London Southend Airport | Easyjet to fly

About 150 new jobs are to be created at London Southend Airport after low-cost airline Easyjet announced plans to operate 70 flights a week from the site.

The Luton-based airline said about 800,000 passengers would be expected to fly in the first year.

Easyjet will be flying from the Essex airport to 10 European destinations, including Barcelona, Faro and Ibiza.

The new jobs will include cabin crew, pilots and ground staff.

Easyjet will become the first major airline to operate from London Southend Airport.

'Fantastic location'

London Southend Airport's managing director, Alastair Welch, said: "We are delighted to announce our partnership with Easyjet, servicing a comprehensive variety of routes into Europe.

"A new state-of-the-art control tower is now operational, work on our runway extension is underway, as is a new terminal building to be completed this autumn. A new hotel will open in 2012."

Catherine Lynn, Easyjet's customer and revenue director, said: "We are excited to be opening London Southend as Easyjet's 20th base airport.

"The airport is in a fantastic location just outside London with a fast rail link into the city."

Earlier in the year, a newly-built control tower at London Southend Airport became fully operational.

The new tower cost £3m and is part of the airport's plan to boost passenger numbers to two million a year by 2020.