managing director, Alastair Welch, said: “We are delighted to announce
our partnership with easyJet.

“This summer we open a dedicated railway station with up to eight services an
hour to Stratford – site of the 2012 Olympic Games, and to London Liverpool Street
station, both in well under an hour.

“A new state-of-the-art control tower is now operational, work on our runway
extension is under way, as is a new terminal building to be completed this autumn,
and a new hotel that will open in 2012.
see also

Proposed new easyJet flights from Southend show just how few new jobs low cost
airlines produce

16th June 2011     The news that Easyjet will be operating 70 flights per week from Southend Airport
within the next year is a bitter blow that will fill residents with dread. But
this announcement undermines the entire case for expansion at Southend Airport. EasyJet has confirmed that the 800,000 passengers it intends to carry will result
in the creation of JUST 150 new jobs. LSA previously claimed that 2 million passengers
would result in the creation of 1,130 jobs.  (SAEN)    Click here to view full story…

Comments from AirportWatch members:
Local  campaigners were tipped off a couple of days ago that this was in the
offing as an Easyjet plane was spotted at the airport being photographed with
Stobart Air vehicles by a helicopter.
 Easyjet weren’t that keen on the idea last year:
But there are still legal actions to be resolved, one involving the Church Commissioners,
 before the runway extension necesary can be built. The result of the church hearing
is due tomorrow.  The result of the Public Inquiry into the stopping up of Eastwoodbury
Lane, due no earlier than September, is also awaited. And also the appeal lodged 
by SAEN against the Judicial Review decision, a Public Inquiry into the stopping
up of a Public Footpath, which hasn’t even been announced yet, and two legal challenges
in Europe being pursued by Peter Elliott (who was involved in the successful JR
against Stobart’s plans in Carlisle).

easyJet’s announcement that it’ll be basing 3 A319s at Southend by 2012 (assuming,
of course, that the little matter of a big handful of legal actions are resolved
so that the runway can be extended) does provide a window into the “passengers
vs. jobs” world of the low-cost operator that’s typical for “regional airports”. 
They’re talking in terms of 800,000 pax a year and 150 employees – a bit short
of the 800 that the industry’s quaint rumour of 1000 per million would be cranking