Stobart Air announces partnership with Flybe based at London Southend Airport

Stobart Air has agreed a 10-year partnership with Europe’s largest regional airline, Flybe which will see six new routes to mainland Europe operating from London Southend Airport, creating sixty new, local jobs.

Stobart Air (formerly Aer Arann) will operate two Flybe-branded aircraft on six new routes to Northern Europe and Benelux countries from 5 June 2014.  These new routes are expected to carry 100,000 passengers in 2014, rising to 200,000 in 2015.

Details of the six routes, including prices and frequencies, will be announced on 3 April when tickets go-live on www.flybe.com.

As part of the deal, Stobart Air will base two ATR 500/60072 seat aircraft at London Southend Airport. The airline also announced that to cater for its expansion, it will create 60 new jobs based at London Southend Airport - recruitment for these new positions is now getting underway.

This agreement will further strengthen the growth prospects for London Southend Airport, which has built capacity to handle up to five million passengers annually. Last year the airport saw a 57.1% increase on 2012 passenger numbers to 969,950 making it the fastest growing airport in Europe (according to Airline Network News & Analysis) and it was recently rated Best UK Airport in the Which? Magazine,

The franchise agreement comes hot on the heels of the completion of a £10 million extension to the London Southend Airport terminal. A new Arrivals area has enhanced baggage reclaim facilities and additional space for immigration as well as a dedicated domestic arrivals route.  The amount of space for passengers in the security area has increased, as well the number of check in desks / baggage drop off points – there is also a new covered walkway directly connecting the train station and terminal (just 100 paces apart). The Departure Lounge has increased 4.5 times in size to enhance the experience for passengers relaxing and awaiting boarding after security. Retail and catering facilities will also be expanded throughout the terminal over time in order to provide a much wider range of shops and services available to passengers.

London Southend Airport Operations Director David Lister said “This is fantasticnews and perfect timing as we celebrate the completion of our terminal extension. At London Southend passengers flying out from the airport wait for a maximum of 4-minutes for security, whilst those arriving with just hand luggage can expect to travel from plane to train within 15 minutes of leaving the aircraft. We are convinced it is those high standards of service that are responsible for London Southend becoming so popular over the past 12 months, and why are delighted to now be able tooffer an even wider variety of destinations for business and leisure travellers, all year round. “

Andrew Tinkler, Chief Executive Officer, Stobart Group said “This agreement is a further step in our development of London Southend Airport and Stobart Air. It promises to be the start of an exciting relationship with Flybe, with scope to grow the partnership in the future. Stobart Air already operates a successful franchise agreement with Aer Lingus. We carry over 1.3 million passengers annually and 70,000 of those are going to and from London Southend Airport, offering them access to a transatlantic network via Dublin. Adding to the number of carriers and routes at London Southend Airport drives passenger volumes and contributes to cementing the airport as an established transport hub.”

Saad Hammad, Chief Executive Officer, Flybe said “We are delighted to be extending the Flybe brand. Today’s news is also further evidence of our commitment to providing true regional connectivity across the UK and Europe, and we look forward to unveiling a major programme of new base and route development over the coming months.”

(L-R Andrew Tinkler, CEO Stobart Group and Saad Hammad, CEO Flybe)

 

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