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Low-cost airline Ryanair launches 13 new European routes with $300m investment to create 750 jobs at London Southend Airport

PUBLISHED: 14:21 13 June 2018 | UPDATED: 17:12 13 June 2018

Warwick Brady (Stobart), David O’Brien (Ryanair) and Iain Ferguson (Stobart)  Picture: Ryanair

Warwick Brady (Stobart), David O’Brien (Ryanair) and Iain Ferguson (Stobart) Picture: Ryanair

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Ryanair has announced it will open a new base at Southend Airport with three aircraft at an investment of $300million.

London Southend Airport. Picture: London Southend Airport London Southend Airport. Picture: London Southend Airport

Ryanair has announced it will invest $300m and base three aircraft at London Southend Airport, as it launches 13 new routes.

The planes will fly to eight countries on the new routes, including holiday resort destinations such as Malaga and Alicante as well as lesser-known destinations such as Cluj-Napoca in Romania’s Translyvania region.

The move is anticipated to deliver one million passengers annually when the routes begin flying in April 2019.

In all, the service will deliver 55 weekly flights and create 750 on-site jobs.

London Southend Airport Picture: London Stansted Airport London Southend Airport Picture: London Stansted Airport

Warwick Brady, chief executive of the airport’s owners Stobart Group, said it had a “clear and focused strategy” to grow the airport to accommodate five million passengers a year by 2022.

Last month, the group announced pre-tax profits of £100m for the year to February 28, 2018.

“This news will help us achieve that aim, and Ryanair will be a valuable partner to Stobart Group in developing London Southend airport, allowing us to play a key role in solving London’s capacity crisis,” he said.

“Passengers are increasingly turning to London Southend Airport amid the capacity crisis found elsewhere in the capital, where holidaymakers and business travellers face frustration from overcrowded airports, impacting on customer service.”

Denise Rossiter, chief executive of Essex Chambers of Commerce, said: “We obviously welcome this announcement and the boost that it will give to Southend Airport itself and the town’s economy by securing existing jobs and providing opportunities for new employment.

“This is a clear vote of confidence in the airport’s future by both Stobart and Ryanair.”

Last month, Southend Airport welcomed new flights to Malta, Sardinia and Sicily via Air Malta as part of its expansion drive, and the airport is already an established base for Ryanair’s rival budget airline Easyjet.

But Ms Rossiter added Essex Chamber of Commerce was concerned about whether the local road networks will be able to cope with the additional traffic.

“There are already regular instances of major delays on the A127 without this traffic and we will need to see major investment in improving our local infrastructure,” she said.

The 13 routes Ryanair will operate from London Southend Airport from April 2019:

• Alicante in southern Spain - five times a week

• Barcelona Reus in northern Spain - twice a week

• Bilbao in northern Spain - four times a week

• Brest in France - twice a week

• Corfu in Greece - twice a week

• Cluj in Romania - three times a week

• Dublin in Ireland - twice daily

• Faro in southern Portugal - five times a week

• Kosice in Slovakia - three weekly

• Malaga in southern Spain - five times a week

• Milan Bergamo in Italy - four times a week

• Palma in Mallorca, Spain - four times a week

• Venice in Italy - four times a week

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