FLIGHTS from Southend to Maastricht in the Netherlands will start this summer, the Echo can reveal.

Airline Flybe will today unveil flights from Southend Airport to Maastricht Aachen Airport, starting in July.

The new destination, the airport’s 15th, is a replacement for Cologne, which Flybe dropped earlier this month, after competitor Ryanair announced it would fly to the German city from Stansted.

Flybe intends to carry up to 25,000 passengers in the first year of the route’s operation, rising to 80,000 passengers in three years.

Tickets for the route, which will operate every day except Saturday from July 10, will go on sale today.

Stobart Air, which has invested more than £120million in the airport since buying it in 2008, hopes to double the number of passengers using it, to more than two million in two years.