Stobart Air has agreed a 10-year partnership with Flybe which will see six new routes to mainland Europe operating from London Southend Airport.
Stobart Air will operate two Flybe-branded aircraft on six new routes to Northern Europe and Benelux countries from June 5, 2014.
These new routes are expected to carry 100,000 passengers in 2014, rising to 200,000 in 2015.
Services to Rennes, Groningen and Münster Osnabrück will start on June 5, with services to Caen Normandie and Antwerp starting on July 3 and to Maastricht Aachen Airport from July 10.
Tickets are on sale now at www.flybe.com
As part of the deal, Stobart Air will base two ATR 500/600 72 seat aircraft at London Southend Airport. The airline also announced that to cater for its expansion, it will create 60 new jobs based at the airport.
This agreement will further strengthen the growth prospects for London Southend Airport, which has built capacity to handle up to five million passengers annually.
Last year the airport saw a 57.1% increase on 2012 passenger numbers to 969,950 making it the fastest growing airport in Europe (according to Airline Network News & Analysis).
The franchise agreement comes hot on the heels of the completion of a £10 million extension to the London Southend Airport terminal – recently opened by Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin. A new Arrivals area has enhanced baggage reclaim facilities and additional space for immigration as well as a dedicated domestic arrivals route. The amount of space for passengers in the security area has increased, as well the number of check in desks / baggage drop off points – there is also a new covered walkway directly connecting the train station and terminal (just 100 paces apart). The Departure Lounge has increased 4.5 times in size to enhance the experience for passengers relaxing and awaiting boarding after security. Retail and catering facilities will also be expanded throughout the terminal in the near future in order to provide a much wider range of shops and services available to passengers.