In the weeks ahead regional airline Flybe will cease selling no fewer than six routes from London Southend.
Airline Route reports the services in question cover two domestic and four international destinations. All of them are routes suitable for both business and leisure travellers.
The routes being dropped from Southend are:
- Glasgow from October 26. Served up to twice daily.
- Manchester from January 6. Flights operate up to three times daily.
- Budapest from January 5. Three flights a week.
- Milan Malpensa from October 26. Four flights a week.
- Prague from January 6. As many as seven flights a week (at time of writing).
- Vienna from October 28. Four flights a week.
Note that the flights listed above are operated by Stobart with Flybe responsible for marketing and reservations support.
Cancelling these routes will come as a blow to Southend airport (which is owned by Stobart) and Essex travellers who are spared having to trek to one of the capital’s other airports.
However rival carrier Ryanair has announced it will establish a small base at Southend starting in 2019. It intends to base three aircraft at Southend which will operate 13 routes to eight European countries.
Six of these Ryanair destinations are new to Southend airport.
The Flybe/Stobart news should not come as a surprise to readers of the Irish Independent. Last month it reported Stobart would be removing a couple of aircraft from Southend. But only now are the cancellations officially confirmed.
One must conclude that Stobart must feel it can operate these jets more profitability elsewhere especially since Ryanair announced it would enter the Southend market.
Another reason must be the fact that Stobart has cancelled plans for a Flybe takeover.