With the terminals at Gatwick, Heathrow and Stansted becoming ever more crowded, there has been a demand for an alternative to London's main hubs. Easyjet may have discovered it at a quiet airport to the east, at Southend. They start operating cheap flights to popular destinations in April 2012.
Easyjet (www.easyjet.com) begins operations with flights to the Spanish holiday destinations of Alicante, Barcelona, Ibiza, Palma Majorca and Malaga, the Algarve airport at Faro. They will also offer services to Amsterdam and Belfast international.
As an example of some of the fares on offer, a flight to Barcelona from Southend is available at £27.99 for the outbound leg, and £25.99 for the inward flight. With taxes already included in the price, it is possible to obtain a round trip fare to the Catalan capital for around £60.
Apart from the cheap flights and its clean new facilities, Southend Airport has plenty to recommend it. On arrival, you won't have to wait long for your baggage. The airport website (www.southendairport.com) promises to have you through the reclaims area within minutes.
It has its own railway station on the London Liverpool Street to Southend Victoria line. Trains are very frequent with up to 8 an hour heading into London. Journey times to central London are around 50 minutes, or 40 minutes to Stratford (for Docklands).
If (these things happen), your cheap flights are delayed, the airport is only a 5 minute train ride from central Southend, with its shopping facilities and cheerful seaside amusements and beaches.