The festive season is well and truly underway at London Southend Airport, with every single one of the 30,000 passengers expected to fly through the terminal this December receiving a hand signed Christmas card.
The cards are replacing Christmas decorations, with the money saved being donated to the locally based Little Havens Children’s Hospice.
Head of customer service, Hannah La Bao, said: “Another reason for doing Christmas cards is that it gives us a fantastic opportunity to thank each and every passenger for choosing London Southend and making us the Which? Best Airport in the UK for the second year running. Around 100 staff across the airport have been hard at work signing the cards, which are then filled with special offers before being handed out to the passengers. I think we are the first ever airport to offer such a personalised Christmas greeting to our passengers.”
Flybe, operated by Stobart Air, which has departures from Southend to Dublin, Rennes, Groningen, Munster Osnabruck, Caen Normandie, Antwerp and Maastricht is gearing up for a record December, with projected passenger figures 27% up on November.
Stobart Air chairman, Sean Brogan, said: “Christmas markets in Antwerp, Munster and Maastricht are proving incredibly popular destinations for travellers to do some festive shopping – Dublin is also busy with people returning home for the holidays. Around 8,500 passengers are estimated to travel through London Southend with Flybe, operated by Stobart Air over the Christmas period.”
Festive market shopping trips are also proving a big draw with travellers keen to experience for one of the newest destinations from Southend – Bern. SkyWork Airlines moved its service from City to Southend Airport in October and now operates twice daily between Essex and the Swiss capital.
Martin Inabit, CEO of SkyWork Airlines, said: "The Christmas-smell of candles, Glühwein (mulled wine) and Marroni pervades the Bernese Old Town with its alleys and the ancient arcades are spreading a very special mystical, romantic mood. These Old Town houses provide a fantastic and unique backdrop for the two distinctive Bern Christmas markets. Stopping into one of the legendary restaurants in the Old Town is the perfect way to end your visit to the magical markets. Come and see, smell and experience our unique Capital – Bern!”
Meanwhile, easyJet – who has announced a 13th destination from London Southend to Mahon in Menorca for summer 2015 - will have 120 flights per week to and from London Southend this winter. The most popular destinations are expected to be Amsterdam, Alicante, Barcelona and Geneva. During the peak Christmas period they will fly more than 19,000 people in just one week (and 15,000 passengers per week during the rest of the festive season).
Neil Slaven, the airline's UK commercial manager, said: “We are gearing up for one of our busiest times of the year at London Southend as customers use the airline to fly home and visit friends and family over the Christmas period. Whether customers are tempted by a New Year’s stay in Amsterdam - our most popular destination from the airport or a short hop to Geneva to hit the slopes, we have a range of easy and affordable destinations accessible from London Southend this Christmas.”
For more information visit www.southendairport.com