countvis From UK - England, joined Feb 2012, 54 posts, RR: 0 Posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 7937 times:
A few years ago, the goings on at my local airport caught my attention. With only 1 weekly passenger flight in the summer to Jersey, the airport had very ambitious expansion plans. Watching its development over the past few years has kindled my enthusiasm for aviation. I have avidly watched every step of the development. Therefore when easyJet announced flights, I simply had to book on the first flight.
II A Brief History of London Southend Airport.
Once upon a time Southend was the 3rd busiest airport in the UK, behind only Heathrow and Manchester. In 1969, some 700,000 passengers passed through Southend, a few at a time, predominately aboard Viscounts, Carvairs and Bristol Freighters. The place was of massive significance, with BKS and Dan-Air (which were both absorbed into BA) starting life at the airport. The pioneer Freddie Laker’s companies; Air Charter Limited and Aviation Traders Limited (ATL) were also significant players.
As the older piston aircraft became more and more obsolete, being replaced by jets, Southend went into decline. The runway was simply not long enough for large scale operations by the ‘new’ jet types such as the BAC 1-11s. With the main runway pointing directly at large settlements, there was large scale (and quite justifiable) opposition to any plans to extend the runway, and the council was therefore unwilling to extend the runway or invest in the municipal airport.
So Southend soldiered on, dodging potential closure a couple of times. Passenger flights decreased slowly throughout the 80s, when the airport did become a busy freight hub, being busier in the night with the freighter operations than it was in the day! Maintenance operations increased also, with the ATL hangars being sold to Heavylift Engineering and later ATC Lasham. Today, ATC Lasham’s Southend site maintains some fantastic rare aircraft, such a private 727s, and aircraft of airlines such as Air Astana, Rossiya, and Aero Contractors of Nigeria.
Finally in 2008, Stobart Group (of Eddie Stobart haulage fame) bought the airfield, having the money to proceed with ambitious plans drawn up by the previous private operator.
Since 2009, £100 million has been spent, facilitating the contraction of a new railway station, a new terminal, a new air traffic control tower, a new hotel, a new radar and perhaps most importantly a 300 metre runway extension. This development has happened incredibly quickly, and even this time last year, it was not certain that the runway extension would be ready for Spring 2012, with environmentalists putting up a fight by manipulating the judicial system.
Alas, and quite deservedly they were unsuccessful. After many years of neglect, the glory days at Southend have returned! Aer Arann commenced flights to Ireland March last year, however to the surprise of many; easyJet announced in June that they were going to open a base with 3 A319s from April 2012. After a long wait, April 2012 is here, and let me now introduce you to the inaugural easyJet flight from London Southend Airport.
The day before the ‘orange invasion’ I went on yet another trip to my local London Southend Airport. Realising photos weren’t going to be the best the next morning at 5am, I took some photos.
The new £16 million railway station, offering up t 8 trains an hour to London in around 50 minutes. All trains stop at Stratford, which will be very handy for the Olympics, with only a 40 minute journey time. Southend will certainly be in a very good position to profit from the additional Olympic traffic this summer. LSA6 by CountVis, on Flickr
Views of the new terminal which opened on 28th February, and until now was exclusively for the Aer Lingus Regional Waterford route and the Ford charters... LSA4 by CountVis, on Flickr LSA2 by CountVis, on Flickr
The extent of the public passenger services from the airport - but for not much longer. EI-CPT arrives on the scheduled Aer Lingus Regional service from Waterford, yet to receive the green on the interim colours: EI-CPT Aer Arann AT43 at Southend EGMC by CountVis, on Flickr
I arrived at the airport early at 5am after a 12 minute drive. I proceeded to check in, where there was no queue, but unfortunately the boarding pass printer started playing up, refusing to print any boarding passes. This was shortly resolved, and I was assisted by very friendly staff. They were clearly all enthusiastic and very excited.
