Ryanair has announced two new routes from London Southend – hours after fellow low-cost carrier Wizz Air said it would begin operations from the airport on the same routes.
Ryanair will fly from Southend to the Romanian capital Bucharest five times weekly and the Lithuanian capital Vilnius three times weekly from November 2019.
This morning, Hungary-based Wizz Air announced that it would fly from Southend to Bucharest five times weekly and Vilnius twice weekly.
Ryanair already has a base at Southend, whereas these routes mark the debut of Wizz Air.
Competition between the airlines would appear to be fierce.
Earlier this month, Wizz Air said it would begin operations out of Edinburgh, launching flights to Bucharest as well as Warsaw, Gdansk and Budapest.
Three days later, Ryanair announced the launch of its own Edinburgh-Bucharest route.
While all carriers have faced volatile finances in recent years amid tightening competition, Ryanair saw its profits down 21 per cent to €243 million (£219 million) in the three months to June, while Wizz saw pre-tax profits rise 42 per cent to €72.4 million.
Both are also expanding their networks eastwards, with Wizz launching Luton flights to Moscow and St Petersburg, and Ryanair yesterday announcing its first routes from Georgia.
We have contacted both airlines for comment.