London Southend: Britain's new 'Olympics' international airport

Ruth Doherty

Britain has a new international airport just in time for the Olympics 2012: London Southend.

Easyjet today announced plans to launch ten routes from the Essex coastal town next April.

Bosses claim it will make London Southend a key 'gateway to the Olympics' from cities like Milan, Madrid and Berlin.

Tickets will go on sale in July, despite the fact there is still work to be done on a new terminal building and the runway extension.

The first confirmed routes are Southend to Ibiza, Barcelona and Faro in Portugal.

EasyJet customer director Catherine Lynn told The Sun: 'This will put Southend on the map.'
Hundreds of jobs will be created, with some staff transferring from Stansted.

Southend currently only offers flights to Jersey and Ireland but the owners - the Stobart Group - is targeting two million passengers a year.

Airport boss Alistair Welch said a new rail route into London would give passengers the fastest 'plane to train' service in the country.

He said: 'If you're only carrying hand luggage you'll be able to go from standing on the top of the stand leaving the plane, to the train platform in 15 minutes.'

The new move could see a return to form for the airport, which, in the 60s, was Britain's third biggest, behind Heathrow and Manchester.

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