The terminal is fantastic building. It has a very high quality feel to it, as it has a very high standard of finish. I really struggle to think of another other small airport which has such a nice building. Although small, it has everything; landside cafe, car hire desks, a currency exchange desk, 6 check in desks, easyJet ticket desk. There’s a very nice mural on the end wall adjacent to check in, showing photos from some o the destinations available from Southend. Certainly a very nice way of advertising destinations from the airport.
The escalator to departures (also taken on return).
I proceeded up the escalator to security. The airport is keen to promote a maximum 4 minute waiting tome for security. With the very well appointed, and relatively large security area, that is certainly a promise which I think the airport should be able to deliver. There was no queue at all for me through security. Once again the staff were fantastic; professional, yet friendly. By far the most enthusiastic security staff I have ever come across. Excellent work here once again.
The mezzanine level after security after security has toilets, and also the ‘Stobart business lounge.’ This is a very well appointed lounge, with IPads and a bar. Although not open yet, it will be a pay per use lounge.
There’s a Stobart branded ‘duty free’ shop, a WHSmith, and ‘Arnonld and Forbes Kitchen Cafe’, a relatively upmarket catering outlet managed by Searcey’s. Adjacent to the waiting area are three gates, which lead to the five contact stands adjacent to the terminal. Interestingly, there is also a baggage services desk, which is used to search passengers checked luggage which get flagged up in the baggae screening process. Such may be a rare occurrence; however one passenger had is checked bag searched, this desk saving him a lot of trouble returning to check in.
A busy departure board today. The flights to Cologne and Istanbul operated by Jet2 and Germania respectively are weekly private charters for employees of the Ford Motor Company. These new flights started in January and March respectively, and are a nice addition to then airports cohort of scheduled services. Only one easyJet aircraft started services that they, with aircraft number 2 following on April 5th, and the 3rd at the beginning of May. An Aer Lingus Regional ATR42 will also be based to operate the new thrice daily Dublin service from 10th May.
The departure lounge filled up slowly but steadily. Senior management from eayJet, in the form of Catherin Lynn, the Customer and Revenue was present, greeting and wishing passengers a pleasant flight. London Southend Airport staff came around distributing Danish Pastries to all passengers. Before long, a queue began to form, and boarding commenced. There were a significant number of business people in suits, and I was surprised that 15 or so had paid for speed boarding. All procedures were correctly adhered to, and before long, I was walking through the covered walkway to the aircraft, which was parked on Stand 7, directly in front of Gate 2.
Prior to boarding, the aircraft was de-iced on stand, owing to a very gentle frost overnight.
Jet2 737 which departed on the Ford charter to Cologne and Cravivo soon after us. The aircraft arrived in the middle of the night as a replacement for G-CELR, which had a 'technical issue.' 4 passenger aircraft on stand together looked impressive though!
The Germania A319 bound for Istanbul which arrived 30 minutes prior from Dusseldorf. Behind it, just visible is the 'tech' Jet2 737 G-CELR. It later got pulled over to the ATC Lasham maintenance hangar for attention. The new hotel is also visible in the background. This 4 star hotel is scheduled to open in early July, prior to the Olympics, being under the Holiday Inn brand. The hotel is being paid for by Stobart Group, and will be operated by Chardon Management.
The aircraft soon filled up, and just after 7am, push back occurred, facing in a westerly direction. This made it apparent we would be adhering to the runway preferred departure scheme. This was part of the planning conditions of the runway extension, to try and mitigate the impact of the expanding airport to the local population. Therefore the aircraft taxied via the 15 metre wide Taxiway C (with some tight bends) to Runway 06, despite the light wind favouring 24. A backtrack followed, as the aircraft entered the 300m runway extension, and made use of the turning circle at the end to turn around. Despite the early hour, several ‘enthusiasts’ were watching the inaugural departure.
Here’s a video I produced of the inaugural flight. Note only half of the 1900 metre runway is used for the departure. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukX4G...OzcBVwh6H6ZbK8qKPJpUdfc5ssi60ReMo=
We were quickly cleared for takeoff, making a left turn out, offering some pleasant views of the Essex countryside on the way to Belfast. Here’s a view of The River Crouch, with the sun breaking through the clouds. EXY22 by CountVis, on Flickr
Overlying Stansted (where G-EZAJ used to be based).
