The increase comes after Stobart Air introduced the first of its new fleet of long-distance Embraer E195 jet aircraft to Flybe’s expanded route network, which includes Lyon, Milan, Budapest and Prague.
Headquartered in Dublin, Stobart Air employs a workforce of 570 people. Earlier this year, the airline announced the addition of 60 new jobs and an investment of €25 million in the airline.
First jet flights on these new routes commenced in May from Southend. Since then, almost 163,000 seats have been sold, in addition to existing ATR turboprop services. In April, prior to the introduction of the jet fleet, Flybe passenger numbers at Southend were over 8,700; in August, following its introduction, passenger numbers reached over 35,000.
August was a particularly strong month in terms of volumes, with some routes achieving over a 90 percent load factor and an overall network result in excess of 75 percent on new jet-operated routes.
The strong numbers follow Stobart Air’s recent announcement of three Flybe routes from Southend Airport commencing 29 October: Dublin, Manchester and Glasgow. These new routes will bring the total number of Flybe routes from London Southend to seventeen.
The Dublin—Southend route will be operated by a new Embraer E195 jet, with flights up to three times daily. Flights to Manchester from Southend will operate with the same frequency; flights to Glasgow will operate up to twice daily.
Commenting, Graeme Buchanan, Managing Director of Stobart Air, said: “August’s strong record passenger numbers are a testament not only to Stobart Air’s commitment to service excellence, but to the immediate success of our three-year investment strategy. The company’s purchase of a fleet of Embraer jets was a sound move that is already paying dividends.
“Passengers choose Flybe and other Stobart Air services because they value convenience, affordability, and our comprehensive network of European destinations. This bears out in the numbers: we are on track to carry two million passengers in 2017, a 50 percent increase in passenger numbers over the past five years.”
Which? Travel’s annual survey ranked LSA London’s best airport for a 5th year in a row (2013-17). With a customer rating of 84% LSA was an impressive 16 percentage points higher than the next best London airport. Additionally, the Airport Operators Association voted LSA “Best Small Airport” in 2015 and 2016.