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Flybe routes from London Southend to France, Germany and the Netherlands commence operations

5th June 2014

- New London Southend routes to Rennes, Münster Osnabrück and Groningen take-off, with three more to start next month
- Today marks beginning of first Stobart Air operated services to mainland Europe
- Airline targets 700,000 additional London Southend passengers within three years

Flybe, Europe’s largest regional airline, today commenced three of its six new European routes from London Southend Airport operated by its franchise partner, Stobart Air.

London Southend passengers departed on flights to Rennes in France; Münster Osnabrück in Germany; and Groningen in the Netherlands over the course of the day, while inbound passengers from these destinations arrived to London Southend Airport for the first time.

First flight launch events will be hosted at London’s newest airport next month when Flybe’s services to Antwerp, Caen Normandy and Maastricht come into operation.

The Flybe branded routes are operated by Stobart Air as part of a franchise agreement between the two airlines. Stobart Air has targeted 200,000 passengers on its six new London Southend services in the first full year of operations, rising to 700,000 passengers within three years.

The airline’s Managing Director, who was in London Southend Airport to mark the occasion, said he was delighted that the new operations were now successfully underway.

Julian Carr, Managing Director, Stobart Air, said:

"Today marks a significant step for Stobart Air, with the start of our new services here at London Southend Airport. We are delighted to be up and running, and look forward to today’s passengers being the first of thousands who will experience our services in the years ahead. Bookings for these new routes have been strong since they were first announced in April. We are seeing a growing response from both leisure and business passengers who are attracted by competitive prices, convenient schedules and the efficiency of London Southend Airport. For the 20 million people living within two hours of London Southend Airport, the six new routes offers people direct access to some of Europe’s most charming cultural hubs and important trading markets. The availability of daily return services on some of the routes means people can do a day’s business and be back home that evening,” Mr Carr concluded.

Roger Clements, Managing Director, London Southend Airport said:

"This is a special day for London Southend Airport. Launching three new routes in a single day signifies the development that this airport is undergoing, and how far we have advanced. We are delighted to welcome our newest passengers, and look forward to showing them the benefits London Southend Airport has to offer, like up to eight trains per hour into the heart of London in just 53-minutes. For many on these new routes, this is the first direct connection to London. It links a whole new audience to one of the world’s most important cities, and this is very significant. We have seen that the more people experience London Southend’s comfort, convenience and efficiency, the more popular it becomes. We look forward to Flybe’s newest passengers enjoying a similar experience," Mr Clements concluded.

Further information:

For Flybe, operated by Stobart Air, contact:

Dan Pender at pr360 - +353 (0)87 231 3415 / +353 (0)1 637 1777 / dan@pr360.ie

For London Southend Airport, contact:

Tracy Jones at Brera PR & Marketing - 01702 216658 / 07887 514984 / tracy@brera-london.com

About Stobart Air

Stobart Air, a franchise flying specialist, operates 764 flights per week across 33 routes from 22 departure points throughout the UK, France, Belgium, Germany, Holland and Ireland. The airline, which employs 420 people, operates services for Flybe and Aer Lingus under franchise flying agreements. Stobart Air is owned by the Stobart Group along with other investors. Stobart Group’s aviation assets comprise London Southend Airport; Carlisle Lake District Airport; Stobart Air; plus air freight, maintenance and airport services.

About London Southend Airport

Over £120 million has been invested in by owners Stobart Group since it was acquired in 2008. New facilities include a train station on the London Liverpool Street, an Air Traffic Control Tower, terminal building, runway extension, 4-star Holiday Inn and radar. To support the airport’s rapid growth, work on a £10 million extension to the terminal has just been completed. London Southend Airport currently has departures each week to Amsterdam, Alicante, Barcelona, Berlin, Faro, Geneva, Ibiza, Jersey, Krakow, Malaga, Mallorca, Tenerife and Venice with easyJet. Aer Lingus also has three daily return services between London Southend and Dublin, where travellers are able to take advantage of transatlantic connections to Boston, Chicago, New York, Orlando, San Francisco and Toronto. Flybe has three departures each week to Newquay. London Southend Airport was recently named best airport in Britain in the Which? airport passenger survey. More at www.southendairport.com

About Flybe

Flybe, Europe's largest regional airline – 179 routes serving 15 countries from 84 departure points, 35 UK/49 European airports* (all routes on sale Mar ’14 – Oct ‘14); is the largest scheduled airline by air traffic movements at Belfast City, Birmingham, Cardiff, Exeter, the Isle of Man, Inverness, Manchester, Newquay and Southampton airports (UK CAA Feb ’13 - Jan ’14); operates 68 aircraft – 43 Bombardier Q400, 14 Embraer 195 & 11 E175; codeshares with BA, Air France, Etihad, KLM; and was Amsterdam Schiphol’s Airline of the Year 2012 Europe. * Flown under the Flybe brand (26 routes/13 airports exclusively served by Flybe’s franchise partner, Loganair)