The flight was very smooth, and the cabin crew shortly commenced the BOB service, and I bought a bacon baguette and some orange juice. Apparently easyJet sells 800,000 bacon baguettes each year! I can see why, my bacon baguette was a perfect breakfast.
The cabin crew were exceptionally friendly and helpful, really going out of their way to engage and be polite and friendly. I think it is excellent to see this sort of attitude. Friendly crew is very important if easyJet wish to differentiate themselves with Ryanair.
The flight time was approximately 58 minutes, with the descent commencing after after a short speech from the flight deck. It was not a very nice day in Belfast, but little turbulence, with the aircraft landing on Runway 25. We landed at a rainy Belfast at 8:10.
Slightly ironic... EZY16 by CountVis, on Flickr
A quick visit up to the flight deck where I found out that there 120 passengers on the flight, a very solid start. I then disembarked, and walked to the the terminal in the rain. Inside it was old and tired, not benefiting from the modern design at London Southend. The building is certainly in need of refurbishment.
I had a quick look in at check in, where much to my displeasure, I found the outbound flight on the departure board was to ‘Southend’ instead of London Southend. easyJet have 624 seats a day to fiull between SEN and BFS, so promoting such a new route it very important. Ultimately, relatively few passengers would otherwise know of the ease of access to London and superior airport experience which can be found at ‘London Southend!’
I got the airport bus to the city centre, for £10 return for a 45 minute journey.
During my day in Belfast I explored the city on foot. In the city centre, there was not an awful lot in the way of tourist attractions. A length walk to the Titanic Quarter was more promising. The Titanic Exhibition had only just opened the previous week, to mark the centenary of this infamous boat. The exhibition is quite isolated, on the windswept dockside, however it proved to be very well worth the £13.50 admission fee. It was however very busy, and there were technical issues with the tickets.
Soon it was time for the return journey, so I hoped back onto the bus, arriving at BFS at 18:30. The ugly terminal building: BFS2 by CountVis, on Flickr
One of many billboard Jet2 adverts. BFS3 by CountVis, on Flickr
I found the similarity of airlines present between SEN and BFS very interesting. Both have Jet2, easyJet and Aer Lingus (Regional) operating flights.
Unfortunately like almost all of the easyJet departures, my flight was subject to a considerable delay. BFS6 by CountVis, on Flickr
A strike by French Air Traffic Controllers was the culprit, causing a massive knock on effect, with almost all easyJet services delayed. Specifically, the SEN aircraft got delayed by a slot restriction by a couple of hours on its flight to Barcelona. Check in staff were still friendly, and distributed a refreshment voucher to the value of £3. More than what BA could do for a similar delay length in Moscow.
Certainly not a good night for easyJet ops. BFS8 by CountVis, on Flickr
Also the new route was being promoted at every check in desk. BFS5 by CountVis, on Flickr
The easyJet check in area. The only airline with departures that night.
Security was relatively brisk. The departures area was large, perhaps deigned for more passengers than Belfast International gets on a Monday evening. Clearly the success at Belfast City Airport has had an effect here.
One thing I do give BFS credit is the large window areas. It was a shame that there were very few aircraft to see before it got too dark, and reflections completely ruined photos.
Thomas Cook A320 parked up. BFS7-2 by CountVis, on Flickr BFS11 by CountVis, on Flickr
easyJet A319 with all orange engine cowling section. BFS9 by CountVis, on Flickr
And the star catch, just as window reflections started causing problems. BFS10 by CountVis, on Flickr
countvis From UK - England, joined Feb 2012, 54 posts, RR: 0 Reply 2, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 7919 times:
The Return Flight:
Date: Monday 2nd April 2012
Flight No. U2 720
Aircraft G-EZAJ, Airbus A319-111
Origin: Belfast International Airport (BFS)
Destination: London Southend Airport (SEN)
Takeoff BFS 22:49
Landed SEN 23:52
I’m afraid the pictures top here, owing to the darkness, however I did attempt to video the flight and approach into London Southend.
