easyJet has confirmed plans to launch a hub at London Southend Airport from Apr-2012, ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games (Business Weekly, 16-Jun-2011). The London Luton-based LCC will base three A319 aircraft at Southend and more employee 150 people. easyJet and London Southend expect 800,000 passengers are expected to fly from Southend in the first year. The airline plans to operate 70 weekly services from the airport, to some 10 European destinations including Barcelona, Faro and Ibiza. An easyJet spokesman said it had not yet been determined whether Stansted would lose any routes to Southend. London Southend, which has overhauled its strategy in recent years to target the scheduled short-haul market, will be easyJet’s 11th UK base and 20th European base. easyJet has signed a 10-year partnership agreement with airport owners Stobart Group. [more]
easyJet confirms London Southend move
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CityJet ends its plan to buy Stobart Air & enter Southend, but retains its growth aims.
In early Dec-2016 the Irish regional airline CityJet ended talks with Stobart Group about the possible acquisition of the airline Stobart Air. This deal could have accelerated CityJet's growth in the area of regional airline contract flying, where Stobart Air is positioned with contracts for Aer Lingus and Flybe. Nevertheless, while this is a setback to CityJet's ambitions, the airline continues to pursue an aggressive growth strategy.
CityJet had also preliminarily agreed to launch new routes at Stobart Group's London Southend Airport, but will not now do so. Instead, Stobart Group has taken control of Stobart Air by acquiring shares from minority investors, and will use its in-house airline to grow the Southend network. This should help the airport in reaching its own growth targets, as set by the Stobart Group.
CityJet may seek an alternative acquisition in order to fulfil its goal of becoming the largest regional wet lease provider in Europe. It will almost certainly convert all or some of the 16 options it holds over Sukhoi Superjets, in addition to its firm order for 15 (three have already been delivered). CityJet has undergone significant change since leaving the Air France-KLM group in 2014, and its losses are narrowing.
Europe summer 2017 airline capacity outlook: fifth successive summer of above trend seat growth
Airline seat growth from Europe in summer 2017 is set to stay at almost 6% for the third successive summer, according to data from OAG. This rate had not previously been reached since 2010, although this will be the fifth straight summer of growth ahead of its 10 year average rate. The summer 2017 season started on 26-Mar-2017 and, although always subject to further change, the data give a fairly clear picture.
Seat capacity on routes from Europe to Africa will grow the fastest, as the region recovers from a terrorism related drop in demand in North Africa. There will also be above trend growth in almost every other region from Europe (including intra Europe). The only exception is Europe-Middle East, where the newly cautious Gulf airlines' growth is slowing this summer.
On the North Atlantic, always important for the profitability of Europe's leading legacy airlines, growth will be faster than its 10 year trend, but it will at least be a little slower than in the past summer. The loss of market share from the immunised North Atlantic JVs to newer and smaller competitors, including LCCs, is set to continue. As ever, the OAG capacity data provide a window into the changing structure of the airline markets from Europe.