Ryanair has officially opened its new base at London Southend Airport, the fourth busiest in Britain.
The Irish low-cost airline has deployed three aircraft with an investment of $300m in Southend, Essex. It will fly over 50 aircraft per week to 13 destinations in eight countries.
The opening of the new base has enabled the airline to support 750 ‘on-site’ jobs at London Southend Airport.
Stobart Group, which owns Southend Airport along with Stobart Air, is looking to capitalise on congestion at other airports in London.
Stobart Aviation CEO Glyn Jones, said: “We are delighted to welcome the first Ryanair flight to London Southend Airport today. Ryanair passengers can now fly to 14 new routes and enjoy a quick and easy airport with direct trains to London Liverpool Street in 51 minutes.
“This is an exciting time for London Southend Airport. We welcomed 1.5million passengers last year. With the arrival of Ryanair, we will be welcoming over 2.5 million.
“We are growing fast. We believe we can maintain this momentum with more airlines recognising that we represent an attracting destination for growth in London.”
In 2008, Stobart Group acquired London Southend Airport and applied to increase the runway by 300m and also upgrade navigation and lighting systems.
The airport operator opened a new art air traffic control tower and mainline railway station in 2011.