The flight finally boarded from a downstairs gate area. The load was lighter than on the morning flight, however the flight which had just arrived from SEN had 140 passengers. Once again, this is a very pleasing figure for the first day. It was raining once again for the walk across the tarmac to the aircraft. The crew were once again very friendly, actively greeting passengers.
Takeoff was at 22:49, and the flight was once again smooth and uneventful. I tried the chicken soup in a cup. It was surprisingly good and tasty, a nice snack for the night flight back. Communication from the flight deck was very good, with the cruising altitude given as 27,000 feet. The descent into Southend was commenced over Birmingham, and we were informed we would be using the north easterly runway, (24) for our arrival. We preceded right hand downwind for SEN, and I think I picked out the airfield beacon on the downwind length.
Landing on 24 was slightly firmer than a BFS, but still relatively soft, especially considering the Landing Distance Available is 1604 metres. Despite this, no reverse thrust was used (so not to wake everybody up, according the the Captain).
We taxied in via Taxiway C, passing the ATC Lasham hangars, the firse station and old terminal. We parked next to the even latter running Aer Lingus Regional ATR42 from Waterford which was still barding as we pulled onto Stand 7.
Upon disembarking, I asked to have a quick look up front again, which was obliged. Despite the late hour, the crew still were friendly and engaged with me. It seems to be the general consensus that a slight payload restriction will be necessary for flights to Faro from London Southend, owing to the short (and narrow) runway at London Southend. The flights being limited to 150 passengers was suggested for hot summer’s days, which shouldn’t be too operationally restrictive for easyJet.
I was through the ‘new fly through terminal’ is a minute, and made my way home, after a very important, and also enjoyable day. It was fantastic to see my local airport come to life with easyJet, and see very healthy load factors for the first day. I see little reason why the airport will not be able to build on its considerable success, and be a significant player in the London Airport market. Already plans to be than double the size of the terminal gave been submitted. The future for London Southend has never been brighter!
Thanks you very much for reading, and I hop this is of interest. Comments are as always appreciated.
TupolevTu154 From UK - England, joined Aug 2004, 2119 posts, RR: 31 Reply 5, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 7746 times:
I visited Southend last summer in a little Piper Warrior, and only saw the old terminal. I was quite frankly surprised how the airport had managed to survive this far with those facilities! We landed on 06 and remarked how the locals would hate having A319's landing that close as we could see into peoples front rooms!
A few months later, my friend (who was flying us in the Warrior, and is a first officer with easyjet) was rostered to fly an A319 into SEN from LGW. Needless to say he was excited to be visiting again, this time in a considerably larger aircraft! I can imagine the runway length/width being a limiting factor in bad weather though. He flew in G-EZEZ for a re-paint (which was repainted into a non-standard livery for a special scheme I believe). I digress...
Nice report and great to read how well the airport is now getting along, I must try a service from SEN at some point!
Quokkas From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 8, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 6821 times:
Congratulations on being able to join the inaugural flight.
Thanks for the trip report and especially the history and background of Southend. Good idea to go to the airport the day before to get photos in daylight and having one less thing to think about during check-in, etc.
ba724 From Australia, joined Nov 2010, 44 posts, RR: 0 Reply 9, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 6715 times:
I think your early morning shots at Southend were actually quite good.Interestingly you said you were surprised that 15 passengers had elected to pay for speed boarding,the last flight I took down here in Australia was with Jetstar ,a well know LCC and I actually paid for priority boarding just for the heck of it,the check in girl who also checked us onto the flight had never ever had a priority boarder to date!The service you recived onboard sounded quite good,the cabin crew friendly and helpful.Agree with you on the terminal building at Dublin..a bit drab,on the other hand very unusual architecture on the Titanic Exhibition building,now that would be a must see!A nice TR well written and you have gone to a lot of trouble to obtain photos for the report that were not easy to acquire in real time.Thanks for posting
Sultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1188 posts, RR: 29 Reply 10, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 6666 times:
Many thanks for writing up this interesting story. I'm glad to see the new and resurrected SEN. Hopefully it'll have a bright future ahead with many more flights ahead. It certainly won't fail due to the all new building and construction works!
