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Hopes rise at Southend Airport for new easyJet base after more flights added

Confidence is building at London-Southend Airport (SEN) that low-cost airline easyJet could soon announce the reopening of a permanent base at the airport. Fresh hopes were raised following the carrier’s unveiling of additional flights for the summer 2024 season from the airport to two popular holiday destinations.  

On March 4, 2024, the airline announced it had opened reservations for the new services from Southend to Paris and Palma de Mallorca. While the first is the host city for the 2024 Olympic Games, the latter has long since been a favorite among UK-based holidaymakers. easyJet will be providing thousands of additional seats to each destination and while neither are new routes for the airline from the airport, the additional flights are being seen as a vote of confidence in the airport itself, as well as an indicator of easyJet’s long-term viability of opening a permanent base there. 

The airline will operate an extra Sunday service to Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG) between July and August 2024, in addition to its existing flights on Mondays and Fridays during this period. The carrier will also add an extra Thursday flight each week to Palma de Mallorca during the busy peak season between June and October 2024. This will mean up to eight weekly flights to the Spanish hotspot during the peak summer months.  

Markus Mainka / Shutterstock

“We are delighted to be increasing our flying across our routes from London Southend to Paris and Majorca this summer, providing customers more convenient, direct connections,” said Ali Gayward, easyJet’s UK Country Manager.  

“Paris is proving popular with those looking for a city break or traveling for business, and the increase in the frequency of our flights to Majorca from the airport provides additional options for customers’ summer holidays with more choice and great value fares,” she added. 

easyJet was forced to abandon its base at the airport as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating effect on the airline industry. However, the steady growth of easyJet’s return to the airport is being taken positively by the airport owners and other stakeholders. 

Kevin Buck, the local councilor responsible for highways, transport, and parking in the Southend area, is hopeful that the latest announcement could be the next step towards the base returning.  

“This is great news for Southend Airport and travelers alike,” said Buck. “Southend was a very popular airport to fly from before COVID’s devastating effects almost shut it down completely. To see the operator returning more and more flights to Southend is encouraging and I hope, another step in them returning to having an operating base here.” 

“Southend remains one of the best passenger experience airports to fly from in the UK and is well served by public transport connections with its rail station, meaning you can leave the car at home and still enjoy one of the easiest flying experiences on offer,” he added. 

Steady growth at Southend 

The announcement of extra flights by easyJet follows the return of multiple routes from Southend Airport which is now offering flights to a total of 11 destinations. Destinations served by easyJet from the airport include Alicante (ALC), Amsterdam (AMS), Geneva (GVA), Grenoble (GNB), Malaga (AGP), Palma de Mallorca (PMI), Faro (FAO), Amsterdam (AMS), and Paris (CDG).    

Markus Mainka / Shutterstock

“This increase not only enhances connectivity but also provides travelers with more convenient options to explore these two vibrant destinations,” said John Upton, CEO at Southend Airport. “Southend is committed to continually developing and evolving the travel experience for our passengers, and this expansion is a testament to that dedication.” 

“The addition of these easyJet services also indicates that demand from people in the east of London, Essex, and the wider East Anglia region is still in full flight, and they now have greater opportunities to travel from our quick, easy, and award-winning airport,” he added. 

London-Southend Airport is located 40 miles (64km) from central London and currently ranks as London’s sixth busiest airport behind Heathrow (LHR), Gatwick (LGW), Stansted (STN), Luton (LTN), and London City (LCY).   

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