More than 700,000 people have now travelled through the redeveloped airport
As London Southend Airport approaches its first birthday as a regenerated regional airport, it is also celebrating another milestone – its busiest year ever.
721,661 passengers used London Southend Airport in the year to the end of February 2013. That beats the previous record of 692,000 passengers using the airport over a 12 month period which was set back in 1967, when it was the third busiest airport in the UK (second only to Heathrow and Manchester).
London Southend Airport Managing Director Alastair Welch says “We designed our new facilities to be ‘simply easier’ and the whole team continues to work hard to ensure we deliver on our very special commitments to passengers – that they should wait no more than 4 minutes to go through security and that, on arrival with hand baggage, they are on the rail station platform within 15 minutes of leaving the aircraft. It is clearly this unique service that means more and more passengers are choosing London’s newest airport – as was reflected when we recently rated highest in easyJet’s Customer Satisfaction Survey across all its European airports.”
Over £100 million has been invested in London Southend Airport since it was acquired by the Stobart Group in 2008, with more than 500 new jobs created on site. New facilities include a train station on the London Liverpool Street (just 53 minutes into the heart of the City), an Air Traffic Control Tower, terminal building, runway extension, radar and a Holiday Inn hotel.
easyJet started flying from London Southend on 2 April 2012 and now operates services to Amsterdam, Alicante, Barcelona, Belfast, Faro, Geneva, Ibiza, Jersey, Malaga, Mallorca and Venice – flights to Edinburgh start in May, with flights to Berlin, Krakow and Newquay starting in June. Aer Lingus Regional, operated by Aer Arann, has three daily return services between London Southend and Dublin, where travellers are able to take advantage of transatlantic connections to New York, Boston, Chicago and Orlando.
Hugh Aitken, easyJet’s UK Commercial Manager said “We’re absolutely delighted that this first year of operations has been a record breaking one at London Southend Airport. Our aim at easyJet is to provide our customers from Southend and beyond, with easy, affordable services, delivering outstanding value and customer service. We’re doing exactly that and over 700,000 passengers who have travelled to and from London Southend Airport agree. The airport’s success is testament to the hard work and commitment of the Southend team and we look forward to further record setting years ahead.”
Simon Fagan, Aer Arann’s Chief Commercial Officer said “We at Aer Lingus Regional are delighted to have contributed to Southend airport’s busiest year. We will be celebrating a year at the airport this May at which point we will have flown over 50,000 people on the route .With our improved summer schedule, starting 31 March, London based passengers can now catch the train from Central London to make our morning flight and also connect to the US, availing of pre-clearance in Dublin to save time at their US destination. The schedule now allows Irish based travellers complete a day return to London’s newest hub, London Southend.”
Almost one year since the easyJet flights started London Southend Airport continues to develop – work on a £10 million extension to the terminal is on schedule for the new Arrivals area to be open in June 2013, when a 4th easyJet aircraft arrives to be based at the airport. This extension is to ensure those high standards of service passengers currently enjoy are not compromised as passenger numbers grow towards 2 million per year by 2020. The extension is also enabling 300 new, local jobs – these will arise from the increase in Southend based aircraft over time which will result in a variety of additional operational and service roles.
The project will be completed just before Christmas 2013. Alastair Welch says “We want to make sure that we continue to deliver our distinctive level of customer service in Southend and this extension ensures that we can continue to deliver those high standards as the airport grows.”
More about London Southend Airport at http://www.southendairport.com