I have been to SEN once on a diversion into LCY from ANR, back in Jan 2010. The apron was all snow and ice back and I most sure went through the 'old' building.
Quoting countvis (Thread starter): easyJet announced in June that they were going to open a base with 3 A319s from April 2012.
That's already ambitious. What are EZY's destinations then?
Quoting countvis (Thread starter): There was a table set up, distributing champagne, orange juice, and easyJet branded rock to celebrate the launch. It was quite low key, yet a nice touch nonetheless.
Wow, impressive for a LCC given the fact that even 'normal' airlines tend to do not much for an inaugural.
Thanks MSS658. As I said easyJet champagne/ orange juice, 'Southend rock' and pastries were given out to celebrate the inaugural flight. I later discovered there was a 6 feet long cake, however that was saved for the later flights, when the press were present. The airport has certainly been exceptionally shrewd in maximising press exposure.
Quoting LXM83 (Reply 4): Great report! Nice to see SEN developing into such a nice airport!
Thank you also LXM83. You should have seen what the old terminal facilities were like. The new terminal is an incredible improvement.
Quoting TupolevTu154 (Reply 5): I was quite frankly surprised how the airport had managed to survive this far with those facilities!
I certainly know what you mean with the old terminal! Really the only regular passenger flights to use the old terminal was Aer Arann for a year, Flybe, and the Ford flights in 2006-2008. It certainly provided a 'unique' airport experience.
Quoting TupolevTu154 (Reply 5): We landed on 06 and remarked how the locals would hate having A319's landing that close as we could see into peoples front rooms!
You must remember now the 06 end has been extended by 300m, so the aircraft are even closer. However the A319s are really exceptionally quiet, especially on approach. A far cry from the days when BAC 1-11s went out in the middle of the night!!
Quoting TupolevTu154 (Reply 5): Nice report and great to read how well the airport is now getting along, I must try a service from SEN at some point!
Please do, and thanks a lot for your comment.
Quoting ba724 (Reply 9): Interestingly you said you were surprised that 15 passengers had elected to pay for speed boarding,the last flight I took down here in Australia was with Jetstar ,a well know LCC and I actually paid for priority boarding just for the heck of it,the check in girl who also checked us onto the flight had never ever had a priority boarder to date!
Very interesting indeed. easyJet speedy boarding is cheap either, (abut £9 a sector per person). However seperate check in areas were also available at Southend and Belfast. From when I flew Jetstar in 2008, they had allocated seating, so if that is the case, that negates the advantage of it.
Quoting Sultanils (Reply 10): I have been to SEN once on a diversion into LCY from ANR, back in Jan 2010. The apron was all snow and ice back and I most sure went through the 'old' building.
Very interesting. The Fokkers into LCY seem to always favour diverting into Southend. It's quick, cheap and easy for them , with the flights routing overhead Southend inbound to LCY.
You certainly would have gone through the old building. Lets just say I was always thought the arrivals area was proportionally bigger than deparures!
Quoting Sultanils (Reply 10): hat's already ambitious. What are EZY's destinations then?
It's a very large deal, with a 10 year contract being signed. The destinations at the moment are BFS, AMS, BCN, ALC, AGPJER, PMI, FAO, IBZ and GVA (seasonal winter). easyJet has been quite public in saying if all goes well there will be more based aircraft, and certainly more destinations. A very ambitious plan indeed, but an effective way of achieving lower costs and no direct competition from Ryanair.
countvis From UK - England, joined Feb 2012, 54 posts, RR: 0 Reply 12, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 6602 times:
Quoting jrfspa320 (Reply 6): Nice report, hope things work out for Southend, and London gets a 6th airport!!!
