Only 10 years ago, London Southend Airport saw just over 1,500 departures a year. The airport was barely on the map for passengers or for airlines, and it certainly wasn’t a contender in the London airport system.
Now, it’s one of the capital’s six major airports and it’s the fastest growing airport in the UK, with over two million passengers in 2019. But how does it compare to its rival London hubs and what can it offer Channel Island travellers that other airports can’t?
Well, quite a lot, according to its CEO Glyn Jones: ‘London Southend Airport provides a quick and easy experience for customers,’ he said.
‘Which? readers have voted it as London’s best airport for the past six consecutive years, in large part due to a lack of queues and the convenience of up to six direct trains an hour that take people to and from London Liverpool Street in just over 50 minutes.’
The UK’s best airport?
London Southend Airport (LSA) hasn’t just been voted London’s best airport, either. The Which? airport passenger survey ranked it as the best airport in the UK (with under three million annual passengers), and it’s all thanks to a multi-million-pound renovation by owners Stobart Aviation, which bought the airport for £21m. in 2008.
easyJet began services in 2012, Flybe joined soon after, and LSA’s popularity soared. In 2019, Europe’s biggest budget airline, Ryanair, opened a Southend hub – a move predicted to boost footfall even more.
With summer services scheduled between LSA and the Channel Islands (easyJet will run the Jersey route, Flybe recently announced a Guernsey service), islanders might wonder what gives this relatively small Essex airport the edge over its bigger, well-established alternatives.
Whether London is your destination, or you’re off on a European break, Southend has a few aces up its sleeve. This fast and hassle-free gateway may just be your new favourite London airport.
Reasons to fly to London Southend
Escape the crowds
LSA has less than 10% of Stansted’s passenger numbers, making it easier getting from A to B.
A quicker door-to-door experience
Okay, so Southend is not technically in London. More precisely, it’s located in the Essex district of Rochford. But don’t forget, London Gatwick’s not really in London either.
That said, LSA offers six direct train services to Liverpool Street Station every hour and the journey only takes 50 minutes. The airport is just 100 paces from the train station and you can get from plane to train in 15 minutes. Overall, it offers a quicker passenger experience than other London airports.
Shorter queues and faster check-ins
London Southend enjoys an average five-minute check-in, with three minutes going through security.
A gateway to more than 45 destinations
From Alicante to Vilnius, services to more than 45 destinations operate from London Southend. Airlines include easyJet, Ryanair, Loganair, Air Malta and Flybe.