London Southend Airport has enjoyed its busiest year ever with almost a million passengers using the regenerated regional airport in 2013 – and is now looking forward to even more exciting developments in 2014.
A total of 970,167 passengers passed through the Essex airport between January and December 2013, beating the previous record of 721,661 (set year to the end of February 2013). This sustained growth eclipses previous yearly averages of around 692,000 passengers back in the 1960s heyday of London Southend, when it was the third busiest airport in the UK (second only to Heathrow and Manchester).
London Southend also enjoyed a booming festive period, with 45,678 passengers in total flying into and out from the airport between 19th December 2013 and 2nd January 2014.
The busiest day was 27th December, when 3,865 people used the airport. The most popular route over the festive period was Amsterdam, both for people flying out of the UK and back to it via London Southend.
The new, twice-weekly easyJet route to the winter sun destination of Tenerife, which started on 13th December, is also proving popular during its first few weeks – on Christmas Eve the busiest flight of the whole festive season saw 178 people flying from Tenerife back to the UK for the seasonal celebrations via London Southend.
David Lister, Operations Director, said: “2013 has been a fantastic year for London Southend, topped off with us being named best airport in Britain in the Which? airport passenger survey. We think our unique promises to passengers – that they should wait no more than four minutes to go through security and that, on arrival with hand baggage, they are on the rail station platform within 15 minutes of leaving the aircraft and then in central London in 53 minutes – is what has been a big part of our success over the last year and the factor that is driving more and more passengers to choose London’s newest airport…and we have more great things to come in 2014.”
To support the rapid growth of London Southend, a £10 million extension to the terminal is scheduled to open in early 2014. This extension is to ensure the unique high standards of service passengers currently can only enjoy at London Southend Airport – and which research shows they keep coming back – are not compromised as passenger numbers continue to grow. The extension will also enable more than 300, new local jobs.
David Lister added: “We are also working closely with all our current partners – as well as speaking to potential new ones – in order to offer an even wider variety of destinations for business and leisure travellers, at a reasonable cost all year round. We hope 2014 is going to be another great year for London Southend Airport.”