Thanks, I do as well. They have had a very strong start so far!
Quoting raffik (Reply 7):
Fantastic to see Southend Airport up and running again! Really interesting report.
The terminal facilities look very upmarket and perfectly sized. I am very proud!
It is a fantastic little terminal. Every little detail is considered, such as the airport logo being on the glass by security. The security areas has the same automatic tray returning system a LCY. Actually I think that terminal is even nicer than LCY. Thanks for your comment.
Quoting Quokkas (Reply 8): Good idea to go to the airport the day before to get photos in daylight and having one less thing to think about during check-in, etc.
Yes it worked quite well. I was stupid enough not to not to photograph the main airport siign! Things have changed so quickly, it;s difficult to keep up! Thank you for your comment.
Quoting countvis (Thread starter): The exhibition is quite isolated, on the windswept dockside, however it proved to be very well worth the £13.50 admission fee. It was however very busy, and there were technical issues with the tickets.
Widebodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 473 posts, RR: 4 Reply 14, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 8 hours ago) and read 6386 times:
Thank you so much for posting this. Ever since I heard about SEN and its reopening I have been really curious about it. Really nice photos. The terminal looks superb. It's one hell of a cute airport. I don't see myself visiting London any time soon but my sister lives nearby so I will have to ask her to go there and report back her impressions (even though I must say you have given us plenty of info about SEN with this report). London can definitely benefit from additional airports. I hope SEN is successful.
Visit my aviation page: http://widebodyroga.weebly.com/
countvis From UK - England, joined Feb 2012, 54 posts, RR: 0 Reply 15, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 6272 times:
Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 13):
Nice to see the new terminal at Southend - looks very nice. I was so annoyed my flight there was cancelled in October
That was very unfortunate. If I remember from your TR, you did get your money back? IF you did, you were very lucky, as I know several people who are still out of pocket.
Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 13): I don't think they planned the queuing/waiting areas very well. I can see about 30 pax max squeezing between the ropes, then another 150 pushing amongst the seats.
The design for the terminal is long standing, being commissioned by the previous owners. They thought a runway extension was out of the question, so the departure lounge was designed for different sort of operatin (Dash 8s etc.)
Stobart have changed the internal design of the airport massively (such as putting security upstairs), however they were limited to the physical constraints of the building, owing to time. You;re quite correct in the queue snaking out of the ropes, along the back of the departure lounge. I have to say it wasn't really a problem, and I am sure the configuration which works best will be used (note there;s a different arrangement at Gate 1). The wholse boarding process was far more sedate than I have had elsewhere, no running etc. I think it might be down to the smaller airport experience making people far more relaxed.
Certainly before now!! Thanks a lot for your comment gabrielchew,
Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 14): Ever since I heard about SEN and its reopening I have been really curious about it.
Thanks Widebodyroga, I pleased to see interest in 'my' local airport has spread across the Atlantic. I'm glad you were suitably impressed. This 'cute' airport will even offer connections to Chicago with Aer Lingus via Dublin from next month!!
SunCEO From Ireland, joined Oct 2001, 359 posts, RR: 5 Reply 16, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 6252 times:
Great report on the "new" London airport. Interesting about the history of Southend, maybe with easyjet and Aer Arann's arrival things will come full circle. The Stobart group seem to have invested heavily so let's hope their investment pays off.
As a matter of interest does anyone know what the rail link is like? The info online seems to suggest it would be a similar time/cost as Gatwick or Stansted...
countvis From UK - England, joined Feb 2012, 54 posts, RR: 0 Reply 17, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 6216 times:
Quoting SunCEO (Reply 16):
Great report on the "new" London airport. Interesting about the history of Southend, maybe with easyjet and Aer Arann's arrival things will come full circle.
Thanks a lot for your comment. If all goes to plan, more passengers should pass through the aiprt this year, than its busiest year 1969.
Quoting SunCEO (Reply 16): As a matter of interest does anyone know what the rail link is like? The info online seems to suggest it would be a similar time/cost as Gatwick or Stansted...
