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Essex: Flybe agrees franchising deal with Stobart Group as part of bid to boost services from London Southend Airport

PUBLISHED: 18:04 25 March 2014 | UPDATED: 12:53 27 March 2014

File photo dated 20/4/10 of a pilot completing final checks on a Flybe plane as the airline is boosting the number of European destinations it serves in an expansion which will create 50 new jobs for the company. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday January 31, 2014. The carrier has announced that from April 10, it will be flying to four new routes with a further three following in May in a move expected to boost passenger numbers by 400,000 a year. From April, the airline will carry passengers from Birmingham to Alicante in Spain, Cologne in Germany, Florence in Italy and Porto in Portugal. See PA story AIR Flights. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

File photo dated 20/4/10 of a pilot completing final checks on a Flybe plane as the airline is boosting the number of European destinations it serves in an expansion which will create 50 new jobs for the company. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday January 31, 2014. The carrier has announced that from April 10, it will be flying to four new routes with a further three following in May in a move expected to boost passenger numbers by 400,000 a year. From April, the airline will carry passengers from Birmingham to Alicante in Spain, Cologne in Germany, Florence in Italy and Porto in Portugal. See PA story AIR Flights. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

Regional airline Flybe has agreed a five year franchise deal with the Stobart Group to create a number of new services from Southend Airport.

The agreement will see two Flybe-branded aircraft based at London Southend Airport, while Stobart will use its airline investment division, Stobart Air, to operate six new routes to Northern Europe and Benelux countries

The new services are expected to carry over 200,000 passengers annually in 2015

The five year agreement will initially see two 72 seat ATR 500/600 aircraft based at Southend Airport, with options to extend the franchise further in the future.

The two planes, flying in Flybe livery, will serve six routes to Northern Europe and Benelux countries from June 5. The franchise is aiming to carry more than 200,000 passengers to and from London Southend Airport annually in 2015. Tickets will go on sale from April 3 via Flybe.com.

Andrew Tinkler, Chief Executive Officer of Stobart Group said: “This agreement is a further step in our development of London Southend Airport and Stobart Air. It promises to be the start of an exciting relationship with Flybe, with scope to grow the partnership in the future. Stobart Air already operates a successful franchise agreement with Aer Lingus. We carry over 1.3 million passengers annually and 70,000 of those are going to and from London Southend Airport, offering them access to a transatlantic network via Dublin. Adding to the number of carriers and routes at London Southend Airport drives passenger volumes and contributes to cementing the airport as an established transport hub in the South East.”

Saad Hammad, Chief Executive Officer of Flybe said: “We are delighted to be extending the Flybe brand further into the South-East. Today’s news is also further evidence of our commitment to providing true regional connectivity across the UK and we look forward to unveiling a major programme of new base and route development over the coming months.”

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