Southend Airport holiday flight sales are soaring

SOUTHEND Airport could soon offer business flights to European destinations like Venice, Budapest and Rome. Jonathan Rayner, head of business development for airport owner Stobart Air, told Chalkwell Residents’ Association there was a new spirit of optimism at the airport. He spoke after the airport signed a contract with Southend and Rochford-based Andrews Taxis to supply the private hire cars for the airport’s customers, creating about 30 new jobs. Mr Rayner said sales of tickets to holiday destinations already announced by the airport and easyJet, due to start in April, had already surpassed all ticket sales. New business routes could follow if the airport’s flights to holiday destinations are a success. He said: “On the first day, Southend was the second best-selling airport on the easyJet network. On the second day, sales of tickets from Southend to Alicante were the best selling, outselling Stansted three-to-one. “We have to make sure the sunshine routes work before considering more business flights to places like Milan, Bilbao, Venice, Rome and Budapest.” Mr Rayner said more UK flights might also be on the cards, to places like Exeter, Carlisle, Newcastle, Glasgow and Aberdeen. In addition Aer Arran, which flies from the airport to Galway and Waterford, may consider flying to Dublin, where passengers could get connecting flights to the US.