Flybe, soon to be Virgin Connect, Europe’s largest regional airline has announced its summer 2020 schedule, which includes a significant increase in flights to London’s Southend Airport, the Embraer E190 on more routes and a new connection to Stuttgart from Manchester.
Southend Airport will get six brand new routes, these are: Belfast City, Edinburgh and Glasgow, all of which will operate 18 times per week. There will also be a 13-week Newcastle service, a daily flight to the Isle of Man and a twice-weekly service to Jersey.
These new additional routes are complementary to the existing services from Southend to Groningen, Caen, Newquay and Rennes. Flybe’s expansion at Southend is not viewed as any great surprise since the airport is owned by Stobart, which is a 30% investor in the consortium that now owns Flybe.
It means that the airline will be operating 214 flights a week to and from London Southend. The six new routes will be operated by Flybe’s Q400s, while the existing services will be supported by the ATR aircraft already based at Southend.
Flybe stated that it is focusing on a combination of business travel and visiting friends and relatives travel for next summer. It will mean that the E190s will be utilised more on some service to accommodate peak demand.