Irish regional carrier Stobart Air has announced 12 new routes from London Southend airport for next year.
The carrier will operate the flights through its existing franchise agreement with Flybe, and will base two 118-seat Embraer E195 aircraft at the airport.
The new routes, which can be booked at flybe.com, are as follows:
- Three times-weekly flights to Budapest from May 4
- Six times-weekly flights to Cologne from May 4
- Twice-weekly flights to Dubrovnik from May 16
- Twice-weekly flights to Zadar from May 27
- Twice-weekly flights to Figari (Corsica) from May 19
- Twice-weekly flights to Perpignan from May 25
- Four times-weekly flights to Lyon from May 1
- Five times-weekly flights to Milan Malpensa from May 1
- Twice-weekly flights to Venice from May 7
- Three times-weekly flights to Vienna from May 10
- Three times-weekly flights to Reus from May 10
- Five times-weekly flights to Prague from May 8
The new services mean Stobart Air (previously known as Aer Arann) will offer a total of 28 routes from Southend airport.
Southend airport has been owned by the Stobart Group, parent company of Stobart Air, since December 2008.
Commenting on the news Warwick Brady, Deputy Stobart Group CEO said:
“The announcement of new routes from London Southend Airport (LSA) today further builds on the growth platform we have created in Stobart Group’s Aviation division. LSA is perfectly placed to serve London’s growing travel market especially in the face of the other London airport capacity constraints.
“This is also part of the next stage of our strategy to build new passenger routes and further the development of our regional franchise with Flybe, and proves that our Aviation division has the capacity and ability to capitalise on the growing demand in the South East for a very efficient airport making it quick and easy for customers.”
Fellow Irish carrier Cityjet had recently been in discussions with Stobart Group regarding the potential acquisition of Stobart Air, and the operation of services from London Southend Airport.
But the airline confirmed earlier this month that it had withdrawn from negotiations, with Cityjet’s executive chairman and CEO Pat Byrne stating:
“ In my experience, most significant corporate transactions have a certain life and, if completion is not reached within that window, the dynamics shift and people tend to move on. Naturally, we are very disappointed as we have been highly motivated to try to finalise this deal. We saw Stobart Air as a really good fit for our growing business.”
“The process became protracted over several months and, in the circumstances, we presented Stobart with a deadline for completion. The deadline lapsed this morning [December 5] and, consequently, we have withdrawn from the process. It is unfortunate that it has not been possible to reach agreement with Stobart.”
“CityJet will continue to develop our aggressive growth strategy in Europe but regrettably this will not now include the acquisition of Stobart Air.’’