A new Ryanair service linking northwest France to southeast England is set for take-off in the summer of 2019.
Despite its well-publicised concerns about the effects of Brexit on flights between the UK and EU nations, the Irish budget airline has announced it will set up a new base at Southend airport from next summer, from where it will operate flights to 13 destinations, including Aéroport Brest Bretagne.
The company's chief operations officer David O’Brien said that Ryanair's new 'London' base should not be taken as a 'vote of confidence' in the future of aviation in the UK after Brexit.
He also said that Ryanair operations at Glasgow Airport, which it was reported in February will be axed from the end of summer 2018, will not be "reopened for the forseeable future". Ryanair currently operates services between Glasgow and Carcassonne.
Four of the other routes it will offer from Southend - Alicante, Faro, Malaga and Palma - are in direct competition to low-cost rivals easyJet, which is also based there; prompting expectations of a fares war between the two airlines. It will also fly to Barcelona (Reus), Bilbao, Corfu, Venice, Dublin, Milan Bergamo, Kosice in Slovakia and Cluj in Romania.
Trains from Southend airport's dedicated railway station take just over 50 minutes to reach to London's Liverpool Street, a few minutes more than rail services from Stansted.
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