DALLAS – Esken, the owners of London’s Southend Airport (SEN), could be put up for sale after the pandemic saw passenger numbers plummet by 90%.
The facility, located in Essex, around 50km east of the UK capital, announced a pre-tax loss of £21.5m for the year ending February 28, 2022.
SEN’s three main carriers, Wizz Air (W6), Ryanair (FR) and easyJet (U2), all pulled their services when the pandemic began.
However, U2 has since relaunched several routes from the airport. For the summer season, it will serve Amsterdam (AMS), Faro (FAO), Malaga (AGP) and Palma (PMI).
Esken said that it is reviewing options for its numerous business ventures, including looking into the sale of its aviation sector.
“A key objective will be to find the right buyer with the capital to support the growth prospects of the airport over the long term and benefit airline partners, customers and local stakeholders,” the company said.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson for SEN added, “Ultimately this will benefit our airline partners, customers, local stakeholders, and the region. Our parent company Esken is exploring a sale of London Southend Airport and initial planning for this has already started.
“Esken will look for the right buyer with the capital to support our new management team and our ambitious growth prospects over the long term.”
Southend was once London’s third busiest airport until it fell into decline in the 1980s. The facility was purchased by Esken, then known as the Stobart Group, in December 2008 for £21m. A new terminal was opened in February 2012, and passenger numbers soared, reaching 2.15 million in 2019.
Featured Image: London Southend Airport.