Ryanair to cease operations at London Southend

The airline has been flying from the facility since April 2019 but blamed COVID-19 for its withdrawal

Ryanair will cease operations from London Southend Airport (LSA) from November 1, according to a stock exchange filing by the airport owner, Esken Group. 

The low-cost airline signed a five-year agreement to base three aircraft at the Thames Estuary facility in 2018 and commenced operations in April 2019. Only two aircraft have been positioned at the airport in 2020 due to a reduction of services resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

London Southend Airport
Photo Geograph/Chris

 According to Esken, “following a review of its network, Ryanair has decided to redeploy these aircraft to its other bases to improve its own overall network efficiency with effect from the start of the winter season.”   

David Shearer, executive chairman of Esken, commented: "The terms of the deal which had been entered into with Ryanair in 2018 were based on a significantly different set of market and economic parameters to the present day. We are therefore commercially agnostic to this decision and will look to build sustainable and profitable passenger growth for LSA with a range of other carriers as demand recovers into a post pandemic world.” 

The airport believes that its previously proven route profitability, efficient operating cost base and the safe passenger experience is likely to prove attractive as demand recovers and the group is in active dialogue with a range of low-cost and flagship carriers to fill the loss of Ryanair.