The rail link isn't bad. Typically 3 and up to 8 trains an hour to London, with a journey time of roughly 50 minutes to Liverpool Street, Stratford can be reached in c. 40 minutes. The single fare is around £13, so very competitive to Stansted and Luton. Especially applicable to Luton, coming from AMS you could be on the station platform at SEN, before you'd even landed at LTN. The airport is very well located, for the rest of Europe, and of course the railway station is directly infront of the terminal, unlike Luton.
FlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1705 posts, RR: 41 Reply 18, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 5129 times:
Very nice to read about Ezy's inaugural flight on the inaugural day of the SEN base. When they announced this most unusual (to me, at least) last year I thought about making plans to catch an inaugural flight from there but sadly never got around to it.
Hope SEN will perform well, there is quite a lot of capacity between it and Ireland - Ezy twice daily to BFS and RE/EI three times daily to DUB is quite a few seats to fill!
So here's the big question - when will FR come to SEN? Or do you think Stobart group (very strong branding at the terminal, BTW - I like it) keep their service "exclusive" enough and refuse to give MOL the discounts he will surely ask for?
signol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 2948 posts, RR: 7 Reply 19, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 4977 times:
thanks for the report. An interesting newcomer to the airport scene, not many "new" airports these days!
Great photos, and nice commentary. I did a day trip to Belfast myself a few years ago, from STN, there is a report on here somewhere!
countvis From UK - England, joined Feb 2012, 54 posts, RR: 0 Reply 20, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 4966 times:
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 18): Very nice to read about Ezy's inaugural flight on the inaugural day of the SEN base.
Thanks Flying Finn. It's an 'interesting' and certainly unique set up. Still do try SEN one day, I'd love to see one of your Trip Report's featuring SEN!
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 18): Hope SEN will perform well, there is quite a lot of capacity between it and Ireland - Ezy twice daily to BFS and RE/EI three times daily to DUB is quite a few seats to fill!
And don't forget 2x daily to Waterford as well. It certainly is a lot of capacuty I suspect easyJet may struggle on the Belfast route, having 612 seats to fill a day whilst recognition of Southend is low. The virtue of Aer Arann's smaller aircraft is that the 3x daily flights to Dublin on the ATR42, have less seats to fill than a single FR rotation. I suspect the Dublin route will do well, especially with the US connections, something which isn't possible from STN and LTN.
Thankfully never. I think easyJet are quite aware of that. The runway length of Southend prevents Ryanair ever having more than a Belfast City style operation - domestic routes with passenger restrictions. As you say, the airport has no need to offer O'Leary any deal, as that would for one upset easyJet. Also they don't have any terminal capacity to spare!!
Thanks again for your comment, I really do appreciate it.
countvis From UK - England, joined Feb 2012, 54 posts, RR: 0 Reply 23, posted (1 year 1 month 2 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 4473 times:
Thanks for you comment infodesk.
Quoting infodesk (Reply 21): The terminal looks bright, modern & simple - just what it needs to be. I didn't know that the Stobart group own it, it seems very strange to see their name in an airport!
I'm glad you think that about the terminal as well, as that is precisely the impression the operator wanted to attain from the new terminal. It may seems surprising Stobart Group own the airport (they own Carlisle Airport as well), however the rationale is quite simple. Although there principal and core business remains as haulage, they are also involved in rail and sea ports. Therefore airports was to their CEO the next logical step! Stobart are famed for their high quality of service, something which is also most needed in the London airport market!
Quoting OA260 (Reply 22): This really looks like a decent alternative to the other London Airports. I'm looking forward to EIR DUB-SEN service.
I am as well. It will be interesting to see how good the refurbished ATR42s are. I really hope that service will be a success, especially with the US connections which aren't available at any other airport to the east of London
Quoting OA260 (Reply 22): Nice to see there is a lounge at SEN also , it seems to have everything .
It certainly does. The lounge was a very late change to the design of the terminal, and will be very nice asset once it opens very shortly.