According to the Evening Standard today, London will be getting a sixth international airport.
From the article:
The Essex seaside resort of Southend was unveiled today as the new base for easyJet, which will launch 70 flights a week on 10 scheduled routes in April.
About one million passengers will fly in and out of London Southend in its first year, when it is likely to be heavily used by Olympic visitors.
But this is forecast to double, making it almost as big as City Airport. Airline bosses claim it will become an alternative to Gatwick and Stansted.
Catherine Lynn, the airline’s customer and revenue director, said: “In summer 2012 we’re expecting to see huge demand from passengers right around Europe to come to London.
“We expect easyJet to fly more people into London next summer than any other airline, and Southend will be the closest large airport to the Olympics. We’re going to maintain our regular services – this is an opportunity to increase our capacity.”
Three new routes have already been confirmed – Barcelona, Faro and Ibiza – but other destinations expected to be served from Southend include Madrid, Milan, Amsterdam,Berlin, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Belfast. The airline says it expects to attract many holidaymakers heading to the Spanish resorts but also those wanting to go on city breaks and business travellers.
Three Airbus A319 jets will be based at Southend.
It says flights will be 20 minutes shorter than from the other big London airports because Southend is clear of the air traffic congestion over much of London.
Managing director Alastair Welch said: “Our size means no passenger will ever queue for more than four minutes for security, and as we’ve designed the airport only for short-haul travel, with 10 aircraft stands, there won’t be long distances to travel through the terminal.”
The airport will be served by a new railway station with eight trains an hour making the 52-minute journey to Liverpool Street.