Is Turkey next on the ever-growing list of destinations from Southend Airport? (From Southend Standard)
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Is Turkey next on the ever-growing list of destinations from Southend Airport?
10:20am Thursday 31st October 2013 in Echo News
NEW destinations could soon be on the horizon for Southend Airport passengers after bosses held talks with airlines.
Airport operations director David Lister admitted discussions were taking place with new airlines who could make a base at Southend when its terminal extension is finished in January.
Mr Lister would not reveal where new flights could be headed, but social media sites have highlighted Turkey and Bulgaria.
The talks were announced as, for the first time, the airport made a pre-tax profit of £100,000 for Stobart Air in the first six months of this year.
Mr Lister said: “We are talking to a number of airlines about commencing services to and from London Southend Airport, however it would be inappropriate to comment on these talks while our discussions are still under way.”
The profits come a year after the Stobart Group, which owns Southend and Carlisle airports, recorded a £300,000 loss in the same time-frame.
Revenue rose from £7.9million to £10.4million and commercial income from the hotel, railway station, car parking and shopping all showed improvements.
One reason for the profits rise is a surge in passengers, with July and August seeing 230,000 flying from Southend – 29 per cent up on the same months last year.
The airport has seen £23million in investment from Stobart Group, which will be topped off with the opening of the terminal extension.
The new terminal boasts a new security layout, new arrivals hall, additional check-in desks, more gates, retail and commercial space and has the potential to cater for more aircraft.
The Stobart Group’s statement said: “Discussions are being held with a number of European-based airlines with a view to commencing services in winter 2013 and beyond.
“With a capacity of more than five million passengers a year, Southend Airport has potential to create significant value for shareholders and our focus is on achieving that potential.”
Ian Burns, owner of Travel Smart, in the Victoria Shopping Centre, Southend, said interest in the airport was booming.
He said: “We have seen a lot of people ask what destinations are available from Southend who want us to make it into a full package holiday for them. The increasing interest in Southend has opened the door for us to be able to offer package holidays to all destinations easyJet flies to.”