Easyjet, the British low-cost airline group headquartered at London, announced that it will close its bases at Stansted, Southend and Newcastle, with the loss of 670 jobs. Their aircraft stopped flying to and from 21 destinations using Southend Airport from 1 September 2020, while a reduced operation was put into place from Stansted and Newcastle. Easyjet’s four aircraft at Southend carried more than one million passengers in 2019.
The difficult decision was made as a direct result of the unprecedented impact of the Covid-19 Pandemic and related travel restrictions. This was further compounded by the quarantine measures in the UK which has impacted the demand for travel. Ryanair, despite boosting Southend with a raft of new flights just days after Easyjet quit, announced in October that it will be cutting back its winter flights from Southend, and confirmed they will shut the Southend base in February 2021 due to the continued low demand.
Southend and Stansted passengers will now have to travel even further to get onboard Easyjet flights from Luton and Newcastle, and passengers will probably have to divert to Edinburgh or Manchester for future holidays if they wish to still fly with the company.