domingo, junio 16, 2024

Southend Airport: ‘Disappointment’ at Easyjet flight cuts

Easyjet plane at Southend Airport Image copyright Stobart Group
Image caption Four Easyjet aircrafts are currently based at London Southend Airport

An airport has said it is «disappointed» that Easyjet will be cutting all flights from its site from next month.

Easyjet announced it will close its bases at Stansted, Southend and Newcastle, with the loss of 670 jobs.

From 1 September no planes will fly to and from 21 destinations using Southend Airport. A reduced operation will run from Stansted and Newcastle.

The airline said the «difficult decision» was due to the pandemic.

Image copyright Stobart Group
Image caption Easyjet will close its base at London Southend Airport on 31 August 2020, along with Stansted and Newcastle

A spokeswoman for the airport said the four Easyjet aircraft based there carried more than one million passengers in 2019.

«These are leisure-focused routes, which we expect to be attractive to other airlines,» she said.

«As such, we are in active dialogue with airlines regarding their interest in capitalising on these well-established, profitable routes.»

The Conservative MP for Southend West, Sir David Amess, said: «I think in total there are 187 employees affected by this, but it’s much more important than that.»

He said the flights were a «great boost to the local economy» but he did not expect Easyjet to return to the airport until as late as 2025.

Image copyright Stobart Group
Image caption Easyjet customers effected by the changes will be contacted directly

Kevin Robinson, cabinet member for business, culture and tourism at Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, said it was «pretty awful news» for the area.

«The airport plays an important part in our local economy so we would hope that eventually the aviation section will recover and airlines will start to use Southend again,» he said.

«The whole of south Essex is going to take a bit of a shake from this.»

Johan Lundgren, the chief executive officer for Easyjet, said: «We have had to take the very difficult decision to close three UK bases as a result of the unprecedented impact of the pandemic and related travel restrictions, compounded by quarantine measures in the UK which is impacting demand for travel.»

Find BBC News: East of England on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. If you have a story suggestion email