PHOTO: Ryanair.

LONDON — As part of the airline’s continued European expansion, Ryanair will be opening a new base in the UK at London-Southend Airport.

From April 2019, three Boeing 737s will be based at the airport, representing an investment of $300 million.

These three planes will operate 13 routes to eight different countries across Europe including the following destinations:

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  • Alicante (5 weekly)
  • Barcelona Reus (2 weekly)
  • Bilbao (4 weekly)
  • Brest (2 weekly)
  • Corfu (3 weekly)
  • Cluj (3 weekly)
  • Dublin (2 daily)
  • Faro (5 weekly)
  • Kosice (3 weekly)
  • Malaga (5 weekly)
  • Milan Bergamo (4 weekly)
  • Palma (4 weekly)
  • Venice (4 weekly)

Ryanair will ad, in total, over 55 weekly flights from London-Southend, offering passengers a boost of over one million extra seats per annum, as well as providing up to 750 jobs on-site as well.

Better Accessibility

Ryanair’s David O’Brien, who is the airline’s Chief Commercial Officer, said to be “pleased to add London Southend Airport to our UK based network.”

“Ryanair guests traveling to and from London and the Essex area can now enjoy low fares on a choice of 13 routes through London-Southend’s exceptionally passenger-friendly terminal,” he said.

According to O’Brien, the airport’s train station will deliver direct services to London’s Liverpool Street and to the new Crossrail service, which is opening in 2019.

This will make the airport even more accessible from all parts of London,” he said.

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Warwick Brady, CEO of Stobart Group (Airport Administrator) said, “We have a clear and focused strategy to grow our airport to welcome over 5m passengers a year by 2022.”

“This news will help us achieve that aim, and Ryanair will be a valuable partner to Stobart Group in developing London-Southend airport with 13 routes and 6 new destinations, allowing us to play a key role in solving London’s capacity crisis,” he stressed.

London Expansion Needed

This is a big move for Ryanair indeed. The ULCC will now be in competition with easyJet at the airport, increasing its presence in the London area and increasing the amount of offered seats by a considerable amount.

For London-Southend, this is yet another boost as they always find it significantly difficult to compete against London’s other airports (Stansted, Gatwick, Heathrow, and Luton) due to their size and better connectivity.

This now means that Southend’s model will predominantly focus on the LCC market, and the 55 extra weekly flights will boost their operations for the better.

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Southend is now Ryanair’s 15th UK base and is their 85th across Europe, showing the significant demand for both the UK and European markets still.

It also adds more confidence to the regional airport market, especially in a BREXIT political situation where it is undetermined how the air travel industry will ultimately be affected.

It does show the complete investment that Ryanair has into the UK market and that they don’t look to be pulling out any time soon, especially with them having 15 bases in the UK alone.